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REVIEW – Far North (2009) By Marcel Theroux

April 17, 2010

The Zone have my review of Marcel Theroux’s excellent post-apocalyptic novel Far North.

It was interesting to re-read this review having just read the introduction to Kelly and Kessel’s Secret History of Science Fiction (2009).  While the anthology seems to contain some interesting stories, I was amazed at the extent to which their introduction really failed to grapple with the relationship between genre and so-called mainstream literary sensibilities.  Kelly and Kessel devote their introduction to rehashing all of the old abortive attempts at defining science fiction before throwing their hands up in despair and refusing to say anything about the difference between science fiction and literary fiction.

I think that  good starting place for any serious attempt to nail down this difference in sensibilities would be Theroux’s novel : It has little plot, its characterisation is elusive, its ideas are quite familiar and its themes are rather muted.  According to the traditions of Campbellian science fiction, it is a weak novel… and yet it clearly is not anything of the sort.

  1. April 18, 2010 7:42 am

    Excellent review, both as an account of the novel and as an engagement with the larger formal questions of genre writing.


  2. April 18, 2010 5:40 pm

    Thank you :-)

    I actually thought that Far North occasionally ventured into similar territories to YBT. I really like the way in which The Zone is re-invented as just a normal futuristic city as though there’s been a global shrinking of the SFnal imagination.


  3. April 27, 2010 10:14 pm

    what is yo myspace site?



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