The Dream Archipelago Week 15: Pause and Recap
So, this is a quiet reading week for the slow read, but a bit of a pause before we jump into The Gradual.
We've now read two books - The Islanders and The Dream Archipelago.
Please feel to express your thoughts on the series.
Personally, I always have (and still do) prefer The Islanders, which to me remains one of the most remarkable books I've read. I fine it a little more thematically coherent. I love the mix of 'travel guide' (such as it is), shorty story, and overarching theme that almost makes it a novel. The Dream Archipelago has some interesting (and generally very well written) stories, but doesn't quite hold together as well as a 'book' in my opinion.
I'm looking forward to The Gradual as well. I think Priest is quite good at the long form, and I've enjoyed his other novels. The Gradual is the only book of the series that I've never read, so this one will be a new to me as it is to you.
@clash_bowley is quite right that Priest seems more interested in the metaphorical than the actual. I certainly don't mind that, as I quite like the metaphorical. Do we call this 'speculative' fiction rather than Science Fiction? Or maybe Pure SF as apposed to Applied SF? Priest is almost like and anti-Kim-Stanley-Robinson.
There were some strong thematic lines in these two books. Pacifism, perhaps, is one. The complexity of art, maybe another. A love of geography seems to be a third. Certainly the awkwardness of close relationships is there, too. Unlike Clash, I'm not convinced we can divine the ego/id of the author from these, but it is tempting to try and draw a picture of Priest, however inaccurate. I'm curious to see how much The Gradual will follow along these same lines.