Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell

I’ve read Toby Buckell’s first novel, and can happily report it bowled me over. Growing up, I loved the swashbuckling interplanetary tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs, unfortunately these haven’t held up, particularly, for me as I’ve grown up. Buckell brings a post-colonial perspective to all his fiction, and here pulls off the rather deft feat of writing a romance (in the Haggard, Doyle, Burroughs sense) that, while including all the elements of great adventures tales – action, mystery, vivid settings – never feels like a retread, never bows to the stereotyping sometimes found in older examples of its kind (and not only there, but, all too often, found in current examples of genre fiction). Buckell does what good genre writers have always done, takes what he loves and makes it his own. Also, Buckell has always managed to fill his short fiction with larger-than-life characters; "Crystal Rain" adds John de Brun to their number, and I especially delighted in the return of "Pepper" from "The Fish Merchant" who appears here as well, mysterious and compelling as ever. I admit my bias here, Toby is a friend, but you can do a lot things than to ignore my bias, take up this adventure and dive into its lush pleasures. Click the image to order from Amazon:

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