My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’d been a while since I’d read some really good, original cyberpunk – and Tidhar’s vision of a future Israel definitely qualifies. I’m upping my ‘star rating’ to a four because the setting of ‘Central Station,’ its conflicts and concerns, are so vivid, rich and enjoyable.
However, this is a fix-up novel, and it shows. I’d read a couple of the segments in this book before, in somewhat different form, and said, “hmm” when I encountered them. At the end, there is a list of all the venues where other segments were previously published – it’s most of the book. There’s nothing wrong with having what’s essentially a collection of short stories with a twisting strand of plot tying them together – but at times some of the different stories felt like puzzle pieces awkwardly shoved into spaces that didn’t quite fit.
Even then, though – I still liked the stories. What I mainly took away from ‘Central Station’ was its sense of history and community, how even as technology changes what it means to be human, and even as social injustice and all the weaknesses of humanity persist through those changes, a city is still a rich tapestry full of life, with all of its inhabitants’ wonderful quirks, their loves, their dreams, their connections.
I’ll definitely be following this author in the future.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Tachyon for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinions are solely my own.