November 27th, 2012


The Fractal Prince, by Hannu Rajaniemi

Review copy provided by Tor.

This is the same universe as Rajaniemi's previous thing, which I also reviewed. The Quantum Thief. It has some of the same characters and some different, but the thing that really struck me as different about this one is that he was taking the fractal idea pretty seriously in the style of storytelling. There were lots of nested storylets that contributed, lots of interludes on the edge of the snowflake curve that was the book. I didn't really adore any of the characters, but I felt like they were handled better than in The Quantum Thief, and the story resolution felt like it was handled better.

And there is a spaceship sauna. A zero-g sauna. Rajaniemi spent a fair amount of time thinking about how the sauna rituals would go in low-g or zero-g, how it would be different on a spaceship, how it might not be as satisfying but you would need some kind of sauna equivalent. I love this. I love this. We need more cultural variation in the ideas of what would be totally essential in extraplanetary situations.

So yah. Postmodern space opera with sauna. I actually think this is what we needed.