cover image Icarus


Roger Levy, . . Gollancz, $14.95 (423pp) ISBN 978-0-575-07981-6

Initially, this impressive novel by British SF rising star Levy will fascinate but also puzzle readers. The characters are immediately intriguing, the writing vivid and tight, but how do the sections of action fit together? What does dangerous tunneling beneath the inhospitable surface of far-off planet Haven have to do with the way brutal lords control villages on the forest world Haze? And what could these distant civilizations have to do with a near-future televangelist exploiting human weakness on Earth? However, as scene follows melancholic scene, some containing disturbing violence committed on or by children, cross references begin to show that the parts are somehow related. Even as connections are revealed, it’s never safe to relax into easy assumptions about the relationships among Levy’s believably flawed, sometimes monstrous but sometimes hopeful characters as they explore the pain of alienation and the improbable miracle of isolated people coming together. (Sept.)