Tag Archives: Kevin J Anderson

The Martian War

by Kevin J Anderson

Just for a moment, imagine a world where an up and coming young Victorian writer finds himself working with one of the leading scientists of the age to stop a Martian invasion of the Earth. 

Now try to imagine how one of the Victorian age’s leading astronomers would react if he were to find himself the custodian on an advance Martian scout. 

Sounds a little bizarre, but don’t worry because Kevin J Anderson has done all the imagining for us in this compelling and rather unusual story with a cast of characters that includes H G Wells and his future wife Jane, Professor T H Huxley and Percival Lowell. 

For this book, Mr Anderson has plundered the plots of several of H G Wells’ science fiction novels to create a story that is reminiscent of the late Victorian era and very much in the style of Wells himself. Not only is there the obvious connection with War Of The Worlds, but also The First Men On The Moon, The Invisible Man and The Island of Dr Moreau amongst others.

If it all sounds a little strange, don’t let that put you off. I must admit that I was unsure myself when I started reading the book, but soon put all doubts aside as I found myself engrossed in the twin plots that run through the story. This is not a modern science fiction tale at all; it is very much of the time, with all the wonder and imaginings of the late Victorian era and the assumptions about the Moon and Mars that we now know to be untrue.

Kevin J Anderson is a great storyteller who’s imagination and wonderful characters make his books so memorable and enjoyable.

“The Martian War” is one of the most intriguing books I have read for a long time. The combination of real and fictitious characters mixed with the plots and events from several of H G Wells’ most famous works, make reading this book a unique pleasure.

For fans of Anderson and Wells, this is a book that really needs to be read. If you have never read either writer, then this is a great place to start, giving you the best of each to get you started on the journey.

I note from the advertising at the end of the book that He also written another based on the life of Wells, and one that includes Jules Verne and his best loved creation Captain Nemo! Something to look forward to.

 

Clockwork Angels

Clockwork Angelsby Kevin J Anderson from a story and lyrics by Neil Peart

Clockwork Angels is an unprecedented collaboration between the well established and very prolific writer Kevin J Anderson, and Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist with Canadian rock band Rush.

The book itself is based on a idea by Neil that became Rush’s most resent album, Clockwork Angels. Kevin Anderson worked with Neil to turn his vision into a book.

Basically, this is a story about Stability versus Anarchy, not too dissimilar from an earlier work by Neil – Hemispheres. So with Neil’s ideas and Kevin’s storytelling ability this book couldn’t fail to be anything other than a damned good read.

This is the story of a young man, Owen Hardy, who’s dreams and wishes find him caught between two opposing sides. One the one hand there is the Watchmaker, ruler of Albion, who provides stability through regulation and conformity. On the other side is his nemesis, the Anarchist who wants to bring freedom through anarchy. Two extremes that tear at young Owen as he tried to find his own way and reaches for his dreams.

Set in a world driven by alchemy, where travel is through dirigibles and steam ships, Owen’s story is all too familiar to many. His desire to seek answers, to reach for his dreams, drives him on. But, as is so often the case, the reality is often a big disappointment His search for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold, and desire to see the Clockwork Angels, lead him to discover much about himself, but also open his eyes to the realities of the world around him.

A great tale, well told. And for the Rush fan, a not inconsiderable sprinkling of Rush lyrics and references throughout the book. 

And to help bring the whole thing to life, there are plenty of illustrations by Hugh Syme, who has also illustrated every one of Rush’s albums.

A must-read for Rush and fantasy fans alike (probably the same thing anyway).