Absorption by John Meaney — book review

Absorption by John Meaney. Gollancz ‘8.99

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan

John Meaney is a clever and complex writer weaving seemingly unrelated stories together to make a greater whole. Here there are at least five strands scattered throughout time, each with their separate characters.

Ulfr is a warrior of a Northern clan in 777AD. He perceives the travelling bard Stigr as touched by darkness even though his oratory entrances the rest of the tribe. Gavriela Wolf, a German Jew and a physicist in the 1920s sees the same phenomenon when she spies on a local meeting and observes Hitler entrancing the crowd.

In 2146, Rekka Chandri is the member of the human exploration team that makes contact with the sentient natives on an unnamed planet. Further in the future in 2603, Roger Blackstone is just starting college on Fulgor.

Roger, Gavriela and Ulfr each dream that they inhabit crystal bodies in some far future place. They occasionally get waking visions of each other. Most of the action takes place on Fulgor as one of the hierarchy, the Luculenti, discovers an artefact buried on her estate. When she opens it, she is infected by a vampire code which eats its way into her neural paths.

By the end of this volume, the first of three, it is possible to see loose connections between the disaster played out on Fulgor and the characters in the past. The links are not yet strong enough to see the true pattern emerging. Possibly Meaney has introduced too many stands, too quickly, to do the overall shape full justice.

Absorption by John Meaney. Gollancz ‘8.99

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan

John Meaney is a clever and complex writer weaving seemingly unrelated stories together to make a greater whole. Here there are at least five strands scattered throughout time, each with their separate characters.

Ulfr is a warrior of a Northern clan in 777AD. He perceives the travelling bard Stigr as touched by darkness even though his oratory entrances the rest of the tribe. Gavriela Wolf, a German Jew and a physicist in the 1920s sees the same phenomenon when she spies on a local meeting and observes Hitler entrancing the crowd.

In 2146, Rekka Chandri is the member of the human exploration team that makes contact with the sentient natives on an unnamed planet. Further in the future in 2603, Roger Blackstone is just starting college on Fulgor.

Roger, Gavriela and Ulfr each dream that they inhabit crystal bodies in some far future place. They occasionally get waking visions of each other. Most of the action takes place on Fulgor as one of the hierarchy, the Luculenti, discovers an artefact buried on her estate. When she opens it, she is infected by a vampire code which eats its way into her neural paths.

By the end of this volume, the first of three, it is possible to see loose connections between the disaster played out on Fulgor and the characters in the past. The links are not yet strong enough to see the true pattern emerging. Possibly Meaney has introduced too many stands, too quickly, to do the overall shape full justice.