Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review of K.A. Bedford's Paradox Resolution

Paradox Resolution is K.A Bedford's eagerly awaited sequel to his 2008 Aurealis winning novel Time Machines Repaired While U Wait. The novel continues the adventures of time machine repairer Spider Webb in a near future where time machines are the new luxury car.

Spider is an ex-policeman, a man who quit the force after blowing the whistle on police corruption. He lives in a cheap motel while his wife Molly waits for him to sign divorce papers. He still hopes they will get back together, while she continues to use him as a cheap handyman. 

Spider’s mundane existence changes one day when he opens the fridge at work and discovers a head. A head that asks to be saved. Spider is then reunited with a loyal police colleague, Iris, as they investigate the murder. 

Life becomes more complicated for Spider when his new boss asks him to investigate the disappearance of his young son and friend in the employer’s supped-up time machine. And thus an adventure begins that takes Spider millions of years into the future. 

Like the previous novel, readers will be struck by the Australian-ness of Paradox Resolutions. Anyone who was not aware of the Australian vernacular before reading the novel will be afterwards. This is such a change from the pseudo American English that seems to be the universal language of science fiction. 

The novel is written with underlying amusement as its reluctant hero fails to see the truth behind many of his relationships. The story flows between action sequences and a physically and emotionally bruised Spider trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

Paradox Resolutions is for readers who like time-travel novels where a character’s ethics and motives change with each future version of themselves. The sequel is every bit as enjoyable as the original.


graywave said...

Thanks Graham. It sounds like fun. I'd noticed the first book but always thought the title sounded a bit too silly. (It also makes me think of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe - which I read and hated. I don't know why the link is there - both time travel stories? both came out at the same time?) Maybe I'll have to get both of Bedford's books now. (Also, he's represented by the same agent as me, so I feel like I should read his stuff for some weird reason...)

Anthony J. Langford said...

Sounds like quite a good read. Making it Australian-centric with language is a good idea. Not sure I like the character's name though.


Graham Clements said...

Hi Graham,

I've read How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe too, and I did not think much of it. Too abstract? The author was definitely trying to be too clever. The two KA Bedford novels are vastly more entertaining. And I am now reading, and so far enjoying, your novel True Path, which I won a copy of.

Graham Clements said...

Hi Anthony,

The character's real name is Aloysius Webb, hence the nickname.

graywave said...

Hmmm. My reaction to HtLSiaSFU was more visceral than that. I'd been sent it to review by the publisher but couldn't do it. I was so angry about it that any review would have been a mere rant. I felt insulted by the book - perhaps on behalf of the SF genre. I thought, "This guy must really hate SF to trash it the way he does in this book." I don't mind people poking fun at the tropes (many such books - Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers, The Hitchhiker's Guide, etc. - are brilliant) but this just seemed nasty. And the reviews I read of it seemed also to be by literary types who'd found a new friend to snigger with.

Probably completely unjustified paranoia, of course :-)

As for winning a copy of True Path, good onya, mate!

Graham Clements said...

I read a review of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe in The Age before I bought it. Your reaction is interesting, perhaps I missed his sarcasm towards the genre. Great title, not so great book. Definitely the best thing about it. If only I could come up with a title like that.