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Fine Post-Cyberpunk Novel from Spanish Author Rosa Montero,
This review is from: Tears in Rain (Bruna Husky) (Paperback)
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"Tears in Rain" is a superb addition to contemporary science fiction literature from Spanish author Rosa Montero. It is a fast-paced blend of post-cyberpunk fiction and psychological thriller, drawing upon Ridley Scott's film "Blade Runner", which, in turn, was inspired by Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep". However, to Montero's credit, hers is not a mere fictional derivate of either Scott's great film or Dick's acclaimed science fiction novel. Instead, she offers readers a credible, realistic, vision of a unified Earth in the aftermath of adverse global warming that will remind many of Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Wind-Up Girl" in its gritty realism and substantial attention to detail that is far better than almost anything I have read from contemporary American mainstream writers who have opted to delve into dystopian speculative fiction recently. (Notable exceptions to this trend include such great works as Rick Moody's "The Four Fingers of Death" and Gary Shteyngart's "Super Sad True Love Story".) Montero's protagonist Bruna Husky should remind those familiar with cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk science fiction of William Gibson's Molly in his "Sprawl" series of short stories and novels, culminating with his "Cyberspace" trilogy ("Neuromancer", "Count Zero", "Mona Lisa Overdrive"). While this is a great post-cyberpunk thriller in its own right, "Tears in Rain" also works as an elegant condemnation of ethnic and religious discrimination by a majority against minorities within its population, in her sympathetic portrayal of Husky and her fellow replicants - frequently referred to as technohumans and as androids in Montero's novel - and of alien outcasts like the Omaa flutist Maio. Montero's novel can be seen as a subtle indictment of ongoing European mistreatment of its minorities like Basques in Spain and recent emigrant Muslim populations in France and Germany that should resonate with American readers familiar with our own sordid history of mistreatment towards Afro-Americans, Asian-Americans and others. Montero's novel is replete with compelling, if flawed, characters like private detective Bruna Husky, police detective Paul Lizard and archivist Yiannis Liberopoulos. This is an important work of contemporary speculative fiction deserving of its excellent English translation by its Australian translator Lilit Zekulin Thwaites and its publication by Amazon.