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Stamping Butterfliesby Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Synopses & Reviews
From acclaimed author Jon Courtenay Grimwood comes an exotic new novel that defies expectation at every turn. A mystery, a thriller, and a cutting-edge sci-fi adventure all in one, Stamping Butterflies bends time, genre, and consciousness itself to tell the spellbinding story of two worlds, three lives, one future — and the question upon which everything depends: who is dreaming whom...
From Marrakech to China's Forbidden City, from a doomed starship carrying a cryogenically preserved crew to an island prison camp, the fate of the world is being played out in the minds of two dreamers. One, a would-be assassin obsessed with enigmatic equations, has set out to kill the U.S. President. The other is a young Chinese emperor ruling thousands of years in the future. Each believes he is dreaming the other. One must change the future; one must change the past. And time is running out for both.
Caught in the maelstrom is a motley cast of characters, each an unwitting key to the ultimate fate of both worlds: Moz, a resourceful young Marrakech street punk, and his half-German girlfriend, Malika; Jake Razor, a self-exiled rock star; and psychiatrist Katie Petrov, who finds herself racing against a looming death sentence to pry free the secret of her condemned patient — a secret with the power to restore hope to the future...or stamp it out forever.
"Grimwood stumbles in this ambitious SF stand-alone, which falls short of the high mark set by his Arabesk trilogy (Pashazade, etc.), hard-boiled mysteries set in a near-future where the Ottoman Empire still exists. Grimwood alternates between the present-day efforts of an assassin to kill the U.S. president and a more cryptic future story line set aboard a Chinese spaceship. While the two plots eventually converge in a way most time-travel fans will have anticipated, the whole proves to be less than the sum of its parts. The action can become confusing and the language overblown. As usual, though, the author displays much cunning and wit as he grapples seriously with political themes. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Grimwood skillfully weaves Moroccan and Far Eastern culture in an inventive, philosophically resonant story line that keeps the reader guessing about Prisoner Zero until the final pages." Booklist
"[E]ach strand of this quantum noir is so trippy you need not know what's what....Grimwood's hard-boiled prose reels you in like a velvet rope (smiles twist 'lips without ever reaching her eyes'). (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly
"Brilliantly imaginative, moving with the crystalline precision of a Swiss watch, Grimwood's demanding accomplishment should be avoided by those who think the author should do all the work." Kirkus Reviews
"Grimwood's latest novel continues his efforts to create a new method of storytelling, complex and detailed yet free-spirited and fluid. The author's s eye for significance and impressionistic detail makes him a master at inference and subtlety....
"Ambitious, deft and accomplished — confirms Grimwood's place amongst the very best of contemporary SF authors." Iain Banks
"Jon Courtenay Grimwood is a critical, crucial voice in modern Science Fiction." China Miéville
"A masterpiece. Jon Courtenay Grimwood is British SF's best kept secret. Now you can find out why." Charles Stross
"Fast yet humane, hip yet bizarre, futuristic yet embedded in the absolute present moment of the world, Jon Courtenay Grimwood's novels read like thrillers but maintain a kind of caring irony and clarity of political vision which not only make him one of the best of the new U.K. SF writers but suggest new directions for every kind of writing." M. John Harrison
About the Author
Jon Courtenay Grimwood lives in England. The third book in his acclaimed "Arabesk" series, Felaheen, won the 2003 British Science Fiction Association Award, appeared on Locus Magazine's 2003 Recommended Reading List, and appeared on SFSite's Best of 2003 list.
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