Sick of all these good reviews for Ian McDonald's River of Gods yet? Me, I never tire of reading them. Here, Mark Teppo has a very insightful analysis on Strange Horizons:
“While the Indian intermingling of reality and mythology is an important part of the resolution of the novel (as well as being responsible for a great deal of the rich texture of the book), in River of Gods McDonald is also building at true 21st century novel, recognizing the growing influence of cultures other than the US in the global Weltanschauung…a dense, sprawling microcosm of a novel…it is the first book in a long time that I’m looking forward to reading again.”
Teppo's review touches on similar points to those raised by Cheryl Morgan in the April issue of Emerald City when discussing 21st Century science fiction:
"21st Century SF ... will concentrate on the future after the fall of the American economic empire. It will often be set in former Communist countries, and in countries now regarded as 'Third World' such as India and Brazil. The prevailing technology will be biological. Early examples of the sub-genre might be M. John Harrison’s Signs of Life, Geoff Ryman’s Air, and Ian McDonald’s River of Gods (not to mention the eagerly awaited Brasyl)."
And Jonathan Cowie has a word or two of praise for Michael Blumlein's The Healer over on the Science Fiction and Fact Concatenation:
“While a work of art and fiction, it does speak of a whole profession, and a key one at that to our society both local and global. Few books do that.”
Update: Blogger William Lexner, on his speculative fiction reviews blog, I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away the Ending, compares Ian McDonald to such "visionaries" as Samuel Delaney, J.G. Ballard, William Gibson, Vernor Vinge, Roger Zelazny, and Salman Rushdie. He writes that River of Gods is:
"...as complex as it is lush, as forbidding as it is human. ...what awaits is the best science fiction novel of this newborn century; the most important SF novel that has been released in my 18 years of fandom."
And thanks to William for the kind words about Pyr, which he describes as "a newcomer to science fiction publishing, but with River of Gods they gain instant credibility as a powerhouse in genre fiction." You are making us all blush.