This review was written in 1998 for Foundation: the International Review of Science Fiction, the academic journal of the Science Fiction Foundation. It was first published in #74, Autumn 1998. Along with the review of two novels by Lois McMaster Bujold it was my first foray into book reviewing. I’d hoped then to write more, but my PhD studies in Shandeism had to take precedence.
It seems to have been a time for sequels for Ian McDonald – Asimov’s recently published a difficult sequel to his earlier novel Necroville (US Title, Terminal Café) entitled “The Days of Solomon Gursky”, and now we have the full size sequel to Chaga, with recent reports suggesting that a further sequel is on the way. So this is McDonald’s first trilogy. It is unfortunate then that the middle volume suffers from middle-volume syndrome. (more…)