Monday, October 17, 2005

(Note: This is the first post I'm porting over from Cold Ground. Many will be less chest thumping than this, but I did want to bring over the notes about my book. Feel free to ignore it)

Donna McMahon has reviewed Wasps at the Speed of Sound for both On Spec's review page and for SF Site, and has quite nicely given me a heads up. It isn't posted yet, but will be soon. In the meantime, here are a few key quotes:

...Murphy uses polished, economical prose to create intelligent stories
that feel very real. He is very much a 'hard' SF writer in the sense
that he writes "idea" stories, and he has done his research, resulting
in occasional dialogue lectures, which are nonetheless smoothly

...What raises all these stories above average for SF, is that Murphy
visibly and tangibly cares. He isn't afraid of
emotions and he wants to explore the tangle of relationships and
motivations that drive human beings. He also cares deeply about the
environment, so that his landscapes are far more than just backgrounds
for action--they are essential. Murphy is intense. He doesn't just
want to get in your head, he wants to get in your heart and in your

...The effect of such savagely pessimistic stories in one concentrated
dose is depressing as all hell, and by half way through a reader might
be excused for wondering: if that's Murphy's view of the future, why
does he have kids? Why isn't he hanging from a rafter some place?

It is a positive review, and I take her critical statements in good humour (and there are several critical statements). As opposed to some past reviews of individual short stories, where the reviewer really couldn't back up why they were being negative about something, Donna makes solid points. But they're a caveat for the reader only if said reader wants to read something perpetually happy, and such a warning makes sense to me. Sometimes.

(Update: The review is now up at the On Spec page)

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