Nicola Griffith

 4,4 Sterne bei 11 Bewertungen
Autor von The Blue Place, Untiefen. und weiteren Büchern.

Alle Bücher von Nicola Griffith

Cover des Buches Ammonit. (ISBN: 9783453119093)

Ammonit.

 (2)
Erschienen am 01.01.1997
Cover des Buches Untiefen. (ISBN: 9783453149144)

Untiefen.

 (2)
Erschienen am 01.01.1999
Cover des Buches DER BLAUE ORT (ISBN: 9783748547433)

DER BLAUE ORT

 (0)
Erschienen am 28.05.2019
Cover des Buches The Blue Place (ISBN: 9780380790883)

The Blue Place

 (2)
Erschienen am 01.06.1999
Cover des Buches Hild (ISBN: 9781250056092)

Hild

 (1)
Erschienen am 28.10.2014
Cover des Buches Stay (ISBN: 140003230X)

Stay

 (1)
Erschienen am 01.06.2003
Cover des Buches Ammonite (ISBN: 9780345452382)

Ammonite

 (1)
Erschienen am 01.04.2002

Neue Rezensionen zu Nicola Griffith

Cover des Buches Hild (ISBN: 9781250056092)A

Rezension zu "Hild" von Nicola Griffith

Between Paganism and Christianity
Arkronvor 8 Monaten

My second novel from Griffith is totally different than SF Ammonite. It is a Historical Fiction set in 7th century Anglo-Saxon England just on the brink between paganism and Christianization, featuring the coming of age of half-orphan Hild who will become an import abbess and saint. The historical person’s fate is not yet uncovered in this novel, as it is only the first book of a planned trilogy “Light of the World”. 

You don’t want to start unfinished trilogy’s? Then you might want to skip reading this one, because the second book “Menewood” is kind of finished but won’t appear until 2023, as I’ve learned from the author’s blog.

Now, you have to know that I’ve got a certain connection to that time: Saint Boniface was born a generation later in England, a leading figure in German Christianization, and his grave is in my home town Fulda. He’s a very important figure, here with veneration and pilgrimage every year. That’s why I’m very interested how the situation in England was just before he was born. 

The novel dives in deep in that regard. I’ve seldom read a more immersive, detail-focused historical fiction than this. Some people told me that it’s far too many details, but I just loved it, though it wasn’t exactly a page-turner or easy reading. 

There’s a lot of politic maneuvering in it, often initiated by Hild’s clever mother. She became a part of her uncle Edwin’s court in Northumbria, serving as prophetess. That sounds influential, but is also highly dangerous, or even lethal, should her prophecies ever fail. That sounds like fantasy stuff, but Hild explains her prophecies more rational: 


“I’m not a seer, either. I just notice things”


On the other hand, she feels the presence of the Christian priests’ Satan in one scene. Hild is torn between the mystical and the logical world. There is never evidence of anything supernatural. Often enough, seemingly supernatural prophecies are resolved by the protagonist’s logical deductions leading to exploiting of the peoples’ beliefs in the uncanny and yet another political intrigue. It is just another tool for Hild and her mother to survive. 

She’s following the king’s court’s inherent rhythm, churning butter, moving from town to town, through weaving and harvesting to warfare campaigns. The whole court is baptized only later on together with the king.

Would you ever read a saint’s life written by a pious monk? I wouldn’t touch that with a long stick. It’s such a blessing that the author is exactly the contrary what one would suspect: non-Christian, lesbian, an important figure in the LGBT community with multiple Lambda Awards. There is a slight touch of lesbian scenes, but Hild never becomes queer. Comparing to Beowulf’s men-focused traditional machismos, this was always tasteful and fitting to the world. Thinking about that, the Christian priests seem more queer than those lesbian scenes: men in skirts, never wielding a blade but reading books. 

This is no easy read at all. Staying true to her mission for full immersion into the 7th century, Griffith uses a lot of foreign terms like “wealh”, “wight”, or “wyrd”, ending in a glossary of terms that I had to consult. Some observations about this multi-lingual world touched my linguistic nerve:


[… Anglisc voices:] words drumming like apples spilt over wooden boards, round, rich, stirring. Like her father’s words, and her mother’s, and her sister’s. Utterly unlike Onnen’s otter-swift British or the dark liquid gleam of Irish.


Hild uses fitting languages for different purposes – speak impressively or think of concepts. Language shapes thoughts, yay! (at least to a small extend).

The amount of details and focus on political intrigues makes a slower read, although there are enough action scenes. Also, there isn’t a plot line to speak of but more a series of events. I don’t know how I became to love reading scene after scene without a red thread, and I could imagine that many readers would be turned away just because of this.

It’s difficult to recommend this book, because it very well could be the ultimately enjoyable novel for you or go the other way round, more than with other books. In my case, I only can say: What a beautiful, exotic, wild world, what a fierce, brilliant character, what a gorgeous prose!

I can’t wait for the second novel Menegroth, but first her novella Spear (Hild with magic!).

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Cover des Buches Ammonit. (ISBN: 9783453119093)A

Rezension zu "Ammonit." von Nicola Griffith

Wahrhaftig, ein SF Masterwork
Arkronvor einem Jahr

Synopsis: Ammonite follows anthropologist Marghe Taishan as representative of a government agency to planet Jeep. The planet has been colonized centuries ago, but contact was lost, but should be recolonized now. A military expedition has been sent there, but soon, all of the men and many women died of an unknown virus. 

Currently, the planet is under quarantine. The expedition made contact to the former colonists, now native to the planet. They all are female but can reproduce somehow.

Marge is sent to the planet primarily to test a promising vaccine for the virus, but also to study the natives. Her studies must be concluded within half a year, that's how long the provided dosis will last. Just arriving, she sets out to a freezing northern wastes of the planet. 

A second narrative thread interrupts the main thread from time to time. The expedition fears to be extinguished by a hidden battleship above the planet, because the government fears a pandemy. Espionage, paranoia, and the struggle to bond to the natives bring a lot of tension to their commander Danner.

The Echraidhe, an aggressive nomadic tribe, capture and enslave Marghe. Among them is Uaithne who believes of herself the prophet of the apocalypse. Marge learns to survive the harsh environment, sharing the fate of the malnourished and inbred tribe. She decides to flee if possible in the middle of winter, surrounded by a large desert. On her way through Blizzard, loosing several fingers to the frost, nearly dying from hunger, a farmer from Ollfoss rescues her from certain death.

She recovers in the hippy commune of subsistence farmers which is a complete contrast to the nomadic tribe: Hot tubs, village gardens, and a hut with a gong echoing Jeep's electromagnetic pulse. Marghe discovers the nature of the natives' mysticism, their rituals of "deepsearch", their rich storytelling tradition, and how they reproduce without men.

Before that, she has to change.

Review: This is Nicola Griffith's first novel, and has been highly praised and well received as soon as it's been published. It won the Lambda Literary Award, which is for LGBT+ topics in speculative fiction, and the successor of the James Tiptree Jr. award, which cares for gender in speculative fiction. 

Now, don't fear, this is not a combative feministic novel, I never felt overwhelmed by all the female characters filling each and every role. It's true that the novel investigates how a culture without men would work. It doesn't care a bit about non-binary or transgender but just presents that highly interesting native culture with its own structural power systems. I can't even say if the native females should be regarded as lesbians at all, because they have forgotten about men, and gender isn't really a topic.

There is a lot of Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness vibe in this novel, up to the point where I sometimes couldn't distinguish the literary style from the famous predecessor. I can't possibly make a higher compliment for this narration, and Le Guin herself ennobled it by calling the novel "a knockout". It features the same tranquility spiked with high peaks of action, alternated with philosophical and anthropological reflections. One of them rattles Marghe deeply:


"These places you go, the people you find, do you come to care for them? Or do you only study them like strange shells you might find on the beach?"


This conversation brings a pivotal point for Marghe's character. She has survived so much, given up all her technological advances to be with the natives. Now, she really changes, goes wild and native. This is the core of the novel, reflected by its genius title Ammonite, an empty shell which Marghe once possessed and defined her, as opposed to all the living people around her who she studied.

The novel works at all loves: starting from the interesting plot full of tension, tying up enough threads in the end to count as a closed narration. The many distinctive characters, not only main protagonist Marghe, but also the expedition's commandant Danner, the native tribe women and Marghe's wise lover in the hippy commune. Add to that all the fascinating aspects of the natives' culture, including their way of defining trades without money called "trata", their mystical traditions, and their common sense leaderships. 

If you are a fan of Ursula Le Guin's SF novels, you will love this anthropological work. Everyone else will love the emotionally rich and engaging storytelling. It is truly a SF Masterwork, as published in Gollancz's series.

Nicola Griffith is currently working on the second novel of Hild which should appear latest next year, I can't wait for it. 

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Cover des Buches Untiefen. (ISBN: 9783453149144)A

Rezension zu "Untiefen." von Nicola Griffith

Rezension zu "Untiefen." von Nicola Griffith
Armilleevor 9 Jahren

Hier nur zwei Sterne, weil es nicht mein Genre ist. Es ist eine Sache, einen 'Blade Runner' im Fernsehen zu sehen, oder eine ähnliche futuristische Geschichte zu lesen. Da fehlt einfach was.
Die handelnden Personen waren mir nicht nah. Es gab keine Tiefe.
Interessant hingegen waren die vielen neuen Ausdrücke und Begebenheiten, die heute noch nicht, oder nur teilweise bekannt sind. Ich brauchte viel Fantasie beim lesen, um der Geschichte mit Verständnis zu folgen.

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