Visions of Paradise

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Aurora in Four Voices

Another author in David G. Hartwell’s The Space Opera Renaissance whom I had not read previously was Catherine Asaro. Her reputation as a writer of hard science romances was a blending which did not strike anticipation into my heart. But her story “Aurora in Four Voices,” was very impressive. It is neither space opera nor hard science nor a romance, but a strong sf planetary adventure about a city built by aliens with a preoccupation with mathematics. The story involves a human who is a captive in the city because the most powerful artist there requires him as a model. All the human wants to do is escape, and when a powerful member of the interstellar military arrives on the world, he sees his chance to do so.

“Aurora in Four Voices” was good enough that I definitely want to read one of Asaro’s Skolian Empire novels.

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I have decided to read some older books in my collection, particularly ones by my favorite authors. I’m starting with Clifford D. Simak’s collection Strangers in the Universe. I met Simak at a worldcon in Boston in the early 70s where he was invited to a small private room party. That was one of my fannish highlights, sitting and chatting with one of sf’s greatest authors.

Other authors I hope to revisit in the near future include Michael Bishop, Kim Stanley Robinson (likely his newest novel Galileo’s Dream) and Roger Zelazny. Good reading ahead...

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