In 2012 Michel Faber gave an interview with the Telegraph in which he talked about losing his ability to immerse himself in the world of his work, since his wife had been diagnosed with cancer. He says that his art requires a head space that shuts other people out, but he couldn’t do that when he was focused on taking care of his wife. In that interview, Faber says his wife is in remission so he is hoping he will be able to disappear back into the world of his novel, to complete the book that he had been trying to write for years. That book is 2014 The Book of Strange New Things. Faber’s wife, Eva, died while he was completing his final revisions.
Did I like Laline Paull’s Bees? I liked the concept a whole heck of a lot. Is that enough? It made me think of some other things that I like a great deal. So that’s positive. But the text of Bees itself? Meh. It was ok.
Whether or not you’re a fan of science-fiction, you should read Andy Weir’s The Martian. This tale of astronaut Mark Watney, who finds himself left for dead on Mars when his crew is forced to evacuate, is funny and engaging. The engineer/botanist/astronaut Mark Watney is a likeable main character with a quick, self-deprecating wit and a dazzling intellect. The science in Andy Weir’s story is as sharp as his main character. In interviews Weir has insisted that the problems and solutions he presents are all scientifically feasible and that he used the science to drive the plot of his novel. If you’re a reader of science-fiction you’ll probably love the intricacies of space exploration that Weir captures on the page. If you’re not a reader of science-fiction you’ll be drawn to the “castaway on Mars” story and its themes of survival and perseverance.