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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.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
redfiona99
Jan. 18th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
>>with some very sensuous descriptions of setting (Hull, of all places) << I want to read it just to see if this is even possible.
nwhyte
Jan. 18th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
Prepare to be enlightened! (Also it only costs a penny second-hand off the Internets.)
drasecretcampus
Jan. 19th, 2012 10:10 am (UTC)
Why "of all places"? It's a very vivid place - and that was where she had been based.
nwhyte
Jan. 19th, 2012 10:16 am (UTC)
Apologies to Hull-o-philes. My only knowledge of the place comes from people who have left it for good - including Nicola Griffith, and I think your good self? But that is not a fair metric, I admit.
drasecretcampus
Jan. 19th, 2012 10:26 am (UTC)
I only left there because I couldn't find full time employment and clearly was never going to be treated seriously by the incumbents when I could be more straightforwardly exploited. If they'd given me those jobs I could well still be there, and loving every moment of it.
redfiona99
Jan. 19th, 2012 11:54 am (UTC)
I liked it and Hull was my second choice uni (not that Leicester, where I did go, is any more romantic), but my friends from Hull tend to love their home town but admit that it's not the most entrancing of places, visually.
bibliofile
Jan. 18th, 2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
Didn't it win the Tiptree that year, too? Alas, our library system has already cycled away its copies, so I haven't reread it in years.
nwhyte
Jan. 19th, 2012 10:20 am (UTC)
Actually, no; Griffith's earlier book Ammonite won the Tiptree in 1993.
unwholesome_fen
Jan. 18th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
As I recall, the McKillip is worth a read.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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