Be­hind the Spin

SFX - - Reviews -

From Larry Niven’s Ring­world to the im­mense ships and habi­tats of Iain M Banks’s Cul­ture nov­els, sci­ence fic­tion has of­ten been a genre for think­ing big. De­but nov­el­ist An­drew Ban­nis­ter cer­tainly isn’t afraid to aim high, and he’s de­liv­ered an in­ven­tive ex­am­ple of large-scale SF in the mul­ti­lay­ered Cre­ation Ma­chine.

The story is set in­side an ar­ti­fi­cially con­structed minia­ture gal­axy, the Spin. While ex-sol­dier Fleare Haas es­capes im­pris­on­ment and aims to get re­venge on her politi­cian fa­ther, else­where the cor­rupt and dan­ger­ous Alameche has dis­cov­ered one of the pow­er­ful an­cient de­vices that ac­tu­ally built the Spin…

Bal­anc­ing bursts of ac­tion with ex­pan­sive world-build­ing, im­mer­sive prose and sharp di­a­logue, Ban­nis­ter has made a colour­ful de­but that con­jures up the same kind of gnarly, lurid weird­ness that made Banks’s SF epics so mem­o­rable. The nar­ra­tive isn’t quite so strong, how­ever – the book’s fi­nal third introduces new con­cepts that re­sult in the plot los­ing fo­cus. But de­spite some flaws in the sto­ry­telling, this is still a dis­tinc­tive novel that hints at good things to come from this au­thor. Saxon Bul­lock

An­drew Ban­nis­ter’s day job is in con­struc­tion – he’s an ex­pert in green trans­port and cor­po­rate sus­tain­abil­ity.

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