If you’ve looked at the cover of Walter Jon Williams’ Implied Spaces , you already know that it’s all science-fictiony, despite the fact that it starts off reading like a Fritz Leiber-esque sword ‘n’ sorcery novel. If you actually read the cover — a practice I thoroughly disrecommend — you’ve probably been spoiled further than that, which is a darn shame, because Williams paces out revelation just about perfectly, and a lack of knowledge about the contents of the book is the best way to appreciate that. If you know what the story is, the early part is probably going to seem a bit slower than it really should. Stupid book covers.
So anyway, my relationship with Walter Jon Williams continues to be weird. When I read Aristoi five years ago, I talked about how I’d mistakenly classed Williams as a “worthy” writer, but now that I realized he was actually a really good writer, I was going to go out and read a bunch of his other stuff. And then I proceeded to not do that for five years, and even now as I was reading Implied Spaces, I was surprised that he wasn’t all soberly respectable, and was instead writing fun SF. You’d think at some point, I would actually remember this.
I will say, though, that Implied Spaces wasn’t as good as Aristoi; in fact, I think it wasn’t even as good as Wil McCarthy’s Queendom of Sol books, with which it has a lot in common. In particular, McCarthy seems to have thought through the implications of his world-building with a thoroughness that Williams lacks. Still, fun book, and this time I really will try to read more Williams books inside of five years.