24 June, 2008

A happy dream

I picked up a copy of June Locus yesterday, in which Rich Horton says nice things about Jack's Dreaming Again, including:
The prize is Margo Lanagan's 'The Fifth Star in the Southern Cross'. Uncharacteristically for Lanagan, this is set in an unambiguously science-fictional future in which human fertility is in ruins (we assume as a result of environmental damage). We witness the protagonist's encounter with an apparently genetically-engineered prostitute [read: alien], then a meeting with a woman he had a one night stand with, which surprisingly has resulted in a viable pregnancy. It's bitter but not mean, the characters damaged but not evil. Powerful stuff.
'On the whole the book is pretty strong,' he reckons, 'particularly in the latter half, which features some brilliant work'. What with Isobelle Carmody's 'very fine strange dream story', a few writers achieving 'real weirdness of affect' and John Birmingham's entertaining time-travel-zombie-Aus-history mash, you'll want to get ahold of this one, I think.


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