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markk

markk

Currently reading

Six Minutes in May: How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister
Nicholas Shakespeare
The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia, Volume 1: The Socialist Offensive: The Collectivisation of Soviet Agriculture, 1929-1930
Robert William Davies
Progress: 56/512 pages
The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
Progress: 219/928 pages
Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859-1888
John C. G. Röhl
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Revisiting an enjoyable author

Last Year - Robert Charles Wilson

Although I'm a longtime fan of Robert Charles Wilson's books, it's been awhile since I last read one of his new novels. While I can't say for certain why (it's been that long), I suspect the Spin saga had something to do with this; I've always felt that the others were unnecessary, and I didn't want to sully my memory of the first one with inferior sequels. Having fallen out of the habit of reading his books, I really didn't feel motivated to pick up the ones that followed.

 

That changed after reading the description of this one. I'm a sucker for time travel and well-done (i.e. no WWII wank) alternate history, and this one had both intertwined in its premise of modern-day Americans touring their Gilded Age past thanks to a time portal. As I read it, I was reminded of everything I loved about Wilson's books, which mix interesting ideas with well-developed characters and bring the plot to an enjoyably satisfying conclusion. In some ways it reminded me of Paul McAuley's Cowboy Angels, which also offered a mix of the two genres, though far less successfully than Wilson achieves here. While it falls short of my favorite Wilson work, I finished it determined to read the other novels that I missed. It's good to be back.