Hello and welcome!
So – what, exactly, do I mean by ‘unknown or underappreciated’?
To put it simply – not everyone is a Kevin J. Anderson or David Weber or Eric Flint or Robert Heinlein. Some authors – I would venture to say, MOST authors – produce perfectly fine books: readable, enjoyable, well-structured, skillfully plotted and with fully-developed characters. And yet, something happens.
They never quite get the recognition they deserve. The book slides into obscurity, and the author – having watched their baby disappear from the public eye – often follows.
Well, no more!
I’ve been reading SF for basically my entire conscious life, and when I like a book, I hold onto it. So, for you lucky, lucky readers, I’m diving back into my stacks to find books which deserve another shot at the sunlight.
This week, we have Galatea in 2-D by Aaron Allston. Published in 1993 by Baen, Galatea is a fantasy focused on Roger Simons, a talented but unlucky illustrator. Purely accidentally he discovers that he has the ability to make his drawings and paintings come to life. Moreover, he is able to pull objects from his art into the real world, and also insert objects, people, even himself into his art.
Unfortunately for Roger, his rival also has this power and uses it for his own gain, to Roger’s detriment. Joining forces with the rival’s ex-wife, and drawing on a growing assortment of allies from his artwork, Roger is forced to fight back if he wants to regain his success – or even survive.
Twenty years ago, cell phones were the tools of business and playthings of the rich, so it is odd to read of the characters finding pay phones. Yet there are interesting developments in the 21st century that Allston managed to foresee, specifically drones. Roger is insprired to create what we would say are personal drones; small observation devices he uses to track his opponent.
Of course, we can now take objects from our art and make them real, without any magical ability. All we need is a computer, good drawing program, and a 3-D printer. Then again, maybe we want the magic; certainly I’ve never had a nymph come to life and walk around my apartment!
Allston got his start in RPG design before writing his first book in 1988. Galatea was his second novel; his career after brought him into prominence in the Star Wars community. Unfortunately, he passed away this past February.
While somewhat dated, this is a pleasant afternoon’s read, well worth the couple bucks it will take to find out there. Or, I could just mail you my copy. Either way, it’s a book worth reading from an author gone too soon.
Moving forward – I welcome your comments and suggestions! If there is a book YOU want me to review, drop me a line! You can find me on Facebook (very creatively, Adam Gaffen) or you can send an email to TheKildaran@yahoo.com OR you can simply leave a comment here!
Thanks – and I’ll be back soon with another lost treasure!