It may surprise you to know that I am not massively well versed in sci fi. I enjoy silly campy stuff like The Fifth Element but I also like the sly satire of films such as District 9 and Robocop. For a lot of people you are probably going to be relieved to hear that The Astronomic is much more the latter and not so much the former!
What impressed me about this book is that it creates its own universe in much the same way as Star Wars or Kevin Smith films. There is a feeling that the world of these short stories exists outside what has been written. At the same time it is not so otherwordly or mythical that there is nothing to connect with the here and now.
Quite the opposite in fact. The book deals with a lot of here and now issues, such as identity, morality religion and war. It looks at how these issues might be affected in the future by the arrival of aliens or the further improvements of technology.
If all of this sounds a bit heavy then you’ll also be happy to know that the writer seems aware of this. The characters are well developed and there is a sparkiness to the dialogue.
The book may not be to all tastes but as a novice sci fi person I’d say there’s enough there for the broadest possible audience and I recommend giving it a try.
You can order The Astronomic here (as well as read reviews) http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Astronomic-James-Turner/dp/1780352131/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330871393&sr=8-1 or alternatively look up “The Astronomic James Turner” on Amazon.com, .co.uk and so forth.
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