Eric Brown
Blue Shifting (C) (1995)
Reviewed: 1997-04-05

Eric Brown belongs to an impressive new generation of British SF writers appearing in the 1990s. Feeling both fascination and revulsion for his earlier novel Engineman, I picked up Blue Shifting rather by accident. A collection of eight shorter pieces (six of which have previously appeared in various magazines, notably Interzone), this book reinforces the impression that Brown is a worthwhile author if unfortunately not to my personal liking.

In what seems to be an obsession of Brown, here, as in his other works, many of the protagonists are artists. Some of the stories are set in the universe of the nada-continuum, familiar from Engineman, or maybe all of them are, in different times. Not that it would matter. The various SFnal concepts, such as the recurring theme of personality transfer into another body, transparently serve as mere plot devices, and at least the touching "Song of Summer" could have been written without any genre references at all. Rather, Brown's concern throughout the book is the human element, our relationships and how we cope.


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