Author picture

Dave Hutchinson (1) (1960–)

Author of Europe In Autumn

For other authors named Dave Hutchinson, see the disambiguation page.

44+ Works 1,357 Members 106 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Dave Hutchinson was born in Sheffield in 1960. After reading American Studies at the University of Nottingham, he became a journalist. He's the author of five collections of short stories and one novel, and his novella "The Push" was shortlisted for the 2010 BSFA award for short fiction. He has show more also edited two anthologies and co-edited a third. His short story 'The Incredible Exploding Man' was featured in the first 'Solaris Rising' anthology, and appeared in the 29th Year's Best Science Fiction collection. In 2015 his title Europe in Autumn made the shortlist for the Arthur C Clarke Award for science-fiction. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Series

Works by Dave Hutchinson

Europe In Autumn (2014) 424 copies
Europe at Midnight (2015) 231 copies
Europe in Winter (2016) 162 copies
Europe at Dawn (2018) 116 copies
Acadie (2017) 116 copies
Shelter (2018) 57 copies
Cold Water (2022) 38 copies
Nomads (2019) 24 copies
Sleeps With Angels (2015) 24 copies
The Push (2009) 21 copies
As the Crow Flies (1700) 12 copies
The Villages (2001) 7 copies
Under the Rose (2009) — Editor — 5 copies

Associated Works

Live Without a Net (2003) — Contributor — 143 copies
Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction (2011) — Contributor — 124 copies
Best of British Science Fiction 2018 (2019) — Contributor — 40 copies
London Centric: Tales of Future London (2020) — Contributor — 32 copies
Subterfuge (2008) — Contributor — 24 copies
2084 (2017) — Contributor — 20 copies
Tales from the Vatican Vaults: 28 Extraordinary Stories (2015) — Contributor — 15 copies
Requiems for the Departed (2010) — Contributor — 13 copies
Barcelona Tales (2016) — Contributor — 7 copies
Strange Pleasures (2001) — Contributor — 1 copy

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Reviews

Very short novel (less than 100 pages according to my ebook reader). It's an intriguing space opera about an "outlaw" community based on genetic manipulation that tries to avoid detection by the main human civilization. The readers are dropped right in and it takes a while before they understand what the setting is like and what the plot is about. The process is a bit too slow, perhaps, as it takes almost half the book. However, it's interesting enough, and in the second half the pace of the story quickens and it ends with a good twist. Recommended.… (more)
 
Flagged
jcm790 | 10 other reviews | May 26, 2024 |
Europe in Autumn; Europe at Midnight; Europe in Winter ~ Dave Hutchinson

The first book in this ‘Fractured Europe’ series was recommended to me by a friend, and I bought it as a ebook for a few dollars. Then I rapidly went out and bought the second. The third, maddeningly, wasn’t yet released, but I placed it on pre-order and it arrived a couple of weeks ago.

So I read these three books in a matter of a few weeks. And then I turned around and immediately read them all through again from cover to cover, and I’m glad I did — so much I had missed or not understood now became clear(er). But even now I’m not sure that I fully understand what has been going on, and I’m wondering if there will be a fourth or fifth book in the series which may reveal more. Talk about ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’! (A not-inappropriate quotation, as it turns out).

Where to start? Well, first we have to set the scene, which is the near-term future in Europe after the European Union has essentially broken up back into its individual nations. But the rot hasn’t stopped there, and there’s a wave of independent nations, principalities or ‘polities’ breaking off from those nations, as regional and ethnic loyalties come to the fore. This reaches an almost absurd degree, with in some cases a few blocks of some cities declaring their independence. The whole concept of the Schengen Treaty of doing away with borders in Europe is now a sad, half-forgotten joke. Borders and border controls are everywhere.

Even more interesting, a trans-continental railway line has been built from Spain through to Eastern Sibera. On its completion the company promptly declares the railway and the land immediately surrounding it to be sovereign territory, and that the Line is now an independent nation. The Line’s stations are Consulates. One needs a visa to travel on the train, and to become a citizen to work for the Line. The author somehow makes this all seem perfectly rational.

We’re introduced to Rudi, the young Estonian-born chef at Restaurant Max in Kraków, in Poland. Through some shady connections of his boss Max, Rudi is eventually recruited into a shadowy organisation called Les Coureurs de Bois (“the runners of the woods”?). It’s kind of a courier operation, carrying mail and packages from one nation to another — something no longer easy, or even necessarily legal. It’s like a cross between a courier company, a smuggling ring, and an espionage outfit. Most governments heavily disapprove of it.

For most of the first book, we’re learning about Rudi and following him on the various Situations he’s placed in from time to time (while still mostly working as a chef). Some of these go well, a few go wrong, and eventually disastrously wrong. Something very strange is going on, and Rudi finds that he is being hunted and that his life is in danger. All of this (other than the slighly futuristic setting) has the engaging fascination of a spy thriller, or perhaps one of the Jason Bourne movies. Apart from the occasional use of advanced technology like ‘stealth suits’, this all seems barely like science fiction at all.

I can’t describe too much more without spoilers. Suffice it to say that about 80% through the first book, Rudi has finally tracked down what a dying former Coureur tells him is ‘the proof’. It’s in the deciphering of this proof that Rudi discovers a secret which does plunge us into real science fiction territory.

