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.
So, it’s the world as we know it, but suddenly people start losing their shadows (yes, physics etc, just go with it). But then they start losing their memories. And because they can’t remember things, they start to misremember things into reality. Like alligators that are the size of cruise ships, guns that fire lightening, or that you can’t actually talk to animals.