Reading: Tony Ballantyne – Divergence

This was actually what I was lurking in St George’s to pick up; the China Miéville delayed until today (which means tomorrow because I’m not in the mood to haul myself out of Wedding today).

When I was living in Zürich, and spending at least a couple of days a week after rehearsals in the Orell Füssli English Bookstore’s basement (i.e. where the science-fiction lived), after I’d discovered Charles Stross (the hardback cover of Accelerando beckoned to me for weeks before I decided it might not be a William Gibson clone – good decision), and in need of something to read, I picked up Tony Ballantynes’ Capacity.

I read quite a bit of sci-fi in those months, and a lot of it was very difficult to get excited about, or even finish; it’s a poor habit of mine that I persevere to the end of something better sensibly abandoned. Capacity though, was one that I had no bad memories of, and sometime in the last year or so, I read again. Between the publishing schedule of my three favourite authors and their back catalogue I have no compunction with not rereading, I’m not so overly in need of new authors, though lately I thought I’d try and find something else.

So, Ballantyne published one book either side of Capacity, making a trilogy – in the loosest sense. I think they can be read on their own, as I did with the middle one, and now after quite a gap am doing with the last, Divergence, and shall continue to the first sometime soon. It’s not of the brilliance of Banks, Miéville, or Stross, though I still devoured half of it last night.

(The cover though … why does sci-fi tend to such horribly embarrassing covers? Reading the original, non-adult covers of Harry Potter was never something awkward for me, but this …)