Maple Books celebrates its five months old (yes, I’m still counting) while we enjoy a splendid Indian summer here in Ontario. This month, I have been reading a lot and I’m soon going to announce a new section in Maple Books, along with the usual Canadian speculative fictions and the SFF World Tour. It’s all about my project to learn about Canadian culture through fictions… but I’m saying too much already!
Books reviewed this month
Science-Fiction & Fantasy World Tour #5: I stopped over in Japan with The Stories of Ibis by Hiroshi Yamamoto (read in English).
Other reads this month
A Description of the Blazing World, by Michael Murphy
I found this book in the second-hand store of the library and was intrigued by its strange title and simple, abstract cover. It ended up being a great, great book! It tells the story of two apparently unrelated characters: a nihilist teenager and a middle-age man suffering a break down after his wife left. The kid keeps seeing his own death and the end of the world, in the most brutal and gory ways. The man starts this absurd investigation about people bearing the same name as his. It’s weird and funny, and comes together superbly at the end!
Inverted World, by Christopher Priest
Inverted World is the first book I read by Christopher Priest and I expect it not to be the last. I loved this novel. The protagonist Helward was born in a city in constant motion, forever trying to catch up North with something called “optimum”. A patriarchal system of guilds rules this small society. As Helward becomes an apprentice in the Future guild, he is allowed to go out of the city and check for himself what is “out there”, but the journey raises more questions than it answers.
The Inverted World has a fascinating world and is beautifully written. I couldn’t stop reading, I really wanted to discover, with Helward, what/where exactly this world is and understand its strange physics. The ending will surely make you reflect on human nature.
So, this was a lot of (excellent) mind-bending reads this month! There was also another 500-page Canadian masterpiece that I’m saving for the new project! Stay tuned!