A wonderful new voice from the Caribbean, rich and original, which will enchant you at the beginning of each story. Highly recommended for those lookiA wonderful new voice from the Caribbean, rich and original, which will enchant you at the beginning of each story. Highly recommended for those looking for something fresh and new....more
This is probably one the best pieces of French science fiction I've read in a long time and it's by young and fairly new author Stéphane Beauverger. IThis is probably one the best pieces of French science fiction I've read in a long time and it's by young and fairly new author Stéphane Beauverger. It's like Pirates of the Caribbean meets time-travel. This book and I were bound to get along! The book's true originality and what clearly distinguished from anything that's ever been written on this historical period in science fiction is its format and the way it is constructed. The story isn't told chronologically, you have to be an active reader to piece the events back together and yet it tells a lot about the author's talent that it's not too demanding to do so. The reason behind the author's choice to relate his story in this manner is closely tied to the events taking place within the narrative. The world he is describing is under attack but it's not being attacked by foreign neighbors or other countries. No, it's being attacked by the past and the future. Time as we know it is completely disrupted and no longer resembles our understanding of time. This is a fascinating new take on pirates, the Caribbean and well, time traveling. Highly recommended. ...more
After the Haitian revolution (1791-1804) which freed the island from French domination and put an end to slavery, Jean-Jacques Dessalines comes into pAfter the Haitian revolution (1791-1804) which freed the island from French domination and put an end to slavery, Jean-Jacques Dessalines comes into power and rules as a despot. When he is murdered in 1806, the country is split in two: President Pétion rules over the South while Henri Christophe, proclaimed King Henry I, rules over the North.
The play tells the story of Christophe, from his accession to the throne to his death. It tells the story of men who freed their country from slavery and ended up turning into tyrants themselves. It's a very strong and poignant tragedy about decolonization which makes a point of highlighting the ridicule of Christophe's court which only aims at imitating the courts of Europe in search of legitimacy. It's a carefully constructed and written piece of work. Some images and phrases hold a very poetic note to them and sometimes you can't help but laugh out loud though you realize how sad the whole situation actually is. You fight for your freedom, you obtain it, you manage to keep it but what then? How are you to break the circle when you only have one model of governing to choose from?
A short read, a profound reflection. A must read for all those interested in issues of race and colonialism.
Brief note: I think the play deserved a proper introduction which gave a bit more context to the story but also to the place the story held in Césaire's work instead of the long and vague back cover it got. ...more
There are not many authors out there who can write entertaining fast-paced space opera stories, tightly built political intrigues and introduce diversThere are not many authors out there who can write entertaining fast-paced space opera stories, tightly built political intrigues and introduce diversity in their cast of characters. Tobias Buckell is one such authors and does it all effortlessly it seems. Ragamuffin is smart, fast, serious science fiction but no info dumps. It's refreshing and highly recommended.
Book one, Crystal Rain, hit home because it took place in a Caribbean setting that reminded of my childhood. Book two, Ragamuffin, reminded of why I loved space opera so much.
Also note that, though this is the second book in the series, you may read them in whatever order you feel like. Another smart thing on the author's side: each book is standalone. Sure some characters appear in several or all three books, but you don't have to have read them all to enjoy. That's for all of you who are tired of never-ending genre series.
I'm eagerly waiting for Sly Mongoose (which is the third book and for now it seems final book in the series) to come out in paperback....more