Sunday, September 30, 2007

Aldiss' great 'Malacia Tapestry'

I have been under the impression for years that Brian Aldiss was a wonderful short story writer but an slightly underachieving novelist. Apparently I simply failed to read the right novels. While I was on vacation, I read THE MALACIA TAPESTRY, one of the best novels I've ever read. It's a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, set in a city somewhere between northern Italy and Constantinople. Think of China Mieville, only fast-moving and sexy. Lots of ruminations on the nature of the novel and of art, on change vs. stasis, on the personal happiness vs. collective responsibility, but none of this gets in the way of the story. It's a shame Aldiss isn't more popular in the U.S.