Friday, 14 September 2012

Zenith Lives ! Review Part Two (George Mann)

It`s quite a time since I first began to review Obverse Publications` Zenith Lives ! collection, but finally, here we are again.

George Mann - The Albino`s Shadow (Short Story)

I`ve never read anything by George Mann before but I`ll admit I`m keen to try more of his stuff.

I was particularly impressed by the author`s writing style. Somehow, he manages to keep the thing moving at quite a sprightly pace but still introduces enough detail - about a given character`s mannerisms etc - to make it convincing ("Rutherford blew smoke from the corner of his mouth, watching as it was quickly dispersed on the frigid breeze").

I also like the way one is quite quickly drawn into the little world the author has created, particularly during a visit to the home of the character Professor Angelchrist ("Rutherford had a sense that the house was crowded with the accumulated detritus of decades, paraphernalia of a thousand long-forgotten adventures. He longed to explore, to go rummaging and digging amongst all this wondrous stuff, to unpick the tales attached to each item").

I don`t want to say anything too much about the plot, except to remark that the story involves very little action, but still holds the reader`s attention, something I found admirable.

For me, the ending worked perfectly, though I can see that others may not agree.

I have a fondness for the short story as a genre which obviously means I`ve read some of the very best (H G Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) and some of the worst (I won`t name names !). Whether this miniature gem of a story stands up amongst the best only time will tell, but it`s a long, long way from being one of the worst.

It`s different, but give it a try. You might like it.


  1. I'd recommend Mr Mann's steapunk novels The Affinity Bridge, The Osiris Ritual etc. Great stuff indeed!

    1. Thanks Dave. It`s good to have some recommendations from visitors to the blog.

      You might like to know that George Mann is based in Nottingham where he is quite closely involved with science fiction/fantasy publisher Solaris.