RaveWorld Literature Today...a science-fictional novel of ideas, somewhat in the tradition of mid-twentieth-century American SF. Readers seeking subtle portrayals and development of multidimensional characters should look elsewhere, as should those averse to brief expositions of ideas in contemporary physics. What The Three-Body Problem offers instead are audacious, mind-expanding extrapolations of known science, fascinating fictional commentary on the interplay of science and politics in present-day China, and storytelling on a grand, wildly ambitious scale. Such stories, if done as well as this one, can evoke a response all but unique to the genre: an awe at nature and the universe SF readers call a \'sense of wonder.\'
Yoko Ogawa, Trans. by Stephen Snyder
RaveWorld Literature TodayAlthough the Memory Police could become the stuff of cheap Orwellian horror, Ogawa avoids this trap by consistently presenting them with a calm, chilling understatement that repeatedly catches us off guard. Here as throughout the novel, Ogawa’s imagery is empowered by the beauty and simplicity of her prose, which, in this elegant translation by Stephen Snyder, evokes a mood of elegiac sadness that blankets the twists and turns of the story and lingers long after the novel ends in inevitable dissolution ... Ogawa offers no explanations for the inexplicable \'laws of the island.\' None are needed ... The richness of characterization, the subtly poetic imagery, and the strangely compelling nature of the leisurely plot make The Memory Police singularly unforgettable.
Dietmar Dath, Trans. by Samuel P. Willcocks
RaveWorld Literature TodayThe Abolition of Species is essentially a philosophical inquiry into evolution and identity, enmeshed in a plot that partakes of (and sometimes subverts) many story types: political thriller, war novel, quest narrative, tale of speculative future science—even coming-of-age story. Dath’s elaborate plot, populated by a mélange of posthuman life forms, explores an urgent concern: what will happen to the meaning of \'human\' once technology can enable evolutionary powers heretofore reserved to nature? This novel demands sustained attention; immersion in its philosophical, scientific, aesthetic, and political concerns; and no small amount of persistence. But don’t let that put you off. In Samuel P. Willcocks’s masterful translation, The Abolition of Species is a transgressive revelation, a worthy philosophical successor to Wells’s generative novel.