The accolades on the back of Vladimir Tasic’s Herbarium of Souls pronounce the Serbian-Canadian writer to be an avatar of the late Jorge Luis Borges and a wunderkind who melds the scholastic with both the mystic and the metaphysical. In truth, this collection of short stories bears a strong resemblance to Borges’s classic anthology Ficciones, though Tasic’s book falters in emotional scope and literary complexity – an unavoidable failure, given the legendary heights to which it aspires. Continue reading Review of Vladimir Tasic’s book, "Herbarium of Souls"
This article is reprinted from an original post on The Podium, published back in Jan 8, 2000.
For some years now, Charles Pellegrino has been one of my favourite science-fiction writers. His lack of fame is not easily understood, but I would suggest that it has something to do with his ability to straddle too many worlds at once: he is too reality-based to rank among the SF masters (Niven, Clarke, Asimov), and too technically oriented to cross into the mainstream lists. His closest mainstream parallel is Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, etc.). But Pellegrino’s encyclopaedic knowledge of history and many sciences transcends Crichton’s medical specialization and Hollywood sensibility. Reading Pellegrino’s books is more of an educational experience than a literary one. His novels are textbooks disguised as entertainment. Continue reading The Novels of Charles Pellegrino