My week hasn’t been great. To tell you the truth, I get anxious before we travel, and we’ll be travelling (on holiday… and yes, even on holiday) soon. I worry about work and preparations, and to make things worse, most of my schedule this week ended up changing in the last minute due to one thing or another, which put me into further limbo.
Stressed and wanting to already be on holiday, I did something that I knew appeases me every time – I read. I was lucky, as a friend had recently recommended I read Only Forward when he had found out that I had never read Michael Marshall Smith before. I bought it (a beautiful second-hand first edition), started reading it two days ago and just finished reading it (merely fifteen minutes before typing this). All I want to do now is thank Michael for giving us a brilliantly written book.
“…not so much a place to sell books as a place for them to be.”
Reading is an individual journey, and it is always the experience that remains with us. When I started Only Forward, I had found it pleasantly entertaining with a clear plot and an intriguing world. I realised then that it was necessary for me to keep an open mind during this reading journey. That was until I hit the end of the first section (say exactly 37% in). I realised then that this book was going to be something else when the main plot was more or less resolved, and there was still 63% of the book left to go.
“There are monsters.
There really are.”
I cannot talk about the rest of the book without imposing my own feelings and interpretations onto it, but if you wanted a more clinical description, I would suggest that Only Forward is a SF-thriller in a psychological horror theme. I don’t think the genre or style here is important, as it manages to do what great SF writing does: it makes you consider what it is to be human, laying our own selves bare in front of our own eyes, and yet, entertain.
“If you knew someone well, you learn to hate them, and I knew myself far too well.”
All I can say now is that it’s given me direction in my own writing too, for two books that I’ve been working on. There is no doubt that I’ll be reading Only Forward again and again… whether it’s to gain inspiration, support, ideas, or merely to enjoy a good book again.
“Any move in any direction increases the probability of us finding a solution.”
Don’t just sit around, unless you’re reading, of course.