Book Review: Song of Time by Ian R. MacLeod (Four Stars)


Book Review: Song of Time by Ian R. MacLeod

Four Stars out of Five

“Life … is a series of acts which we eventually grow tired of performing.”

Thrilled and disappointed simultaneously. Subtle future technology juxtaposition with timeless issues of living and dying. Literary post-apocalyptic science fiction. Unfortunately, self-consciously literary.

Brilliant imagery, clumsy storytelling. Occasional homophones or similar faulty word choice. Several epigrams could become catch phrases for the culture were they not so ineptly worded. As if it was dashed off, but not re-read. Knocks the reader out of the story’s spell. Needed a good editing, if not a rewrite.

Two threads, before and after the collapse. Lots of forward and back flashes. Sometimes confusing. Many clichés. The usual suspects (both cultural and personal stereotypes); little originality in characterization. Excellent evocation of a pop culture fifty years in the future. Believable future developments in technology, ecology, culture and legal issues.

“No wonder people believe in God, now that they’ve realized just how useless politicians are.”

Will read differently depending on the age of the reader. After reflecting a while, I may adjust my rating up or down.

Paradox: While reading this book, terror attacks struck Paris. Dinner conversation turned (in a different context) turned to the potential for a Yellowstone cataclysm.

“If you don’t believe in hope, and in love as well, what was the point of anything?”