Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 15, 2005

The Family Trade by Charles Stross

Everybody in the room has read at least a part of The Family Trade, and everybody except one person finished it. Several people had also read the sequel, The Hidden Family, which is actually just the second part of the same novel. A significant chunk of time was spent debating why the American publisher decided to split the novel into two parts, whereas in Britain it was published as one book. Several readers vented their anger at Tor, who “took an axe and went down the middle.”

Another big chunk of the discussion was spent comparing The Family Trade with other world-walking SF and fantasy books, such as Bulmer’s The Diamond Contessa, or most notably Roger Zelazny’s Amber series, which reportedly was an inspiration for Stross. Comparisons with Amber were in Stross’s favor, because in Amber, to quote a reader, “everybody can do any damn thing, and it’s really

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