Two years after its publication, Mike Johnstone, professor of English at the University of Toronto, has written what’s beyond doubt the most incisive review/analysis of MIRRORED HEAVENS out there. For starters, he’s pretty much the first reviewer to point out the parallels between the downing of the Phoenix Space Elevator and that of the Two Towers, and goes deeper than anyone has yet gone on the political context behind the novel, marrying that up with a discussion of my decision to write the trilogy in present tense:
The more I think about the novel, however, the more I am impressed by how challenging Williams makes the novel on several levels, weaving together breakneck pacing, significant narrative decisions, a conspiracy-theory atmosphere, and a political edginess into a whole that generates a rather plausible (and disturbing) vision of our nearish future. What interests me most are the narrative decisions and political edginess: the former, because I think they raise intriguing questions about what literary SF can do with forms of narrative; the latter, because I am surprised that reviewers of the novel seem to have shied away from addressing the historical context to which I believe it responds. Moreover, these two elements, in fact, mutually reinforce each other, revealing a novel more complex than it might appear at first blush.
I’ll have more to say about Jonestone’s essay in further posts but you can read it in its entirety here.