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Oracle, by Ian Watson

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Soon, the car and its headlights were cutting through the night at a steady eighty.
Another for my (very short) list of sff set in Belgium, this is a story of a Roman soldier yanked forward from the Boudicca uprising to the present day (1997), where he falls in with a Northern Irish brother and sister living in Milton Keynes and reminisces about his involvement with the Crucifixion; they flee to Brussels, and the story ends in an apocalyptic battle between the SAS and the IRA around the Atomium. Dedicated to Graham and Agnes Andrews, who are fellow Norn Iron expats working in Brussels. I twitched a bit at some errors of Irish and Belgian detail, but basically I enjoyed the execution of the story, especially the Roman's culture shock and the attention to local atmosphere once we get to Brussels; a little disappointed by the ending which wasn't as tidy as the plot deserved.

This was the shortest unread book on my shelves acquired in 2009, and the sff book which had lingered longest unread on those shelves. Next in line respectively are Winter Song by Colin Harvey and This Mortal Mountain, Volume 3 of the Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
resonant
Aug. 24th, 2016 11:12 pm (UTC)
How did they deal with the language difference?
nwhyte
Aug. 25th, 2016 06:49 am (UTC)
The Northern Irish brother happens to be fluent in Latin.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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