April, 2011
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A novel about a society way in the future, to label it simply as science fiction would ,I think, be to do it an extreme injustice, in the same way that it would be also an injustice to the body of work by great novellist Iain M Banks.

At first I found many of the concepts operating in the solar system that Rajaniemi has created a little difficult to come to grips with, but as I read on these concepts seemed to emerge into understandable ideas. This he achieves without giving us an exposition which heavy on technichal stuff, rather he uses the story to fill in the details. This is done with considerable skill. He manages to avoid the usual cliches, in fact as someone who has read many SF novels, I would say that this setting and story is quite unique in the genre.

As the title suggests a thief is axis around which the plot revolves, a thief who is himself stolen as the story begins. It won't do much good me telling you the story, but I would say that the book is character driven by characters easy to identify with, recognisable human values and morals. So if you like something which is really going to stretch your imagination, this is a very enjoyable read.

I'm having a bit of a SF moment so please don't be surprised if I throw a few more like this at you.

2011 April the 11th
SIMON RECOMMENDS:
"The Quantum Thief"
by Hannu Rajaniemi

2011 April the 4th
SIMON RECOMMENDS:
"Fun and Games"
by Duane Swierczynski

"Excuse me," said the small excited child when asked about something called English History part 2; "but you'll just have to wait."

I've just put down a book which has pretty much kept me up all night reading it. Duane Swierczynski's Fun & Games does not hit the shelves until June this year, so for once I'm ahead, if only slightly, of the pack. Pulp-fiction pure and unadulterated, with all the action, voilence (no dear, that's something sailors do in France) I mean violence, sexy girls - the no.1 villainess is referred to as "Topless", lurid - I mean LURID details, murder, conspiracy; conspiracy theorists will be clamouring 'but it really goes on you know!'. The book even has a - pretty girl with bloody scratch and smashed up car in the background - painting on the cover. This book could not be more perfect. The exposition: washed up ex-nearly-cop now professional house sitter, turns up to look after wealthy movie soundtrack producer's Hollywood Hills (where else?) upside down house; gets attacked by drugged out naked crazy girl-beauty where there should be nobody. And it all takes off from there. And it really does take off, and like a plane it doesn't slow down, stop or fall out of the sky until pretty much the end of the novel. Even then it's just a touch down for fuel, because this is book no.1 in the 'Charlie Hardie trilogy', with books no.2 & no.3 slated to arrive in October 2011 and March 2012 respectively. The writing is bare and taut; there's nothing spare in Swierczynski's prose and it's got the pounding rhythm of a West coast punk band on crystal meth. If you like a relentless sleaze-action read then you are going to lov, and I mean L-O-V this. I know that I did, Yeh!

Publishing Date: 2011/06/20
Mullholland Books