Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pyr reprints Ian McDonald's 2001 magic-realist novel Ares Express

The Pyr reprint of award-winning British author Ian McDonald’s 2001 novel Ares Express has landed on bookstore and library shelves. The follow-up to Desolation Road (1988, 2009), McDonald’s acclaimed debut novel, Ares Express is set on a terraformed Mars and stars fusion-powered locomotives.

A Mars of the imagination, like no other, in a colourful, witty SF novel; Taking place in the kaleidoscopic future of Ian McDonald's Desolation Road, Ares Express is set on a terraformed Mars where fusion-powered locomotives run along the network of rails that is the planet's circulatory system and artificial intelligences reconfigure reality billions of times each second. One young woman, Sweetness Octave Glorious-Honeybun Asiim 12th, becomes the person upon whom the future -- or futures -- of Mars depends. Big, picaresque, funny; taking the Mars of Ray Bradbury and the more recent, terraformed Marses of authors such as Kim Stanley Robinson and Greg Bear, Ares Express is a wild and woolly magic-realist SF novel, featuring lots of bizarre philosophies, strange, mind-stretching ideas and trains as big as city blocks.

SF&F critic Rich Horton reviewed Ares Express for the SF Site in 2002, concluding, "This may not be the most serious or the most significant SF novel of the past year, but it just might be the most fun. I loved it wholeheartedly."

More recently, Publishers Weekly gave the Ares Express reprint a positive review, concluding “McDonald’s fantastic Mars is vividly detailed and owes much to Bradbury’s Martian stories. Despite a bit of hand waving around technology that is glibly indistinguishable from magic, this sequel is entirely worthy of its rightly lauded predecessor."

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist has three copies of Ares Express that it is giving away. The announcement was posted on April 14, 2010, but I'm not sure when the deadline is.

Pictured: Ares Express (2010), with artwork by Stephan Martinière.

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