Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Review: Yarn

Ever hear of the genre called 'fashionpunk'?

Me neither.

I stumbled upon this book in the public library.  Naturally I just had to pick it up!

When I consider a new-to-me author I'll read the first page and if it grabs me, I'll grab the book and hie myself to the check out desk.

The very first sentence of the book reads:  I woke early, suffocated by a sweaty and prickling sense of apprehension - exactly the feeling of wool against the skin on a warm day.

The central character is a tailor in the futuristic world of Seattlehama, a city 'woven' around the rim of Mount Ranier, surrounded by acres and acres of what sounds like monoculture crops.  On page 59 he muses:

For years, I had been pure grey.  I assiduously removed all colors from my work, even at the microscopic level.  My yarns were finished in such a way never to refract a tiny rainbow.  My weaves and knits were created so that moire' patterns would not create interference colors.  To white fabrics I added oxygenated films to instantly ameliorate possible stains.  To blacks, I endlessly checked that there were not hidden tints introduced in the twists of the yarns and the mathematical dance of twills.

The world of Tane Cedar is filled with fabrics, woven and knitted, and futuristic technology where cloth is used, not just to clothe people, but to build their world in innovative ways.

This book is not for everyone but if you like science fiction, steam punk, novels by people like William Gibson (Neuromancer), you'll probably find Jon Armstrong's books intriguing.  Although Grey was published first, Yarn is a prequel to Grey so I'm reading it first.  And wondering when Armstrong's next book will be coming out.

3 comments:

Sandra Rude said...

Ooh, I'll have to check out these books. Thanks for the recommendation!

Kerstin på Spinnhuset said...

Sounds like an interesting book, but... in defence of colours, I posted a shortened short story on my blog - here.

Laura said...

The premise is - different - and Jon Armstrong knows his twill from his basketweave, a Jacquard from a Juki (sewing machine) and knitting from weaving. Like old time fairy tales, there are textile allusions woven into the fabric of the story (pun most definitely intended!)

cheers,
Laura