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The Malacia Tapestry by Aldiss Brian
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The Malacia Tapestry (original 1976; edition 1976)

by Aldiss Brian (Author)

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421837,927 (3.65)15
Member:SFF1928-1973
Title:The Malacia Tapestry
Authors:Aldiss Brian (Author)
Info:Ace Books (1976)
Collections:Your library
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The Malacia Tapestry by Brian Aldiss (1976)

  1. 10
    Helliconia by Brian W. Aldiss (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Comparable works, where in one humanoid creatures inhabit another world and in the other reptilians inhabit the Adriatic coast.
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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
It's a long time since I read this and I found it a little hard to get into but it's a rather wonderful book and I suspect that further reading will reveal more. Set in an alternative reality in a City State based (I think) on Renaissance Venice, (and the etchings and paintings of Tiepolo), where mankind is co-exists with (and is descended from) ancestral beasts (dinosaurs) it tells of the romantic and political adventures of young Perian DeChirolo. However it's so much more than that, a tour de force of imagination, and with a great underlying theme of progress vs decay and how art plays out as a force for change. I won't leave it so long between re-readings in future. ( )
  Figgles | Nov 19, 2018 |
This was a rather strange read. It's ostensibly a fantasy, but reads like a romance (one of those rare from-the-perspective-of-the-callow-youth romances, the pining swain all moody for his unobtainable woman). It happens to be set in an environment that we recognize as fantastic by its dissimilarity to actual places (a vaguely Venetian baroque setting, some unusual fauna, a race of winged-people, and an unusual interlude later on). But until about 2/3 of the way through, the fantastic elements are just window-dressing and the plot could With Great Ease be told as an episode of, say, Gossip Girl.

And I'd prefer if the plots of my fantasies had some aspect that necessitated their being a fantasy, otherwise it seems kind of pointless. Take Harry Potter, remove all the magic, just leave the bits about who he'll ask to the dance, etc., and it's not the same experience!

The writing is often beautiful, so a star for that, but I'm not sure I was able to appreciate what the writer was trying to accomplish here. Much was made (not in the way of plot, but as background) of the fact that in this fantasy world humans were descended from dinosaurs, essentially, who still exist and are plentiful, but this fact had no effect on anything. I'm puzzled.

(And eventual the book builds up to a stunningly unsurprising reveal which I can only imagine the author intended to be stunningly unsurprising, because it's that obvious.)

(Note: 5 stars = rare and amazing, 4 = quite good book, 3 = a decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. There are a lot of 4s and 3s in the world!) ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
Pouca fantasia e demasiado enredo shakespeariano para meu gosto. Um pouco decepcionante face a umas expectativas um pouco altas ( )
  bruc79 | Jul 31, 2015 |
*note to self.copy from Al.
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
One of the best sf novels I've ever read. It takes place in Malacia, a city that is an alternate 18th-century Italy where most inhabitants feel protected by their rulers' rejection of social and political change. The story follows Perian, a broke actor, as he cuts across all levels of society as part of a company that is presenting a play using a new process, mercurization, aka photography. This is sf's Candide and a neglected classic. If that isn't enough for you, there is also a dinosaur hunt. ( )
1 vote rameau | Feb 13, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brian Aldissprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
You sing of the old gods easily
In the days when you are young,
When love and trust seem not at odds;
But I know there are gods behind the gods,
Gods that are best unsung.

K. G. St Chentero
(XVI Mil.)
Dedication
For Margaret

time under glass
dawn, and pollen clouds
crossing green ocean

you are my dream
green dream of existence
frail but enduring
First words
Smoke was drifting through my high window, obscuring the light.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 042508079X, Paperback)

In the timeless city of Malacia, a place swathed in magic and on the brink of war, lives a young man named Perian de Chirolo – a free-spirit, a fearless lover – who embarks on a harrowing odyssey with dramatic consequences for himself and all Malacians. This is a gripping tale of wonder, lust and destiny.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In a grand medieval city where all change has been outlawed, a roguish young actor tempts fate and dinosaurs, all in the name of love By law, nothing can change in Malacia-a teeming, eternal city of dukes, players, wizards, merchants, beggars, ape-men, lizard-boys, and courtesans-but that is of no great consequence to Perian de Chirolo. An out-of-work actor and unabashed rogue, he is well satisfied with his lot as long as there's coin, eager young women to bed, and the occasional adventure. Perhaps it is this thrill-seeking spirit-or simply the lure of noble beauty-that makes Perian imprudently agree to take part in a mad inventor's illegal experiments, since such foolishness will never be tolerated in Malacia. But Perian's rash actions will only lead him on to further indiscretions, winning him first fame and then notoriety, causing him to be hunted, hounded, martyred, and trapped in a fight to the death with a razor-toothed Ancestral Beast on the outskirts of the city. And perhaps most frightening of all, Perian de Chirolo will find himself in love. Grand Master Brian W. Aldiss, one of science fiction's most able and ingenious creative artists, performs a truly astonishing feat of alternate-world building, immersing the reader in an unforgettable Medieval fantasy realm rich in color, incident, invention, and peril-and of course, giant lizards. Welcome to Malacia.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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