Reviews 2

The Twist, Simon & Schuster, UK, 1999; Four Walls Eight Windows, US, 2003


'Think Robert Coover crossed with Jack Womack, Lucius Shepard, and film director Jim Jarmusch, and you have the faintest inkling of Calder's distinctive accomplishment with this book. If I had to pick a single author to match Calder's effect, I'd choose Michael Moorcock. Like Moorcock, Calder is at ease cutting and restitching the gladrags of pop culture, highlighting the fruitful contradictions and disturbing conjunctions of his patchwork creation. Any reader even a little weary of rationalist SF that tries to polish up the cosmically ineffable into shiny Hugo Awards owes it to themselves to clamour for more of Calder.' Asimov's


'Old West, Gothic grotesquery, mid-(alternate)-20th-century conformist stodginess and outsider ventures into the wild side, you'll find them all here, along with elements of pulp SF infused with love, death, Schadenfreude - the whole shebang. What had begun as a quirky, campy romp through Gothic/Romantic regions suffused with 20th-century pop culture manages to develop its own strange eloquence.' Locus


'A truly glorious romp. A gem.' Interzone


'The novel is original and strong, and portrays a pseudo-Gothic town of Tombstone that has been overrun with Venusians who are attempting to steal the souls of its human inhabitants. There is not much of a plot, but that does not matter - this is a giddy, baroque journey into something new and exciting, and what the novel lacks in pace it makes up for in style. Calder's characters are well drawn and the environments well realized. The Twist constructs a detailed and fascinating setting for an innovative science fantasy of a type that rarely appears.' The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by George Mann



Malignos, Simon & Schuster, UK, 2000


'In Malignos, we once more find the type of star-crossed lovers whom Calder employs so fruitfully. Richard Pike, human warrior and demon-slayer in a far-future world gone rotten with biological monstrosities, has fallen in love with a turncoat female demon named Gala. When his lover's mind is stolen away by her vengeful subterranean kindred, Pike must journey to the literal centre of the wormy earth to find a cure for her condition. His journey is lurid, gripping, and emotionally wrenching. As if Clark Ashton Smith had collaborated with William Hope Hodgson, this book evokes a kind of lusty angst and frenetic ennui that is, ultimately, refreshingly upbeat.' Asimov's


'His voice remains as distinctive as ever: wryly mordant, darkly lyrical, and laced with an authentic fin de siècle decadence. Endlessly inventive, bitingly comic and affectingly tragic, its ultimate revelation turning upon a genuine evocation of sense of wonder, this story of a Dying Earth and the quest of a melancholy champion is remade by Calder into something genuinely strange and original.' Interzone



Impakto, Simon & Schuster, UK, 2001


'If you were ever a fan of Roger Zelazny's classically mythical and philosophically inclined Fantasies, or enjoyed Clive Barker's freshly minted mythologies, Impakto is very probably your sort of genre fiction. Yet there's also a great romantically epic quality to the startling adventures of Raul, and the fast-moving chase thrills are enacted on a huge scale that's rarely attempted in contemporary SF/Fantasy.' Starburst


'Calder's first book to be set squarely in the present day (at least in its opening and closing chapters), Impakto benefits from explicit allusions to cinematic, artistic, and literary touchstones that until now in Calder's work have had to be veiled, out of deference to the verisimilitude required by futuristic narrators.' Asimov's


'This is a stunning, mind-bending and genre-melding tale of one man's birthright and its consequences for Earth, Heaven, Hell and the entire multiverse. Not afraid to leap from the everyday and the small-scale to an all-encompassing metaphysic, Impakto is fantasy with a science-fictional colouring.' Interzone



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