“ Author: Jeff Noon „
I love Jeff Noons books. I can't say that enough. They are some of the richest, most captivating fiction around. I think what makes them so accessible is that they are set in the near future which allows the reader to relate with the surroundings. His books seem to be working backwards, getting closer to our own time in each novel, answering questions that I had never even thought of. Characters from previous books are reintroduced, or referred to, and although this in no way deters from the story if you haven't read the previous book you do feel a rush of familiarity as if recognising an old friend. Saying this though I am a little confused by his later books. I really enjoyed 'Needle in the Groove', it had such energy, but it left me with many questions. Perhaps more will follow in a later book. I felt it was made all the more amazing by the lack of all the props the other books had. It was stripped bare and still had a powerful story. Even more confusing though was 'Cobralingus' a book demonstrating Noon's capacity for crafting words. I couldn't make my way through it, although I will go back to it when my head is in the right place. I have faith that the effort will be worth it. I am eagerly awaiting the release of his next book, 'Falling Out of Cars' Everyone that I have given or lent one of his books to has become an instant fan.
Jeff Noon must be one of the most original authors writing today. He's put his own original spin on cyberpunk, replacing a computer generated virtual world with one that is more a shared halucination, where most of the world (not just humans but dogs, 'shadows' and robots, and any conceivable mix of them populate his world) have replaced all traditional forms of entertainment or drugs with feathers, which take you to the vurt, where anything is possible - but if you take the black market feathers then death in the vurt means you don't come back. All 3 of his books that I've read have been set in Manchester in the near future (knowing the streets he writes about adds a new dimension for me as well), an area where the bounary between the real and vurt is especially thin (explains a lot about the place!), and deal with a new problem - the virtual world is sick of being virtual. It wants into the real one. I won't spoil anyones fun by revealing any plots, and his novels might not appeal to all, but if you like cyberpunk or any kind of near future sci-fi then you should check him out - start with Vurt, the first novel, and the rest will be easier to grasp stright away, although I think Pollen is slightly better.