Imatge de l'autor

George Foy

Autor/a de The Shift

10+ obres 318 Membres 4 Ressenyes

Sobre l'autor

One of today's most highly praised science fiction writers, George Foy is the author of five acclaimed thrillers & two well-received literary novels. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship for 1994/95. (Bowker Author Biography)

Obres de George Foy

The Shift (1996) 127 exemplars, 1 ressenya
Contraband (1997) 65 exemplars
The Memory of Fire (2000) 55 exemplars, 1 ressenya
The Last Harbor (2001) 44 exemplars, 1 ressenya
Asia Rip (1984) 9 exemplars
Coaster (1986) 7 exemplars
Challenge (1988) 4 exemplars
Blues für Nansen. Roman (1993) 3 exemplars
Tidal Race (1985) 3 exemplars
The Last Green Light 1 exemplars, 1 ressenya

Obres associades

Masters in Hell (1987) — Col·laborador — 98 exemplars, 1 ressenya


Coneixement comú

Altres noms
G. F. Michelsen
Data de naixement
Lloc de naixement
Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA



Jon Laine, a Finn from Minnesota, received a telegram offering a job with a guaranteed $350 a week. Jon once worked on a tug on the Great Lakes with a young dreamer, Jim Gatz, now restyled as Jay Gatsby. Jay wanted him to captain a yacht in Wolfshiem’s rum-running operation in Prohibition Era New York City. After serving in WWI and fighting for union organization and losing a beloved brother, Jon had lost his high ideals and was ready to take advantage of Jay’s offer.

The undercover business is run out of a garage in the the ash heaps along the Flushing River, the eyes of Dr T. J. Eckleburg’s billboard hovering above like the eyes of God. The crew spend their days playing cards and keeping the yacht Daisy ready to go while waiting to hear about the next job. George Wilson is the mechanic, jealous and volatile, sure his wife Myrtle is stepping out on him.

Jon only gets glimpses of Jay’s life of wealth and excess, the luxury phaeton, the chateau, the gay parties. And the women! He falls for Jordan and is attracted to Stella, Wolfshiem’s secretary and niece. And then there is Daisy Buchanan, blonde like Jordan, married to the man who is seeing Myrtle, and the object of Gatsby’s love.

All of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most memorable scenes and places and people are there, and even nods to his most memorable quotes appear.

And yet this novel stands on its own, with its own memorable characters and quotable text, while deepening the themes that appear in The Great Gatsby. The illusory lure of wealth that brings no peace, the racism, the way those with money trod over the working class without compunction. Instead of Nick Carraway, smitten with Gatsby, Jon has a clearer view; willingly taking his share of the profit, he understands that those on the bottom of society can’t afford to have moral compunction. Jon’s idealism isn’t completely gone; he helps a Finnish speaking widow obtain a better job, bonds with the African American member of the crew, and becomes protective of Young Sam, Stella’s cousin.

Stella Wolfshiem gifts Jon one thing that helps him carry on after a loss that cruelly recalls a past loss. Barach dayan emet, blessed is the one true judge, an acknowledgement that we aren’t in control. Jon also draws comfort from Marcus Aurelius and his Stoic acceptance of life’s vagaries.

George and Myrtle, Jay and Jon were drawn to New York City’s glittering and seductive dream of a better life. Like Nick Carraway at the end of Fitzgerald’s novel, Jon returns to the Midwest and laboring at the bottom of a capitalist system. He brings with him illicit money to help his parents. And he recalls the young man who believed in an America that offered limitless possibilities to those who dared.

Thanks to the publisher for a free book.
… (més)
nancyadair | Mar 20, 2024 |
This is beautiful writing! Since reading this book, I have thought this writer should be far better known - though I have come to understand that most of his work is in a different genre, and perhaps he is much better known there. To illustrate the style, this is the opening to chapter 10 of 'The Memory of Fire', a relatively random selection of text except for being an opening:

"And the form came out of velvet blackness, the figure so human in the way it folded toward what concerned it - toward the square in which people framed views they could control.
"But the square was flat, uniform, evenly lit, in a way a window was not.
"And the viewer was not Dolores but a man, fat and yellow of face, leaning toward a sequence of small screens hung overhead.
"In most of those screens, caught from a top-down point of view, a woman lay curled in sheets, short black curls stark against the pillow, mouth wound tight into the roller of her cheekbones. Stiff and silent and eyes fixed on the thin screens, as well as on an overhead camera lens that stared straight back at her, its red ON light aglow, completing the electronic circle.
"And so Soledad came awake, in the most twenty-first-century of ways, watching herself watch herself come awake.

'Memory of Fire' is science fiction, but is rather moody, highly literary, and is intended as a social commentary rather than an exposition of invention and scientific thought. I've never read anything else quite like this book, with its combination of style, treatment of plot line, future setting, and emphasis on the human spirit. It's not a book in which the plot has a clean line, pulling you ever forwards to resolution. Rather, it's a book that leads you in exploration of a culture, of a kind of life, of a place (some of the book takes place in South America). There is great sensitivity towards art and music in this book, and towards the lives of the people who make it.

Not that there is no plot! As at many times and places in the past, it is the artists, writers, and songmakers who carry forward resistance against the oppressive ruling class and government. Soledad MacRae with the rest of her community have been burned out of their South American enclave, and she has moved on to California. She finds herself with an unexpected power to make a real difference in the next clash. She is not a hot-blooded revolutionary, but a musician. Yet she knows what is right and she stands by it.

When I said the plot does not have a clean line, it is because there are many portions of the book that take place from Soledad's memories. There are two stories running in parallel for much of the book, the present and the past. That makes it a little hard to keep track of, and together with the use of language has a surreal effect. This book is not for everybody. It is definitely not for the hard SF aficionado who looks for a basic story with scientific gadgetry or aliens. Rather, it is for the reader who looks forward today to an immersion in language, a new experience of our world, an interesting and mysterious vision of our future, and especially one who appreciates the fundamental connection between human expression through the arts and the spirit's struggle for freedom and a better world. These readers will find in 'Memory of Fire' a uniquely pleasurable and highly memorable work of science fiction.
… (més)
1 vota
bibliojim | Nov 5, 2009 |
Readable but not really cyberpunk and not comparable with William Gibson, more J D Robb.

Keeps you guessing throughout.
wyvernfriend | Sep 25, 2005 |
freixas | Mar 31, 2023 |


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