Stations of the Tide

Stations of the TideReading Stations Of The Tide Author Michael Swanwick Award Winning Author Michael Swanwick Brings Us A Deeply Engrossing And Thought Provoking Novel About Human Civilization On The Brink Of Extinction This Astonishing Future Take On Shakespeare S The Tempest , Depicts A World Doomed By Encroaching Water And The Extraordinary Lengths To Which Its People Will Go To Ensure Their Survival 256 Pp. This was some kind of amazing The main character, who was never referred to as anything but Bureaucrat, was hardly my definition of a bureaucrat He was part outcast, part superspy, part magician s apprentice, and part avenger He wears so many hats during this superb little gem that I never slow down and even consider why The plot is also so damn interesting and the pacing so fantastic that I almost miss exactly how wonderfully crafted the writing is Am I a fan of Swanwick I have read a few of his short stories, years ago, and I loved them I remembered them very fondly, but in passing, because I prefer novels over anything else So why am I so damn late to the table, now Hell if I know, and I m ashamed because of it I m going to be going through his entire catalogue shortly.So many wonderful sf ideas were crammed in here, and all of them were firmly in the service of the overarching story that happens to have an awful lot in common with The Tempest The obvious bits were intended by the colonizers of Miranda, and the allegorical allusions were fully conscious and intended by the characters It was delightful in that respect The things that happen give the feel, but thankfully not the full substance of the play, so never worry, if you think you might be turned off by a shameless cribbing This novel is truly a one of a kind brilliant homage to all things SF and Fantasy A lot of the time, it s impossible to separate the two, but what else can you do when you have awesome wo
A very beautifully written and imagined novel, full of magic and menace, mystery and madness.The plot, although it does mostly come together in the end, is secondary to the experiential and visual aspects of book If you re unable to follow everythi
Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick is the story of an unnamed Bureaucrat and the urgent investigation he s tasked with The planet he lives on, Miranda, is subject to major tidal flooding every 200 years, and with the tide due to arrive in a week s time on what s called Jubilee Day, it s imperative that he locate and apprehend the man Gregorian to avert disaster beforehand.The populace under tight control, the government believes Gregorian has come into possession of proscribed technology, technology capable of hampering humanity s efforts at achieving higher ground for the flood With the clock ticking, the Bureaucrat heads out to find his man, three
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.It s the Jubilee Year on the planet Miranda Every 200 years the planet floods and humans must leave until Miranda s continents are reborn Miranda used to be the home of an indigenous species of shapeshifters who, during Jubilee, would return to their aquatic forms until the waters receded, but it seems that humans have killed them off.Gregorian, who lives on Miranda but was educated off planet by a rich and distant father, now styles himself a magician and is telling the citizens of Miranda that he can transform them into sea creatures so they can stay on the planet He has stolen a piece of proscribed technology from Earth and our protagonist, who we know only as the bureaucrat, has been sent to find out what Gregorian has up his sleeve The bureaucrat must track down Gregorian before the Jubilee tides flood the planet During his quest he learns about the exotic planet s history, meets several strange residents, does a lot of hallucinating, has a lot of sex, worries about his job back home, and gets hooked on a loca
Despite the sci fi suit this book sometimes wears, this is a full on plunge into surrealism A story of shape changing, clones, virtual reality, a decaying dying planet, a pastiche of Shakespeare s The Tempest, and other things told in explosion of images straight from the magic realism camp minus most pretense of reality A paranoid stacking of incidents like Pynchon and diseased and demented characters like Kafka This is one very literary and mind blowing n
Actual rating 2.5 starsWhat an odd little novel Not my usual fare at all, and I wouldn t have picked it up or persevered if it wasn t on my project reading list and if it wasn t so short I can see where many people would find it interesting and intriguing I merely found it all confusing, so it s not my cuppa tea.The main character never even gets a name he is merely the bureaucrat When I first started the book, I thought, Oh good, this is a sci fi mystery And it kind of was, but it also wasn t There s a lot of odd technology and strange biology It reminded me a lot of Philip K Dick s writing, actually, which I quite like It had that same trippy quality, so I m not sure why it rubbed me the wrong way, but it did It also made me think about Gibson s Neuromancer, with its hallucinatory qualities.This is the only Swanwick book on my reading list, but I may at some poi
This is one of the books that I described as good beginning, tedious but necessary middle part, good ending.It has interesting ideas planetary romance, and conflict between Miranda people needs and rule of forbidden technology share, to name two of them But the execution is too slow for my personal taste.What saved this book to make me like this book the foreshadow clues are good and the climax ending used
What a long, winding, complicated road one must travel to come to the end of this journey At worst it was very confusing, at best it was quite interesting On the whole, it was just compelling enough, despite the fits of frustration, to keep me coming back reading word by word until the very end. A man known only as the bureaucrat searches for an elusive wizard on a planet plagued by catastrophic tides In this universe a vague domineering organization housed in a labyrinthine structure known as the Puzzle Palace regulates access to technology among planets When a society is deemed to have been irresponsible, its technology is revoked and its development stage is regressed Puzzle Palace staff utilize surrogates to travel safely in zones where their presence may not be welcome or to simply allow themselves to multi task There is a strong undercurrent of classism running through the novel, coupled with an overarching critique of bureaucracy and autocratic control Mystery and the supernatural mingle together
I got halfway through just didn t care if I read another page or not I m not sure if the writing wasn t up to snuff or it was the plot maybe it was the characters I think it was I didn t like the hero much there wasn t a single supporting character that was than a caricature The hero was a self absorbed bureaucrat There were also some sex that just seemed to be put in there to add interest They didn t Everythi