Posts Tagged ‘Peripheral’

‘The Golem and the Jinni’ and ‘The Peripheral’

May 1, 2017

Long time no write … But now, with nothing urgent needing to be done, I am finally able to write a bit about books again.

I thought about what my readers would be interested in most. Presumably not so much in average books which impressed me neither positively nor negatively. Perhaps more in being warned away from books that got hyped but aren’t really that good. But most, I suppose, in learning about very good books. So, here are two which came to my mind back when I thought about what you might like to read (ages ago).

The one is The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. It is a beautiful fantasy novel about a (male) Arabian Jinni and a (female) Eastern European Golem ending up, and meeting, in New York. You could compare it to Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale – sort of magical realism perhaps – but I didn’t like the latter so much. Not sure why, now: maybe it was a bit too literary, too pretentious for my low-brow taste. So, that’s one reason I liked The Golem and the Jinni: it is beautifully written, but it also tells a good story, a good adventure.

The other book I want to recommend is The Peripheral by William Gibson. This is not fantasy but science fiction – proper science fiction, not like his previous three novels (Pattern Recognition, Spook Country and Zero History). Those were quite good as well, but had merely a slightly science-fictiony feeling: some unusual technology which however was already actual (or so I think). (Sometimes these days the actual world feels science-fictiony: when I see people riding around on self-balancing unicycles I think how weird it is that such devices, which not so long ago would have been considered pure science fiction, are already commonly available. Then again, we do live in yesterday’s future.) If you fondly remember Gibson’s classic Neuromancer, as I do, this novel does not feature cyberspace but instead has cross-temporal telepresence, among other things. So this is again a treat for the fan of true science fiction.