I enjoyed the second book even more than the first, as we encounter the first person narrative of ‘Rupert’ who lives in a vast (really vast) university campus run as a totalitarian regime, which has just undergone a bloody revolution. How this ties in with what Rudi has discovered in the first book takes quite a while to emerge.

It was really worthwhile re-reading the books. So much of what is going on in earlier parts of the narrative is explained by what comes later that you are almost compelled to go back and read those earlier passages again. It’s a tribute to how good the writing is that all three books were just as enjoyable to read again so soon.

Gosh these books are good! Puzzling, challenging, but very good. Written, by someone who seems to know Eastern Europe (and the restaurant trade) very well; very clever plotting; really original concepts; great characterisation. I loved them and look forward to reading more from this author.
… (more)
 
Flagged
davidrgrigg | 10 other reviews | Mar 23, 2024 |
Europe in Autumn; Europe at Midnight; Europe in Winter ~ Dave Hutchinson

The first book in this ‘Fractured Europe’ series was recommended to me by a friend, and I bought it as a ebook for a few dollars. Then I rapidly went out and bought the second. The third, maddeningly, wasn’t yet released, but I placed it on pre-order and it arrived a couple of weeks ago.

So I read these three books in a matter of a few weeks. And then I turned around and immediately read them all through again from cover to cover, and I’m glad I did — so much I had missed or not understood now became clear(er). But even now I’m not sure that I fully understand what has been going on, and I’m wondering if there will be a fourth or fifth book in the series which may reveal more. Talk about ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’! (A not-inappropriate quotation, as it turns out).

Where to start? Well, first we have to set the scene, which is the near-term future in Europe after the European Union has essentially broken up back into its individual nations. But the rot hasn’t stopped there, and there’s a wave of independent nations, principalities or ‘polities’ breaking off from those nations, as regional and ethnic loyalties come to the fore. This reaches an almost absurd degree, with in some cases a few blocks of some cities declaring their independence. The whole concept of the Schengen Treaty of doing away with borders in Europe is now a sad, half-forgotten joke. Borders and border controls are everywhere.

Even more interesting, a trans-continental railway line has been built from Spain through to Eastern Sibera. On its completion the company promptly declares the railway and the land immediately surrounding it to be sovereign territory, and that the Line is now an independent nation. The Line’s stations are Consulates. One needs a visa to travel on the train, and to become a citizen to work for the Line. The author somehow makes this all seem perfectly rational.

We’re introduced to Rudi, the young Estonian-born chef at Restaurant Max in Kraków, in Poland. Through some shady connections of his boss Max, Rudi is eventually recruited into a shadowy organisation called Les Coureurs de Bois (“the runners of the woods”?). It’s kind of a courier operation, carrying mail and packages from one nation to another — something no longer easy, or even necessarily legal. It’s like a cross between a courier company, a smuggling ring, and an espionage outfit. Most governments heavily disapprove of it.

For most of the first book, we’re learning about Rudi and following him on the various Situations he’s placed in from time to time (while still mostly working as a chef). Some of these go well, a few go wrong, and eventually disastrously wrong. Something very strange is going on, and Rudi finds that he is being hunted and that his life is in danger. All of this (other than the slighly futuristic setting) has the engaging fascination of a spy thriller, or perhaps one of the Jason Bourne movies. Apart from the occasional use of advanced technology like ‘stealth suits’, this all seems barely like science fiction at all.

I can’t describe too much more without spoilers. Suffice it to say that about 80% through the first book, Rudi has finally tracked down what a dying former Coureur tells him is ‘the proof’. It’s in the deciphering of this proof that Rudi discovers a secret which does plunge us into real science fiction territory.

I enjoyed the second book even more than the first, as we encounter the first person narrative of ‘Rupert’ who lives in a vast (really vast) university campus run as a totalitarian regime, which has just undergone a bloody revolution. How this ties in with what Rudi has discovered in the first book takes quite a while to emerge.

It was really worthwhile re-reading the books. So much of what is going on in earlier parts of the narrative is explained by what comes later that you are almost compelled to go back and read those earlier passages again. It’s a tribute to how good the writing is that all three books were just as enjoyable to read again so soon.

Gosh these books are good! Puzzling, challenging, but very good. Written, by someone who seems to know Eastern Europe (and the restaurant trade) very well; very clever plotting; really original concepts; great characterisation. I loved them and look forward to reading more from this author.
… (more)
 
Flagged
davidrgrigg | 18 other reviews | Mar 23, 2024 |
Maybe I’m getting old but I found this a difficult read. Three separate female POV characters, operating in different years (we eventually discover) plus flashbacks of their earlier lives, often without quick identification of whose story we are following. It would all be much clearer on a second read, but I’m not sure I want to do that.

Still, that aside, it’s an interesting enough extension of Hutchinson’s Fractured Europe scenario.
 
Flagged
davidrgrigg | 1 other review | Mar 23, 2024 |

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Statistics

Works
44
Also by
16
Members
1,357
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Rating
3.8
Reviews
106
ISBNs
52
Languages
4
Favorited
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