the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Philip Palmer’ Category

Artemis, by Philip Palmer

published December 2011

where I got it: purchased new

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This book starts with a bang, that’s for sure. Doctor Artemis McIlvor may be guilty of a few things, but being bashful, shy, or afraid of danger aren’t those things.

Finally published many many generations after her death, Artemis is the thought-diary of it’s title character. Heavily edited and commented upon by the editors, many pages have footnotes that further explain, condense, generalize, and sometimes make fun of the diary entries. I’ve seen this trick played a few times elsewhere, and as expected, it succeeds in the humor department.

And because this is a thought-diary, Artemis’s comments aren’t always in chronological order, sometimes she leaves important details out, she lies, and her ego gets full reign.  For example, the story opens in the middle of a prison riot, and only later, after the first betrayal, in fits and starts and asides, do we find out why the riot got started, and what a high IQ augmented human like Artemis was doing in prison anyways.  We’re talking flashbacks within flashbacks with in asides within tangents within flashbacks.

I don’t mind flashbacks, I don’t mind violence, or swearing, or completely randomly casual sex in books. I don’t mind inadvertently funny footnotes, I don’t mind augmented/invulnerable humans.  Put all those things in a blender with good characters and a compelling storyline, and you just might  end up with one of the best science fiction books ever written.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.