Monday, April 8, 2013

Swedish Culture Magazine - Review

The first Swedish review from Magazine Culture  (Tidningen Kulturen) by Johan Holst.

This is the English translated version, for original Swedish version see link:

Infectious indie enthusiasm in marginalized genre

I will begin with an admission: I had preconceptions about Nastragull. I had an opinion about the book before I read it, which is probably one of the worst cardinal sins of man, who regarded critic, may have. Especially if it works it is set to review. I did not think it could be something further, as a result of it was self-published. However, I can already say, I was wrong.

For Nastragull is actually a pretty good novel, it is not without its faults but it was, for me, an unexpected pleasant surprise.
Signed saw their preconceptions ashamed.

Let's make it clear from the beginning, this is not Dune or Star Wars. It should not be compared to these giants in science fictiongenrén. To compare with these great works in the reverse side is to do a disservice. Nastragull is a completely own history and is well worth reading. You can imagine that the author was inspired by Norse mythology in some parts of the book.
But, as the reader will discover, there is much more tangible influences.

Among others, there are similarities to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. But the pace is higher, which makes it perhaps more reminiscent of a modern action-smokers Pirates of the caribbean. Frank Herbert's Dune also make their influence felt through the structure of family dynasties and pirate clans that permeates Nastragull. Star wars by the huge size of the ships and stations as described in the book, where the crew and amount to thousands, and sometimes in the tens of thousands.
All these influences seem clear when reading the Will prose.

You can not err on Erik Martin Willens enthusiasm when he writes, there is a confidence embodied in the text, the march down the corridor with confidence, knowing that it is not perfect, but asks the reader to accept it for what it actually is .
It is these feelings that present themselves in my reading.

Erik Martin Willén not have English as their first noticeable unfortunately, even if it does not interfere too much. However, this is certainly a book written for an adult audience.
Among other things, there is cannibalism in vivid descriptions, which at least got signed to react.

Should we attempt a careful classification would probably book end up in the bin that is usually described as "space opera". A branch of sci-fi is available including Peter f Hamilton (The Nights Dawn trilogy, The Commonwealth Saga) is the successful author. Space Operas are grand, has a flair for the grandiose, with empires that are thrown against each other.
Often the main characters in the somewhat impossible task of saving the universe from its doom.

The start is shaky

As for the story in the right Nastragull rushing it a bit too fast in places. Willén forget to slow down and let their readers enjoy the environment and the people that show up in the story. But there is something that gets better the longer the story will unfold. Nastragull becomes increasingly mellow to its description.
The characters have the space they need to develop, they reveal their thoughts, ideas and motivation in a way that allows the reader enträgne can be rewarded.

Perhaps it is that the author needs a certain takeoff before he gets really hot in the clothes. That he is hardly alone.
This reviewer would probably still generally wished for a little slower pace and explanations why some things are as they are, in the universe Willén this has created.

In addition, it had also been useful to a person and subject index at the back of the book, it is easy to get lost sometimes the exuberant personal gallery work presents.

Self Publishing for saving the genre?

Science fiction written and published by Swedish authors are unfortunately extremely rare. While we have had a couple of "detective in" (Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy especially) and many excellent reportage books from deeply knowledgeable writers (Lasse Wierup and Erik De La Reguera, Cocaine excels here). Swedish fantasy and science fiction have brought a painful fading existence. The latest book in this genre in my personal collection, written by a Swedish author in Swedish, is Annika Lidnes book COMA, signed Egmont Ritcher publishers. Which year was when this out you ask?
1995 ...

Since then, it was very quiet from Swedish authors published in Swedish publishers.

Willens decision to self-publish Nastragull is, to quote my friend, "both insane and impressive." However, it may be the only way to revive a so underrated genre. To Willén write in English gives some indication of the problem this narrative shape drawn with the more northern latitudes. The only way to reach some kind of commercial success is to write in another language.
For the Swedish would relegated to a vanishingly narrow niche market.

Self-publishing books is something I'm very fragmented over. Established publishers with its publishers is undoubtedly a guarantee of a certain quality, and that well-written books are published.
At the same time, they are undeniably a form of gatekeepers as hard sorts among the books sent, their choice is also guided by whether a text can be considered commercially viable.

At a time when publishers are in crisis, it is perhaps the only way some writers have to reach out, to publish their work on their own initiative. This is to show existing publishing it after all is a market.
Seen from this perspective, Erik Martin Willén undeniable right to publish his book himself, but it's a gamble.

In the end, maybe the winner, after all, is the one whose books are preserved for posterity.

A printed book is, after all, a good chance of surviving the author. Electronic books are just a lost password or a hard drive crash from disappearing forever

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