Real-Time World +2

These are the early Priest SF stories that made print in various magazines, important in allowing devotees an insight into the emergent career of one of Britain’s most gifted and original writers. The eponymous story is an important one in the Priest canon, nodding a head as it does to future projects (including the novel Inverted World), but for me, the absolute stone cold New Wave classic in the book is CP’s first published story, ‘The Run’, a gripping, blunt tale of a future Prime Minister’s response to goading from unemployed, unemployable masses as a massive crisis looms on the horizon. Terse, ambiguous, with a character simultaneously unsympathetic and recognisably human, shot through with the ominous presence of impending nuclear doom, this is stunning stuff. For my money, ‘The Run’ is worth the price of admission alone, despite its 10-12 page length. In my opinion (and I wrote the book 100 Must Read Science Fiction Novels) it is one of the great 1960s British SF stories, even if it does not present the author’s mature style. Just brilliant.
To sum up, if you are interested in classic British literary SF that sits alongside the work of Moorcock, M. John Harrison, Aldiss and Ballard from this period, then you must buy this book, as it is essential.
Steve Andrews –