Cover art Luca Oleastri
The Flowery War by Tim Andersen is an odd novel. Not weird just odd. Yes! I know I am talking about science fiction.
Putting my finger on its oddness is a difficult task. Part of it could be that I get this “old” feeling from it. It is as if it has been written in a different era, yet the copyright page does say 2012. There is this Asimovian or Herbertian feeling about it without the feeling of any copying going on.
I love the protagonist. Unlike a great deal of “heroes” of fiction, Goshan Fenn is this awkward guy who is trying to carve a name for himself rather than live off his mother and grandfather’s fame. Going into the same area (alien contact) kind of complicates that for him, but he is determined to make a go of it. His new boss is the kind who could care less who a person has for parents. Either you do things Mr. Smith’s way or you can expect a ton of trouble.
I love the intelligence that is expected of me as a reader. I tend to be offended when an author seems to equate fantasy/science fiction with dumbing down stuff. I also hate it when authors have to show off just how incredibly smart they are. Tim Anderson treads that line perfectly.