Sig­nal To Noise

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Books -

That old black magic

Re­lease Date: 12 Fe­bru­ary

271 pages | Pa­per­back Au­thor: Sil­via Moreno- Garcia Pub­lisher: So­laris

When it comes to

writ­ten science fic­tion, nov­els are only half the story. Many au­thors spend years hon­ing their craft in short sto­ries be­fore their books ap­pear in your lo­cal Wa­ter­stones; many con­tinue pro­duc­ing short fic­tion through­out their ca­reers, in mag­a­zines like In­ter­zone, or web­sites like Clarkesworld, Strange Hori­zons and Tor. com. And some of the most cel­e­brated genre writ­ers of the past decade or more, like Ted Chi­ang and Kelly Link, have never pub­lished nov­els at all ( or yet, in Link’s case).

Sil­via Moreno- Garcia has a plethora of short sto­ries to her name, so while this is her de­but novel, she cer­tainly can’t be branded a novice writer. Sig­nal To Noise cen­tres on Meche, a soft­ware en­gi­neer who re­turns home to Mex­ico City for her fa­ther’s fu­neral, and comes face- to- face for the first time in sev­eral decades with the friends who – as we see in a se­ries of lengthy flash­backs – once helped her ex­per­i­ment with danger­ous magic.

As both teen and adult, Meche is a vividly drawn char­ac­ter: abra­sive, pas­sion­ate, and dam­aged, with a voice like “caramel- coated ra­zors” ( one of sev­eral great turns of phrase) when she’s an­gry.

Suf­fused with the mu­sic – English- lan­guage and Span­ish, pop and punk – that Meche and friends use to make their magic and sound­track their lives, this is both a spiky com­ing- of- age tale and a charm­ingly sweet ro­mance of mak­ing amends and start­ing again. Nic Clarke Moreno- Garcia has made a YouTube playlist of songs from Sig­nal To Noise; you can find it at http:// bit. ly/ sig­na­ly­outube.

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