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On the Head of a Pin: A Novel from Crosstown to Oblivion
In Walter Mosley's On the Head of a Pin, Joshua Winterland and Ana Fried are working at Jennings-Tremont Enterprises when they make the most important discovery in the history of this world—or possibly the next. JTE is developing advanced animatronics editing techniques to create high-end movies indistinguishable from live-action. Long dead stars can now share the screen w ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Tor Books
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This is a short novel bound in the same book with The Gift of Fire. Both are part of a series by Mosley, Crosstown to Oblivion, which I think is just used to separate these offerings from his earlier detective pieces. I became a fan of Mosley's after reading The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, a brilliantly envisioned novel. While the setting of this novel is 2012, it deals with ethical questions arising when a small tech company successfully creates a sort of animated movie screen. The intention is ...more
I've never met a Walter Mosley book I didn't like, and that hasn't changed. That said, the way he approaches SF/F concepts tends to be a bit different from how he writes his other books. I'm not sure why, and I'm also not sure I'm entirely on board with that direction. Maybe because his audience is largely a mystery and mainstream, he feels a need to simplify some of the things that might otherwise turn off his primary readership? Whatever the reason, the writing takes on a childlike quality - n ...more
Since Water Mosley wrote this, expect a mostly upstanding black male protagonist dealing with racists and cuckolds, dolled-up blonde women who can't say "no," and a succession of sexual encounters that are--each one of them!--the best ever. Mosley has reserved his ingenuity here for the science-fiction plot, which involves an artifact that unexpectedly opens communication with humanlike souls from other eras.
Walter Mosley is probably my favorite living author. So my standards for his work are high. With that in mind, I thought ON THE HEAD OF A PIN explored a fascinating and original sci-fi concept. But I could not shake the feeling that Walter may have wanted to move on to something else and did not develop the story as fully as he could. All the same, it was a worthwhile, if abbreviated, read.
A short novella about discovering some sort of weird window into, um, alternate reality? all realities? Something like that. Weird, but marginally better than the other short novella (The Gift of Fire) this one was housed with.
Walter Mosley (b. 1952) is the author of the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins, as well as numerous other works, from literary fiction and science fiction to a young adult novel and political monographs. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and the Nation, among other publications. Mosley is the winner of numero ...moreMore about Walter Mosley...