Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review: Central Station by Lavie Tidhar

Central Station by Lavie Tidhar

Paperback, 275 pages

Published May 2016 by Tachyon Publications

"Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness—are just the beginning of irrevocable change."

Central Station is the third release by the world Fantasy award winning author. It is a a really cool concept that while sold and marketed as novel is much more of short story collection. This didn't really occur to me until I was 100 pages or so into it. It was then that I looked in the back to see that many of the pieces were published in various magazines and anthologies.

Certainly it is a mosaic style of story telling and while the setting is entirely futuristic I think Tidhar is going for a Cloud Atlas feel to the book. The stories are interconnected for sure and not just by the setting - the current bus Station of Tel Aviv, which in this book is a interplanetary spaceport.

One or more of the stories ventures out into the galaxy at wide, and certainly Mars looms in many of the stories. The main connecting narrative is found in a story line about data vampire that feed off information left similar to blood. the different stories have different leads but perhaps the most interesting was Boris Chong who just returned from a years on Mars. There is magic, surrealism and plenty of Science Fiction invention.

Over all this was a neat book but the last of a single driving narrative slowed me down a bit because I was not primed to read a collection, I believed even 90 pages in that I was reading a novel. The impressive invention on every page is fun and makes the book a worth while read but I would not consider it essential reading.

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