Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Jay Lake - Blue Tyson

Jay Lake is an extraordinarily prolific producer of short science fiction, fantasy and horror. As a novelist he has brought out half a dozen or so books and is rapidly heading to double figures, along with managing some collections. With over 200 short stories he has frequently displayed an upper range. His output has slowed recently for good reason as well as working on the longer form. If I had to guess, I'd say he is better at the short form with some inherent problems in the work that is getting closer to 100,000 words than 20,000. However, he is probably capable of writing in any genre he likes. His best work in the long form has been in the New Weird, and in the secondary world low fantasy Green, and he has several fine space opera stories. As such, it is a shame to see him working on very mundane steampunk type gasbaggery when his other work is better and more sophisticated. If he suddenly turned to writing crime novels, thrillers or historical Sumerian romance it would be no surprise if he threw some of those into the Kindle market and ended up with a Ferrari as result.



Of subgenre interest is the story Permanent Fatal Errors, apparently related to a forthcoming novel trilogy Sunspin, which should be well worth checking out. The problem with Lake's novels though is that he is contracted to publishing recidivists Macmillan, and given he is an author of no particular popularity it will get more and more difficult to obtain if not in the USA. Luckily it is rare the last few years that they publish any new science fiction of interest.

In the short stories, To Raise A Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves is a conflict over the leadership of a starship full of posthumans. A Tower To the Sun is a story in the New Ceres setting, about a dying monk, succession, and an architecture project.



To Raise A Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves

A Tower To the Sun

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