Congratulations to Jeff VanderMeer for getting a reviewing slot in the prestigious but frequently genre-antagonistic New York Times Book Review, discussing Dexter Palmer’s The Dream of Perpetual Motion. As a descriptive review, it’s pretty solid. There’s well-crafted detail about the narrative, the setting, the pacing, and the relationship the book has to Shakespeare’s Tempest.
The only problem I had with the review is this line:
“The result is a singular riff on steampunk — sophisticated, subversive entertainment that never settles for escapism”
I can’t find a place in the review where I’m told how the novel is sophisticated, and more importantly, how it’s subversive. I think an observation like that needs some explanation, not just the idea that, if I read the book, I’ll be sure to find it. Jeff’s announcement of the review being published indicates that there was some editorial trimming. Perhaps that part got cut.
Does this herald more of Jeff’s reviews in the Times? I certainly hope so.