Its been a while since I've like a book so much by an author I haven't read before. Well, I guess I've read his little bit in the symposium section of The New Weird
, but that hardly counts. Unfortunately, this is Gilman's first book so I can't go find everything else he's written. Usually I'm late enough catching onto writers I like this much that when I find one I have a few older things to tide me over while I wait for him to put something else out.
Like I said in a review of a certain anthology, I'm a sucker for anything New Weirdish. Are people still calling things New Weird, or does it have to have been written earlier in the decade to count? Oh well, doesn't matter. Gilman's book has many of the tropes of the big New Weird novels, like a sometimes Victorian-ish city with a mash of bizarre cultures, mysterious Gods, and a subversive group of intellectuals and artists, but it manages to use those similar elements without feeling derivative. The city of Ararat is expansive and unique enough to stand on its own next to New Crobuzun, Ambergris, or the City Imperishable, if not encompass them, and the plot never left me disappointed.