A round-up of interesting responses to Empty Space so far. Stuart Kelly, Guardian. Roz Kaveny, Independent. Gary Wolfe, Locus. Illogical Volume, Mindless Ones. John Clute, Strange Horizons. Nina Allan, The Spider’s House. Paul Kincaid, Through the dark labyrinth. Jonathan Barnes produced a very interesting review for the TLS, worth a look if you can get behind the paywall. There are author-interviews here, by Richard Lea for the Guardian; & by Simon Ings for Arcfinity, here & here.
No more, and possibly less, than the book and the trilogy deserves. If it is a trilogy, that is. . . and so glad the brilliance of the writing was highlighted.
But did I miss something? I thought Anna failed to pass Michael’s work on to anyone, so Empty Space is another aspect of the whole.
Hi nigel foster.
“…Anna failed to pass Michael’s work on to anyone, so Empty Space is another aspect of the whole.”
Quite right. Anna has identified the wrong house, yet some of the right events seem to be taking place there. Meanwhile, in the future, the work carried out in Light is no longer described as the “Tate-Kearney equations” but as the “Tet-Kearno equations”…
I don’t believe this invalidates anyone’s review, though. Turn over any stone in those three books & you can find something different living under it. I was careful to make sure of that.
For whatever reason I didn’t find myself trying to impose meaning on the text. I normally do, reflexively. Here I read it as an experience rather than a novel. Kinkaid’s review, to me, seems to detract from the experience in favor of theory. I see this happen frequently on the academic side. While it is interesting, I don’t find theory has much to do with the actual process or intent of writing most of the time.
Intriguingly, that number of the TLS (14 September) leads with a piece on Tolkien’s illustrator Mary Fairburn, whose life seems an analogue to Anna’s in its distractions and charity. Her first images reached Tolkien as he hurt himself falling downstairs, and today “she lives in an old house full of her pictures … in rural Victoria, where she is known as a folk musician, a taker-in of the homeless, and an agitator on the behalf of local conservation causes.” No mention of her burning transfinite summer house, but that can only be a matter of time.