Monday, August 22, 2022

Reviewing the Mail: Week of August 20, 2022

One book this time out; it came in the mail, as is traditional. It's a new book in a SFF vein, from a writer I've read before, just published and sent to me for publicity purposes - a sign that, despite everything, maybe this world is worth saving after all.

Neom is the new novel from Lavie Tidhar, who has written a lot of excellent and diverse things - the ones among them that I've actually read are Central Station and The Violent Century and The Escapement. Neom is being published by Tachyon, and will be available on November 8th.

It's set in the same world as Central Station, but I don't think it's otherwise linked: it centers on the desert city of the title, which is not too far from Central Station - the back cover says it's on the Red Sea, and a map in the front matter puts it in Arabia. (This is at least several hundred years in the future; I'm pretty sure the House of Saud is barely a memory and every other human border has been moved multiple times in between.)

And what happens there, in Neom and the deserts outside it? Well, the back cover implies that two characters are falling in love - "loyal shurta-officer Nasir and hardworking flower-seller Mariam" - and then hints about a more destructive character, called "the robot" and "a deadly terrorartist." I imagine those three are central, but, from my experience of Tidhar, there will be a number of other important characters as well.

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