Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Book Review: 'The Fall of Icarus' by N.R. Bates

British author NR Bates made his novel writing debut with AT THE SHARP END OF LIGHTNING, Book 1 of the OCEANLIGHT series. He steps away form that very elegant novel and offers us a collection a very short stories and the fact that these stories THE FALL OF ICARUS are as beautifully molded as his first book is a very positive indication that Bates is a rising star. He has indeed written extensively which explains why his command of the medium is so secure: he has published more than one hundred and twenty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification as a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK. Bates' passion for the ocean and environmental sciences has proven a successful driving force in both his scientific mind and his fantasy creative mind.

In a matter of only 31 pages Bates carves three interrelated stories connected by the concept of flight, imagination, and appreciation for the confines of a life lived in a space that prevents flight. He restudies the myth of Icarus through the imagination of a young scientist, the enclosure of a dysfunctional elevator that alters the plans of a man inside, and a woman with memory lapse whose tabula rasa mind creates a power to fly.

To relate more of the stories would be to spoil the joy of entering these very brief visits with Bates into the realm of possibility. He prose is poetic yet steeped in that sense of approaching magical realism or fantasy that makes this simple tales fly. They beg to be read repeatedly both for the joy of his writing skills and the little seeds of imagination they encourage to bloom in our reflections. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, June 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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