Page 1 of 11 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 162
  1. #1
    Registered User cloudXXI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Barcelona (Spain)
    Posts
    18

    Christopher Priest

    I´ve read five books of this author, The separation, Inverted World, The afirmation, The prestige and Dream Archipielago. This man is really incredible, I think is the most intelligent writter of sci-fi I´ve ever read. He doesn´t write typical sci-fi (Are The afirmation and The separation sci-fi?), but he´s so good, I don´t matter.

    What´s your opinion?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    BELGIUM
    Posts
    368
    I must admit I have only read one book by him. The Dream Machine, which is a Victorian romance and a hommage to H.G. Wells. This is a good old fashioned pulp story about two Victorians who by circumstances land on Mars where they are witness to the forthcoming invasion of Earth by the "evil Martians". Sounds rather clichéd but it's a real good story. It's really a mix of War of the Worlds and Time Machine.

    Since then I always intented to read something else by him but never had the chance. I'am really interested in the Dream Archipelago. Seems to be a great story collection.

  3. #3
    Registered User cloudXXI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Barcelona (Spain)
    Posts
    18
    IMO the best books of Priest are Inverted World, The prestige and The afirmation. I´d read this books before The dream Archipielago, mainly Inverted World, my favourite sci-fi book.

  4. #4
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Hobbit Towers, England
    Posts
    11,710
    Blog Entries
    126
    Yes, I think Chris is a very underrated writer. The Separation was one of my favourite books of last year, though I'm not sure I understood it all. His books are often uncategorisable - rather like a British Jonathan Carroll, I think.

    He always reads well, though I often find his endings are a little odd/disappointing. Perhaps that's another point - there shouldn't be an ending...

    But my favourites are The Separation, The Dream Archipelago and The Time Machine. I haven't read The Affirmation though.

    Hobbit
    Mark

  5. #5
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    St. Helens: home of the world's greatest RL team
    Posts
    679
    I've seen Christopher Priest's SF works on the shelves for years, but for reasons that elude me, I haven't bought any.

    I did, however, buy The Glamour (non-SF) on the strength of a Dave Langford recommendation. I haven't read it yet, though.

  6. #6
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    St. Helens: home of the world's greatest RL team
    Posts
    679
    Finished ... nay devoured (!) The Glamour, The Dream Archipelago, The Prestige and The Affirmation just. The latter (within the context of the haunting DA short stories) is a work of genius. The ending took my breath away completely. I didn't see it coming at all - and yet it's as obvious as the sun rising from the horizon.

    Priest is every bit the magician of The Prestige. I don’t think I’ve learned as much about the art of writing, the complexities and sophistication of narrative structuring and the nature of memory from any other author … and yet – paradoxically - every Priest book also leaves me thinking I’ve understood nothing at all.

    Where do you start with The Affirmation? It’s like some weird and wonderful mix of The Machinist, Solaris (Soderbergh) and Primer. The moment you think you’ve got the ‘plot’ nailed down it dances away from you with mischief.

    Such a heartbreaking tale of loneliness and despair.

    Any other Priest fans here to start a discussion?

  7. #7
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    St. Helens: home of the world's greatest RL team
    Posts
    679
    I forgot to add: I've no idea how Chris Nolan is going to turn The Prestige into an accurate representation of the book. It strikes me the central device of the novel - Borden's book, and the hidden yet obvious misdirection - cannot be re-worked into cinematic equivalence.

  8. #8
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,685
    Quote Originally Posted by Mugwump
    Any other Priest fans here to start a discussion?
    Not quite I have a recently bought copy of Inverted World which I am yet to start. I have just started Red Mars which I am enjoying and at approx. 650 pages I may be some time... I bought Inverted World on the strength of some glowing comments on this forum so I am expecting good things. I did suggest it as a long-shot book club choice after the rules on availability were relaxed, but it was overlooked. Out of interest, I've just finished Grass which I bought after reading your forum comments on it and it has definitely become a top 10 SF book for me - thanks!
    Last edited by Ropie; May 3rd, 2006 at 02:50 PM.

  9. #9
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    St. Helens: home of the world's greatest RL team
    Posts
    679
    Quote Originally Posted by Ropie
    Not quite I have a recently bought copy of Inverted World which I am yet to start.
    Is it the #2 Omnibus that comes with Fugue For a Darkening Island? I picked up a copy myself. Had to go through Amazon Marketplace to get it, tho. I'm going to attack it in the next few weeks. I'm doing my best to resist the urge to go on some mad Chris Priest binge - reading every work of his without interruption. There's a huge gulf between his easily-identifiable early SF works and his later stuff starting with The Affirmation, which have only tangential connection with common perceptions of the SF genre. I know a lot of SF fans threw their toys out of the cot when he moved outside of traditional SF boundaries, but I really don't understand their complaints. Great fiction is great fiction, regardless of whether you play by the 'rules'.

    I have just started Red Mars which I am enjoying and at approx. 650 pages I may be some time... I bought Inverted World on the strength of some glowing comments on this forum so I am expecting good things.
    RM is an odd book. I've had a bash at it twice and never finished. This is despite never thinking it's a bad book.

