cover image Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction

Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction

Hannu Rajaniemi. Tachyon (Legato, dist.), $25.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-61696-192-3

Technology features strongly in this solid speculative fiction collection by Rajaniemi (The Quantum Thief). His work is unabashedly in love with its genre, mixing complex technical jargon with classic, pulp-style plots along with a clear appreciation for speculative fiction. In the lengthy "Skywalker of Earth," a very modern woman gets caught up in a battle between two protagonists straight out of Astounding Stories, with the fate of the solar system at stake. Horror-fantasy appear along with the SF, as with "The Viper Blanket" or the comedic "Satan's Typist." On occasion, Rajaniemi trips over his own clever prose, especially when adding jarring pop culture references, but lush language more than makes up for it. Some stories focus on machines, but their characters still feel real, as in "The Jugaad Cathedral," where a Second Life world may be a second chance for a disabled person. This delightful trip into imaginative worlds brings a fresh take to timeless ideas. Agent: John Jarrold (U.K.). (May)