beamjockey (beamjockey) wrote,

Jeff Duntemann's Uplifting Novel

shsilver pointed out a review by Paul Di Filippo of Jeff Duntemann's novel The Cunning Blood:

Let me just say at the outset that if I could be sure a 25-year moratorium on his or her SF writing would allow any individual writer to produce such a great book, I'd insist on making it part of SFWA's bylaws.

Duntemann has obviously not been ignorant of the developments in the SF field since 1980. This book is absolutely au courant, and actually extends the Great Work of SF in several unexpected directions.


Here is my review of The Cunning Blood. Unlike Mr. Di Filippo's review, it is not based upon reading Mr. Duntemann's novel. My experience with the novel is confined to carrying many boxes full of it upstairs to shsilver's attic from pallets delivered to his garage by the bookbinder.

The Cunning Blood is a heavy book. It comes in boxes weighing about thirty-four pounds. To the prospective reader, I would recommend shifting the box to one's shoulder, as it becomes somewhat easier to bear the burden that way. Truly devoted lovers of hard SF may find that five or six of these boxes will stack neatly on a hand truck; however, this is useful only for negotiating the level parts of Domus Argentus.

In addition, many readers may, I have a hunch, wish to bend over, not only while passing through the rather short door to the attic, but also while evading the rafters therein. This space is easily high enough to accommodate a substantial print run of hardcover novels, but is a bit inadequate for the typical adult reader.

I was able to see that The Cunning Blood features a handsome and vivid, if weird, cover by the talented Todd Cameron Hamilton. Had he been present, I would have complimented him on another in a long series of excellent cover paintings, and then wheedled him into carrying some more boxes of books upstairs.

It is exciting to have friends who are starting up a small-press publishing operation, but I caution you that it may also prove to be exhausting at times.

To summarize my encounter with this new novel, I can definitely say that Jeff Duntemann impressed me as an author on his way up; though if sales are brisk, as I expect they will be, his stock will no doubt drop lower.
Tags: duntemann, hamilton, isfic press, jeff, sf, silver, steven, the cunning blood, todd
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