Worlds Apart – Richard Cowper

Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart


George Cringe is a figment of Zil Bryn's imagination. Or is it the other way around.


I became a fan of Richard Cowper, as I suspect many did, with his White Bird of Kinship trilogy – an excellent, carefully constructed piece of post-apocalyptic fiction. Not all of his earlier novels worked as well for me, but I’ve enjoyed several, and been quite taken with his short fiction. That’s why this novel (published just before Kinship) is such a surprise.

To be blunt, this is not a good book. It’s not bad, but it’s not far from it. It’s not only a familiar idea, but one better suited to a short story. Here, even at just over 100 pages, it feels far over-extended. It doesn’t work as satire, comedy, or farce. There are a handful of nice elements to it, but it mostly fails.

Gollancz makes a point that e-books have allowed them to bring older works back to life, and I heartily approve. However, this is one book that I think no one would have missed. By all means, read Richard Cowper – you’ll be well rewarded. Just don’t start (or end) with this.

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