A review of Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction

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Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction will be published by Tachyon Publications in May 2015.

Information about Hannu Rajaniemi:

Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Quantum Thief, The Fractal Prince, and The Causal Angel was born in Finland and completed his doctorate in Mathematical Physics at the University of Edinburgh. His works have received Finland's top science fiction honor, the Tahtivaeltaja Award, as well as the John W. Campbell Award for the best first science fiction novel in the United States. Rajaniemi lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and will be moving to San Francisco, California in 2015.

Click here to visit the author's Twitter page.

Information about Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction:

Inside the firewall the city is alive. Buildings breathe, cars attack, angels patrol, and hyper-intelligent pets rebel.

With unbridled invention and breakneck adventure, Hannu Rajaniemi is on the cutting-edge of science fiction. His post-apocalyptic, post-cyberpunk, and post-human tales are full of exhilarating energy and unpredictable optimism.

How will human nature react when the only limit to desire is creativity? When the distinction between humans and gods is as small as nanomachines - or as large as the universe? Whether the next big step in technology is 3D printing, genetic alteration, or unlimited space travel, Rajaniemi writes about what happens after.


This is a short review of Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction. I'm glad I had a chance to take a look at this short story collection and its contents, because it's an excellent and versatile collection of different kind of science fiction stories written by a promising and talented author.

Hannu Rajaniemi has become a famous and respected science fiction author to many readers with his Jean le Flambeur trilogy (The Quantum Thief, The Fractal Prince and The Causal Angel). However, readers may not have read any of his short stories until now, because they've previously been published in many anthologies etc.

It's great that Tachyon Publications has decided to publish this collection of Hannu Rajaniemi's short fiction, because all the stories featured in this collection are interesting and will please fans of science fiction stories. If you want originality, creativity, imagination and style from your stories, you can't go wrong by reading these stories. Whether it's escapism or extraordinary happenings you're looking for, you'll find it all here within the covers of this collection. These stories beautifully demonstrate the full range of the author's imagination and writing abilities. They also reveal how much he has developed as an author over the years.

The contents of this collection are as follows:
 - Deus Ex Homine
 - The Server and the Dragon
 - Tyche and the Ants
 - The Haunting of Apollo A7LB
 - His Master's Voice
 - Elegy for a Young Elk
 - The Jugaad Cathedral
 - Fisher of Men
 - Invisible Planets
 - Ghost Dogs
 - The Viper Blanket
 - Paris, in Love
 - Topsight
 - The Oldest Game
 - Shibuya no Love
 - Satan's Typist
 - Skywalker of Earth
 - Neurofiction: Introduction to "Snow White is Dead"
 - Snow White Is Dead
 - Introduction to "Unused Tomorrows and Other Stories"
 - Unused Tomorrows and Other Stories

These stories differ from each other and contain several elements that will fascinate speculative fiction readers. I won't go into details about these stories, but I'll mention that each of the stories is good and interesting. Some of the stories are better and more complex than others, but they're all worth reading.

These stories are marked by intelligent storytelling and sparkling imagination. Hannu Rajaniemi is capable of creating stories that push the boundaries of science fiction, but stay true to their roots that lie in classic hard science fiction. He's capable of writing different kind of stories, and he has even managed to add a few fantasy elements to his stories.

It's nice that the author successfully uses elements of Finnish mythology in his stories. "Fisher of Men" is a good example of how well he writes about elements that are part of Finnish mythology. I'm sure that readers who are familiar with Finnish mythology will be pleasantly surprised by the author's way of writing about mythological beings.

Because Hannu Rajaniemi writes differently than many other science fiction authors, it's possible that, depending on your taste in science fiction books and stories, it may take a bit of time for you to get used to his writing style and use of words, but once you get used to his writing style, you'll most likely be hooked. His writing style is something different and it can perhaps best be described as hard and striking yet thoughtful and beautiful. His stories have great imagery and all of them have clearly been written out of passion for storytelling.

The author's background as a scientist has had quite a noticeable and significant effect on his writing style, because he combines science and imagination with fascinating results. He expertly combines scientific themes and issues with speculative fiction and science fantasy, and he even dares to experiment with a few things. He challenges his readers with his stories and doesn't underestimate their intelligence in any way, because he assumes that his readers are intelligent and are capable of figuring things out for themselves. I appreciate this kind of writing, because there have been moments when I've been more or less frustrated with reading stories by new science fiction authors who simply don't have the ability to create intelligent stories without resorting to too many explanations that ruin the structure of the stories.

I'm not sure if all readers will agree with me on this, but in my opinion there's something in these stories that reminds me a bit of Roger Zelazny's stories, and there are even a few traces and influences of William Gibson in them. It was interesting for me to see traces of Zelazny and Gibson in these stories, because I consider both of them to be excellent authors in their own genres.

Because I'm a Finn, I have to mention separately that it was nice that the author used a few Finnish words and names in his stories, because they're seldom seen in speculative fiction stories.

I enjoyed reading this collection. It's one of the best and most captivating science fiction collections I've read during the recent years. I can honestly say that there aren't many science fiction collections that can rival this one in terms of imagination, style and creativity.

If you found yourself fascinated by Hannu Rajaniemi's Jean le Flambeur trilogy, please do yourself a favour and read this collection, because you'll love it. If you've never read anything by Hannu Rajaniemi, I urge you to take a look at this collection as soon as possible, because it contains excellent short stories to readers who want to read good science fiction.

An excellent short story collection!