The main character is Fatima, a supernatural detective in Cairo at the turn of the century. A man named al-Jahiz had managed to tunnel between worlds, allowing the djinn and all manner of supernatural agents to make their way to earth.
I took this book on holiday as it had sat on my shelf for awhile now, having bought it when I still read a lot of male authors. And this sort of book reminds me why, yet again, why I find some male authors just so friggin’ tiresome
Semiosis follows the settlers of Pax, a colony of (at first) humans, who have left Earth in search of a better life. As you can imagine from the name of the planet, they are planning to have a much more peaceful existence than Earth. As it’s a bit in the future, we get hints of deteriorating conditions on Earth. The one nice thing about it, is that they are inherently non-religious (there’s a small throw away line about it in the novel).
So the ‘plot’ if you’d like to grace it with such a name is about Jakub, an astrophysics professor who gets sent to space to investigate a weird cloud near Venus. That sounds like it could be an interesting book, except it immediately digresses into his wife leaving him and a giant fucking space spider who likes Nutella showing up and talking endless drivel.
I can see why that might be the case: it’s written by a woman, it’s about women, it’s a commentary on gender politics. But on the other hand, it’s really a bit hateful and I dislike almost all the characters (except for maybe Roxy and it’s probably not a good sign that you like the international drug cartel leader).
Sort of at the heart of the set of stories (it felt less like a novel and more link interrelated stories) is a machine that can tell you what will make you happy. The stories revolve around the machine and its operator, Pearl. Other stories involve her son, her boss, her ex-husband and her ex-husband’s new wife.
Okay, mild rant over. What a delightful book! It was a time-traveller who-dunnit. It starts with the discovery of time travel by four women (yesssss) Barbara, Margaret, Lucille and Grace. However, very soon we are in 2018 where a young woman named Odette discovers the body of someone who has been murdered.