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Glimmering Hardcover – March, 1997
Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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In 1999 the world has gone to hell: global warming, AIDS, urban decay, environmental disasters, and, above it all, the Glimmering. The Glimmering is an accident of modern society, a phenomenon that is destroying the ozone layer and killing the earth. In these last days, Jack Finnegan, suffering from AIDS, has come home to his family's decaying Manhattan mansion to die. He will meet Trip Marlowe, a rock star hooked on the hallucinogenic IZE, and unknowingly play out a bizarre drama scripted by his former lover, the "sociocultural pathologist" Leonard Thrope. You won't be able to put down this engrossing tale.
From Library Journal
After a March 1997 Antarctic ocean avalanche released methane to mix with bromotetrachloride in the atmosphere during a solar storm, strange charged particles began the glimmering in the ozone layer. HIV-positive magazine publisher Jack Finnegan awaits the millennium in his crumbling New York mansion. Hand's (Waking the Moon, HarperPrism: HarperCollins, 1995) bleak ecological disaster novel, which straddles sf and fantasy, belongs in most collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
One of the miracles of style in the story is the recurrance of characters passing like ships in the night. Passing blindly almost without exception, because not one of the characters realizes the serendipity, the proximity, the intersections; not one of the characters seems to see the thick fog of fate or destiny that blankets everything.
So the reading is difficult. The visuals come and go. The myriad descriptions of drug-induced moods and visions mix unreliably with what is trying to be description of the real world. But it was hard for me to tell, while reading the book, whether the lack of coherency was the author's mistake or the author's point. You know?
My rating is based more on the fact that this story almost seems like a combination of "12 Monkeys" and the movie, "Highlander 2".
This is not a book about plot. If you need your reads to be tightly plotted, this isn't the one for you. If, however, you love character, place, time, & beautiful descriptive writing you'll enjoy this.
I'm very fond of Hand. Waking the Moon is one of my all-time favorite reads - one I return to again & again for it's beautiful story of what it's like to lose that one true love & survive it to love again. Sounds way cornier than it is since that leaves out the college setting, the ancient orders of paternalistic vs. maternalistic societies, The Benandati (the paternalistic movers & shakers behind the scenes of the world since ancient times), & the simple pleasures of Washington, DC.
Glimmering is a very different novel than Waking the Moon, but it has many of the elements that make Hand's writing a pleasure - strong imagery, coherent worldview, words that taste good. She has an uncanny ability to mix goth, raver, & cyberpunk elements while retaining a sense of inclusiveness that makes this work a pleasure to read.
I also appreciate that she writes frankly & honestly about homosexuality without stereotyping or caricaturing or delimiting. In Hand's books, homosexuality is normalized as just another fact about a character rather than put on display as a centralizing & defining trait. She isn't necessarily using homosexuality to illustrate a point, but rather creating a world where it's as much a part of life as heterosexuality. Since that's the world I choose to live in (real or not), I appreciate this element in her books.
Glimmering doesn't provide any comfortable answers nor does it wrap up any simple plot twists in a bow for presentation to the reader. Instead it takes us on a journey through what the end of the end may look like. To quote Kurt Cobain, "Here we are now. Entertain us."