It’s boasting time again! We have 2 new reviews fresh in of my fifth novel ‘Entanglement’, about mankind’s first encounters with alien worlds. Firstly, Mat Joiner has reviewed the book over at the website of ‘Sein Und Werden’ magazine. Mat writes:
“Thompson doesn’t give us stock heroes, just flawed men and women who drift into meaningless affairs, doubt their own actions, make mistakes that will be their undoing. He gives us recognisable human beings.
That’s not to say Entanglement is utterly bleak… There’s plenty of a good old fashioned sense of wonder here too. None of Entanglement’s travellers lack curiosity, even though it might result in transformation or death. It argues that in meeting the alien, we meet ourselves; that to ask questions is better than presenting glib solutions. If anything, it’s a novel that pleads the case for cautious optimism.
If Entanglement has one fault, it’s that I’d have cheerfully spent more reading time on many of these planets; they deserve novellas, at the very least. Thompson doesn’t waste time on technobabble; like Ursula Le Guin (who he pays homage to by using the term “Ansible”) he’s more interested in humans than machinery. It’s a thoughtful, ambivalent, compassionate novel. I wish there were more science fiction like it.”
I’m particularly pleased that Mat appreciates the ambivalence and compassion that are essential ingredients in the alchemical process of character creation for a writer.
Meanwhile, the great Terry Grimwood has reviewed the book over at the Future Fire Reviews site, comparing the book (blushes) to Wells, Swift, and Silverberg. Terry writes:
“Entanglement is an intelligent, adult science fiction novel that blends the new with the old. Like all good SF, its futuristic technologies are founded on present day developments and theories. Its foundation, therefore, is solid. At the same time, Entanglement is imbued with a Golden Age sense of wonder. There are moments when it possesses an almost Wellsian feel, moments that are Swift-like in their satiric incisiveness, then others when it reminded me of the great Robert Silverberg…
…Wells was a writer in an age when there was still more than enough wonder and original invention to go round. Thompson manages to convey a similar wonder, prevalent in quite a few of his human-alien encounters. It is an innocence I have not seen in a science fiction novel for a long time. Thompson also captures Wells’ ability to transform the encounter between human and non-human into a mirror of our own intra-human relationships.
Entanglement is a compelling tour de force, a brave attempt, painted on a vast, interstellar canvas, a novel that manages to maintain a startling imaginative variety as we visit world after world. Its real power, however, is its Swiftian (particularly resonant in the story of the visit to 55 Cancri k) parables of Western civilisation and the effects it wrought on real life societies and cultures that were just as alien to ourselves as these imagined interstellar cultures and societies are to the novel’s cast. This time, however, the shoe is often on the other foot, tentacle or wing.”
Terry wins the prize for being the first reviewer to spot that the book is, among many other things, an attempt to explore every possible meaning of the word ‘entanglement’, hence the affairs, scandals and contaminations between worlds! I won’t be winning any prizes however, because I’m not with a major publisher. Hang your head in shame, silly world 🙂