The Pastel City; or, Adventures in Reader Reaction

I guess, to paraphrase Charles Fort, it’s Pastel City time when it’s Pastel City time.

Maybe I was just really cranky when I read this.

Others think differently:


Raw Feed (2004): The Pastel City, M. John Harrison, 1971.

A rather dull fantasy set in a dying world winding down from better, more technologically advanced days.  Mining the ruins and artifacts of those more advanced days is a major preoccupation.  Harrison seems to think that he can get by with some obscure poetic descriptions and Homeric-like epithets (for instance, our hero tegeus-Cromus’s weapon is constantly described as “the nameless sword”).

Still, given the criticism I’ve read of this series, I’ll probably read the rest.  This novel seems uninspired hack work, but, supposedly, Harrison later in the series introduces some radical, self-conscious innovations attacking generic fantasy conventions and introducing some Arthurian elements.


More reviews of fantastic fiction are indexed by title and author/editor.


3 thoughts on “The Pastel City; or, Adventures in Reader Reaction

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