Transreal Fiction

Scotland’s sf & fantasy bookstore

BSFA Best Novel

And the award this year goes to the excellent Dervish House, by Ian McDonald.

It was one of my favourite books last year, and a deserved winner.
It’s also been shortlisted for the Hugo award, to be awarded later this year at Worldcon in August at Reno, Nevada.

Here’s what I said, having finished it:


It’s been quite some time since I read one of Ian McDonald‘s books, so I was interested to see how he’d approach a near-future Turkey…
It’s great!
The novel covers only 5 days, following the inter-twining lives of the residents of the run-down titular Dervish house, an old building facing onto a little square in an ancient part of Istanbul.
Turkey has become a fairly recent member of the EU, boom times are happening, thanks to advances in new tech, especially nano and religion is still an inescapable part of many people’s lives, despite the modernism everywhere. Great scene-setting and characters and the general background of Instanbul with it’s myriad complexities and paradoxes struggling to maintain it’s charge into the future is fascinating. Superstition and religion play their part, together with dodgy commodities traders, etc. as mysteries are unravelled and scams attempted!
And the Mellified Man could theoretically be real, as the process did exist and people occasionally chose that method of death, and interment!


Currently in stock as a l/f softcover from Gollancz.


April 25, 2011 - Posted by | Announcements, Author News

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