Fiction Reviews


(1999) Alexander Besher, Orbit, 10.99, trd pbk, 306pp, ISBN 1-85723-682-3

A third outing for Frank and Trevor Gobi in the sometimes hilarious, quasi-surrealistic future of Rim, and Mir. I can't really bear to go into the plot, such as it is, not least because Besher seemed to get lost along the way and change his mind half-way through. And, though blackly humorous, the book often becomes ridiculous and absurd. Furthermore, I think Besher suffers by comparison to Richard Calder (Dead Things, Cythera, Frenzetta), who has a similar fascination with the Pacific Rim and Thailand in particular.

Not that such comparisons are necessarily fair, or even warranted, but are perhaps, for those reading in the field, inevitable. Besher has the edge on Calder in terms of comedy, but comes second on all other levels: writing, freshness of plot, characterisation, etc.

Those who enjoyed Besher's previous offerings will not be disappointed but, similarly, if you didn't like them, then be warned that this is more of the same.

Tony Chester

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