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P. 1
Viriconium

Viriconium

Ratings:

3.68

(140)
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Available to American readers for the first time, this landmark collection gathers four groundbreaking fantasy classics from the acclaimed author of Light. Set in the imagined city of Viriconium, here are the masterworks that revolutionized a genre and enthralled a generation of readers: The Pastel City, A Storm of Wings, In Viriconium, and Viriconium Nights. Back in print after a long absence, these singular tales of a timeless realm and its enigmatic inhabitants are now reborn and compiled to captivate a whole new generation.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Available to American readers for the first time, this landmark collection gathers four groundbreaking fantasy classics from the acclaimed author of Light. Set in the imagined city of Viriconium, here are the masterworks that revolutionized a genre and enthralled a generation of readers: The Pastel City, A Storm of Wings, In Viriconium, and Viriconium Nights. Back in print after a long absence, these singular tales of a timeless realm and its enigmatic inhabitants are now reborn and compiled to captivate a whole new generation.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Publish date: Dec 18, 2007
Added to Scribd: Apr 26, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780307418692
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04/16/2014

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salimbol reviewed this
Rated 4/5
An absolutely intriguing entry in the Fantasy Masterworks series. Complex and subtle, Harrison's narrative has the same shifting layers as his fictional city of Viriconium. The prose is elegant, almost ethereal, but as the subject is basically the decomposing corpse that is the city, there's a pervasive sense of decline and even degradation. In some senses, the narrative style reminds me of Moorcock, but Harrison is much more interested in the dirty underbelly of things; perhaps Mervyn Peake is a better comparison? At any rate, this wasn't an easy or pleasant read, but ultimately it was a very rewarding one.
clong_818048 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Viriconium is an omnibus edition of the three short novels and most of the short stories set in Harrison's Viriconium universe. This is a far future universe, in which mankind has done great things and gone to the stars, only to see civilization collapse and knowledge lost. What is left of mankind lives a low tech life on the one remaining continent not so polluted so as to kill you immediately, digging up "magical" items left behind by the earlier civilizations. In concept, it has a fair amount in common with Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, but the execution is totally different. These stories are actually much more along the lines of China Mieville, with a healthy dose of Mervyn Peake and perhaps a hint of Dostoevsky. In fact, I'd highly recommend the Viriconium stories to Mieville fans, and I know we have quite a few of them here. Harrison is an impressive word-smith. I repeatedly found myself re-reading paragraphs two or three times, partly to enjoy the mesmerizing use of language, and partly to try to figure out what the hell is going on. I can't remember the last time I read an author who used so convincingly used so many words I didn't know (you might want to have a dictionary handy when you tackle these). So despite the short page count, don't expect these stories to be quick reads. The stories are generally much more about mood and character and emotion than about plot. I suppose that's why they are short; Harrison certainly could have easily drawn the novels out to three hundred pages of story if that had been the kind of book he wanted to write. They are full of ambiguity and symbolism and irony. Many of them are about quests that fail. Characterization is effective but unconventional--frequently we learn about our protagonists through their fears and failures and unfulfilled desires. In the world of Viriconium characters are more than individuals; they represent archetypes that appear again and again, sometimes as heroes, other times as villains (and rarely with a happy ending). Indeed there is a strong suggestion that these are not all tales from a single history, but rather a series of alternate future realities.
ragwaine reviewed this
Rated 3/5
The Pastel City (Very Cool monsters and Tomb rocked!!! So did the old man. For some reason I like the old technology in this one.)-A Storm of Wings (Very cool plot and big ideas, long parts of surreal gibberish made me want to give up. Overall not bad.)-In Viriconium (Absurdist, but I wasn't expecting it to be. No big plots here just very strange occurances and characters.)-The Lamia and Lord Cromis (Not bad, like the idea of a monster that must be killed by each son in a line of succession like a blood feud)-Viriconium Knights (Terrible, self indulgent crap. Same characters, same meaningless dribble. No plot.)-The Luck in the Head (Verisimilitude is there but still no plot. Colorful.)-Strange Great Sins (Not much of a plot, but at least it was short.)-Lords of Misrule (Again nice writing, very real but no plot.)-The Dancer from the Dance (Again nice writing, very real but no plot.)-A Young Man's Journey to Viriconium (At least this one was different. About people in modern world trying to get to Viriconium.)
jaydugger_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
A nice omnibus edition of MJH's Viriconium stories. I only cared for the first two stories: "The Pastel City" and "A Storm of Wings." YMMV.
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Viriconium