Charles Stross shows us a near-future world full of wonders, extrapolated realistically from the current state of technology. In this world we have a crime, the investigation of which leads to the unravelling of a much larger conspiracy. Aside from some fairly strange narrative choices, this book provides a compelling vision of what our world may become, and then sets its characters to solving a crime within these new and complex boundaries.
A dangerous and malevolent wood casts a deep shadow over the towns that border it, and by extension over the kingdom those towns belong to. Agniezska will soon be chosen, against all odds, by the Dragon, a reclusive wizard who protects the villages from the wood, at the cost of one girl every ten years. Her unexpected gift with magic will make her more of an actor in her kingdom’s fortunes than she could have imagined, or wanted.
Originally published in 2010 as part of the Apocalyptic SF Anthology from Mammoth Books, Alastair Reynolds’ Sleepover flew somewhat under the radar for me, in large part because I wasn’t much of a short story reader back then. When asked to perform feats of imagination for post-apocalypse science fiction, writers have every reason to go looking for stories that lean slightly away from the traditional nuclear winter by-way-of global warming story lines that I for… Continue reading Sleepover – Alastair Reynolds