Somewhere East of Life (The Squire Quartet)

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9780007461202: Somewhere East of Life (The Squire Quartet)

The final volume of the critically acclaimed Squire Quartet. Having abandoned Britain to its recession, architectural historian Roy Burnell operates out of Germany, attempting to hold the world together culturally. Moving around the more outrageous parts of the globe, his task is to list architectural gems threatened by war, history and human awfulness. Such is man's ingenuity, however, that Burnell's mind is also threatened. Someone has stolen a chunk of his memory - ten years in fact. This chunk, and in particular the more salacious bits, such as his marriage to Stephanie, has been chopped up, recorded in e-mnemonicvision and sold to lovers of soft porn everywhere. First published in 1994 and unavailable for some time. Features a new introduction by the author.

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About the Author:

Brian Aldiss, OBE, is a fiction and science fiction writer, poet, playwright, critic, memoirist and artist. He was born in Norfolk in 1925. After leaving the army, Aldiss worked as a bookseller, which provided the setting for his first book, The Brightfount Diaries (1955). His first published science fiction work was the story 'Criminal Record', which appeared in Science Fantasy in 1954. Since then he has written nearly 100 books and over 300 short stories.

From Publishers Weekly:

Completing the loose series that Aldiss calls the "Squire Quartet" (Life in the West; Forgotten Life; Remembrance Day), this rather discursive, near-future tale follows the wanderings of Roy Burnell, a British architectural historian. Ten years of Burnell's memories are stolen by EMV ("e-mnemonicvision") thieves in Budapest, and while he tries to resume his life he also searches for a copy of the memory "bullet" that will restore his lost years. His desultory search, broken up by unsought adventure in Central Asia, carries Burnell through an early-21st century world in which life appears very familiar, though many of our current troubles (ethnic wars, poor economies) persist or have gotten worse. The plot is perfunctory, but plot is rarely Aldiss's strong suit or point. What's really offered here is a witty, well-observed travelogue that reveals the state of the world, as well as a fascinating exploration of character. A fin-de-siecle atmosphere pervades; Burnell and those he meets ruminate on the nature of memory and personality, history and human nature, the "moral emptiness" of modern times and their compensatory pleasures. Aldiss weaves these thoughts into a delightful and sometimes harrowing story, proving once again that science fiction can illuminate vital matters of the present as effectively as any genre.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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