Synopses & Reviews
Where do you run when a world is out to get you?
AIs, Forged beings, superheroes, angels, and worlds that change in the blink of an eyehere is a richly imagined tale of ordinary redemption in an extraordinary world from one of the most provocative writers working today.
Francine is a young runaway looking to find a definition of love she can trust. In Sankhara, she finds a palace where rooms are made of bone, flowers, and the hearts of heroes. She finds a scientist mapping the territory of the human mind. She finds a boyfriend. And she finds Eros itself incarnated in the androgynously irresistible form of Jalaeka.
But not everyone is in love with the god of love. Unity, for one, wants to assimilate Jalaeka along with every other soul in the universe. And contrary to what everyone always believes, love alone can't save the day. It will take something both more and less powerful than the human heart to save the worlds upon worlds at risk when gods collide.
"If William Gibson and Norman Spinrad had dropped acid together, this fourth SF novel by British author Robson (Natural History) is the book they might have written. It's a bizarre exploration of theories about human nature, set in a post-Singularity future where AIs are in charge of both real and virtual worlds, genetic manipulation is so common that 'unevolved' people are disdained, and anyone can use magic as long as they don't mind occasionally being possessed by Theo, the personification of knowledge, as he hunts for his twin, Jalaeka, the personification of the ineffable. Unfortunately, the tale's visionary qualities are drowned out by the overabundance of undefined vocabulary, queasily fluctuating scenery and dizzying perspective swaps among half a dozen protagonists. Some chapters are less than a page, and almost all are written in the first person, adding narrative confusion despite Robson's credible efforts to distinguish the characters' voices. The experimental nature that makes the novel worth starting sadly ends up rendering it hard to finish." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"For Robson, world-building is a literary device like any other, useful for exposing buried fears and desires to the light of day, no matter how strange the sun." New York Times Book Review
"Robson's sweet, crazy story presents a conflict that has been brewing for ages between a crypto-deity that consumes to comprehend and the individuals, human and otherwise, who don't want to be comprehended." Booklist
Following her novel "Natural History," Robson takes readers into the unimaginable worlds that were created from the spark of "Natural History's" first contact--worlds where the impossible is possible, and gods are made flesh.
About the Author
Justina Robson was born and brought up in Leeds. She studied philosophy and linguistics before settling down to write in 1992. Her earlier novels, Silver Screen and Mappa Mundi, were both shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award.