    I did suggest it as a long-shot book club choice after the rules on availability were relaxed, but it was overlooked. Out of interest, I've just finished Grass which I bought after reading your forum comments on it and it has definitely become a top 10 SF book for me - thanks!
    Yeah, that's a fine piece of work. It features one of the most beautiful, evocative, well-thought-out and plain ol' memorable worlds I've come across. The only rivals I can think of are Aldiss's Helliconia and Arrakis (maybe).

  10. #10
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,685
    Quote Originally Posted by Mugwump
    Is it the #2 Omnibus that comes with Fugue For a Darkening Island? I picked up a copy myself. Had to go through Amazon Marketplace to get it, tho. I'm going to attack it in the next few weeks. I'm doing my best to resist the urge to go on some mad Chris Priest binge - reading every work of his without interruption.
    No, it's an old, well read copy from ebay. I like old, well-used books. If you want to go on a mad Priest binge (that sounds odd) then why not? Let us know what you think of it, I'll do likewise when I read IW, hopefully before the end of this month. The only trouble is I foolishly fished around for some reviews of it to read a few days ago, one of which is on Christopher Priest's own website, which gives away the supposedly fantastic plot-twist at the end. It's by Martin Amis, the swine!

    It (Grass) features one of the most beautiful, evocative, well-thought-out and plain ol' memorable worlds I've come across. The only rivals I can think of are Aldiss's Helliconia and Arrakis (maybe).
    It's certainly all of those things. I was also impressed by the life-forms and particularly the way they were cunningly introduced as being something they were not. I'm a Dune-sceptic, though it was a memorable world. I've never read any Aldiss but have been intrigued by the plot for Hothouse.
    Last edited by Ropie; May 3rd, 2006 at 05:16 PM.

  11. #11
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    St. Helens: home of the world's greatest RL team
    Posts
    679
    Quote Originally Posted by Ropie
    No, it's an old, well read copy from ebay. I like old, well-used books. If you want to go on a mad Priest binge (that sounds odd) then why not? Let us know what you think of it, I'll do likewise when I read IW, hopefully before the end of this month. The only trouble is I foolishly fished around for some reviews of it to read a few days ago, one of which is on Christopher Priest's own website, which gives away the supposedly fantastic plot-twist at the end. It's by Martin Amis, the swine!
    I wonder if this is one of the reasons Priest holds Amis in low regard.

    It's certainly all of those things. I was also impressed by the life-forms and particularly the way they were cunningly introduced as being something they were not. I'm a Dune-sceptic, though it was a memorable world. I've never read any Aldiss but have been intrigued by the plot for Hothouse.
    Hothouse is another great piece of world building. Aldiss is a bit of an acquired taste. I love the guy's stuff, but many I know can't bear more than a few pages. There's a streak of ugliness throughout his work. Not the kind of ugliness you'd associate with Donaldson, Richard Morgan or, perhaps, Alastair Reynolds (all of which brush, to a lesser or greater extent, with crudity and sadism). Aldiss deals more with the inherent brutality of Nature and the struggle for life (in this respect Helliconia differs from similar offerings by other authors). His 'heroes' are very often morally ambiguous, even downright dislikeable. This is especially the case in Hothouse, which features arguably one of the most dislikeable central characters in SF. What saves it is the pitch-black humour. Aldiss is very funny in the subtlest ways.

  12. #12
    Registered User odo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Oviedo (Spain)
    Posts
    462
    Quote Originally Posted by Mugwump
    [..] The Affirmation just. The latter (within the context of the haunting DA short stories) is a work of genius. The ending took my breath away completely. I didn't see it coming at all - and yet it's as obvious as the sun rising from the horizon.
    Yeah, exactly the same happened to me. It was an unexpected ending (in more than one sense ) yet, once you think about it, the only one that makes sense. "The affirmation" is a book that I appreciate more and more with time. I agree it is a masterpiece.

  13. #13
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,685
    Quote Originally Posted by odo
    "The affirmation" is a book that I appreciate more and more with time. I agree it is a masterpiece.
    This is the mark of a really good book in my opinion, when it's still playing on your mind a year after you read it. Often it's a book you don't expect.
    Last edited by Ropie; May 4th, 2006 at 05:21 AM.

  14. #14
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    St. Helens: home of the world's greatest RL team
    Posts
    679
    The genius of The Affirmation is that it functions on so many levels. At its heart is an exploration of memory. What is memory other than a fantasy? We never remember anything how it truly it was. All our memories are distortions of reality. Where Priest works his magic is in making the book itself a permanent and evolving reminder of this fact. The book changes with every subsequent read. When you finish reading TA you realise it's not the same book you started. It's meaning - it's function has metamorphosed. Suggestions that the book can be read as its own sequel are absolutely correct. I should also say the same can be said of other Priest works (especially The Prestige).

  15. #15
    Registered User odo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Oviedo (Spain)
    Posts
    462
    Another great "feature" of TA is its title (in fact, it happens with most Priest's stories). The main character tries to affirmate himself by negating a big part of himself and his own history. I find it really interesting. Especially since Priest has wrote a short story titled "The negation" which is about a writer (if I remember correctly). I haven't read it yet but I think it should be a good complement to TA.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •