The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi

Gollancz, 2012, 302p.

In The Fractal Prince we meet once again characters from Rajaniemi’s debut novel The Quantum Thief in Jean le Flambeur, Mieli and the spaceship Perhonen. The Mars setting of the Oubliette has been left behind, though, as they travel to Earth to seek out Matjek Chen whose personality has been confined inside a Schrödinger box. Their adventures are interspersed with those of Earth dwellers Tawaddud and Dunyazad.

Where The Quantum Thief was concerned with memory The Fractal Prince is more about story, referencing – especially in the Earth sections – the tales of One Thousand and One Nights.

Rajaniemi’s prose is, as ever, dense. Don’t expect any info dumps. You will have to make sense for yourselves of terms such as zokus, jinni, Sobornost, hsien-kus, qutlinks, spimescapes, guberniyas, vasilevs and gogols though a familiarity with The Quantum Thief, where some of these appeared for the first time, will lighten that task.

I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who is new to SF but techno-buffs will love it.

(There was a miniscule count of 1. You’d think someone at Gollancz would know.)

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