Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected FictionWhen you’re strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you’re strange
No one remembers your name
When you’re strange
When you’re strange
When you’re strange —
The Doors, People Are Strange

Verbal impressionism. If I were asked to describe Hannau Rajaniemi’s works as succinctly as possible, this is what I would say. Rajaniemi is a master at oddball wordplay, at visualization of the weird and whimsical, vivid and vibrant wordplay that continuously brings a curve to the lip and a twinkle to the eye.

“The ants arrived on the Moon on the same day Tyche went through the Secret Door to give a ruby to the Magician.”

See what I mean? And another:

“On the day they finally got the Cathedral’s mermaid bone factory working, Keve told Raija he was not going to come back.

There is an extraordinary degree of intelligence and creativity to these stories. I hadn’t read any of Rajaniemi’s works before, and not being a true ‘hard sci-fi’ junkie as are some of the other reviewers of this marvelous collection, I was both charmed and excited by these stories that push past contemporary sci-fi into new and wonderful ideas. Physics, humans become gods, language as poetry. The limits are pushed and blurred until the stories of what comes next reach into the realm of the exceedingly strange.

This isn’t a collection for those who require only ‘light reading’. These are beautifully crafted, sometimes cutting, sometimes consoling, but always mesmerizing tales of what comes after what comes next.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.