Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

January Books 16) Slow River, by Nicola Griffith

My first Nebula winner of the year (only five more to go). In a lot of ways this is a very good book - excellent that Griffith has nested three different strands of plot, her heroine's childhood and then two different phases of her recovery from a kidnap ordeal, with some very sensuous descriptions of setting (Hull, of all places) and passionate yet thoughtful reflections on class and gender. My one reservation was that I wasn't sure how central the sfnal elements were to the plot; perhaps this is partly because quite a lot of the stuff that seemed futuristic in 1995 has become quotidian in 2012.

Slow River won the Nebula for Best Novel in 1997. It beat three books I haven't heard of - Nina Kiriki Hoffman's The Silent Strength of Stones, Patricia A. McKillip's Winter Rose and Robert J. Sawyer's Starplex - and two that I have read, Expiration Date by Tim Powers and Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age, which won the Hugo that year. Considering the three that I have read on the list, it is actually quite a tough choice. Expiration Date is fun but not really profound, and The Diamond Age has more flaws than I realised on first reading. I think this is one of those years when the Nebulas picked out a novel that deserved a bit more recognition; in other words, for once, the system actually worked.
Tags: bookblog 2012, sf: nebulas, writer: nicola griffith

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