Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Riding the Serpent's Back Paperback – September 17, 2014
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Keith Brooke is the author of fourteen novels, six collections, and over 70 short stories; his most recent SF novel alt.human (published in the US as Harmony) was shortlisted for the 2013 Philip K Dick Award. He is also the editor of Strange Divisions and Alien Territories: the Sub-genres of Science Fiction, an academic exploration of SF from the perspectives of a dozen top authors in the field. Writing as Nick Gifford, his teen fiction is published by Puffin, with one novel also optioned for the movies by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish's Caveman Films. He writes reviews for the Guardian, teaches creative writing at the University of Essex, and lives with his wife Debbie in Wivenhoe, Essex, England.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Keith Brooke is one of the best-kept secrets in science fiction. The first time I came across his work was when I read his novel *Expatria*; thereafter, I discovered his short stories as well as a slew of other SF novels, of which perhaps the best is *Genetopia*. Among the stories I read there were a few fantasies, but for some reason I assumed his novels would stay firmly SF. I'm delighted to find I was wrong.
What makes *Riding the Serpent's Back* such a rewarding high-fantasy epic is that it's infused with a sort of science sensibility. The Serpent's Back of the title is a curious geological structure, a roughly tubular volcanic extrusion that emerges at one end and decades later returns to the lava sea from which it emerged; at any one time the central portions of the Serpent's Back are (just) old enough to support vegetation and of course human life . . . so long as everyone keeps, as it were, shuffling along. It's a wonderfully sciencefictional idea but, like Robert Silverberg did before him in books like *Lord Valentine's Castle*, Brooke makes out of it a fantasticated otherworld.
Many of the people dwelling on the Serpent's Back are fugitives from the theocracy that has taken over this world. One of them has the ability to transfer himself from one body to another . . .
I'd say this was a tour de force, but everyone assumes that novels described thus must be short and twee. *Riding the Serpent's Back* is anything but that. It's a big rambunctious, ambitious delight that I hope is going to have a sequel real soon.