May 5th, 2013


[ Books ] Dark Eden, by Chris Beckett

I had seen this mentioned on Twitter and it sounded interesting so went and bought the ebook, which I just finished reading.

This felt at first more like fantasy than science-fiction. The characters are living in a planet without a sun, made inhabitable by geothermal activity and life, a lot of which generates the only light available to this people, the incestuous descendants of a couple from Earth marooned in this strange world five generations ago and quickly devolved to a stone-age state and a culture that shackles them with a sort of cargo-cult ritual and passivity and may condemn them to starvation. The shadow of their astronaut ancestors and their 'three companions' looms large, as is the hope of rescue by Earth. I found the story gripping, the characters very believable if not always easy to like and was sorry to reach the last page. I liked it enough that I hope there'll be a follow up (which I suspect there'll be, as there are loose ends in the story that would need tying up).

Link to the book on Amazon here.

The author's web site:


Today was mostly reading, guitar practice and a little outing to a cute little local market I didn't know existed down by York Way, coming back home with the inevitable small load of Italian and English cheeses and a couple of green things that will either be boiled (or something) and eaten or forgotten about until they go black and I have to throw them away.

The guitar practice bit has been mostly Leo Brouwer's 'Decamerón Negro', a quite substantial piece in three movements that I should be playing in public at a little private recital in about three weeks' time. I love that work and want to do it justice.

The reading was mostly, as mentioned elsewhere, finishing 'Dark Eden' by Chris Beckett.