Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I went through some interesting stages as I read this one. I didn't really have any expectations other than a possible or rather probable literature/SF hybrid, delving deeper into the introspective and lyrical areas of space. Perhaps it could have been an oddball exploration, perhaps humorous.
As I read, I noticed the lyrical bits and there's plenty of deep characterization and family and memory going on, which seems to be the common thread for long missions in space these days, but then something happened. An alien!
I had a great time with that. Everything tied together and I flowed into it pretty nicely.
And then the book took a rather depressing turn that I won't go into without spoilers and then it all just devolved into romantic theme between Jakub and Lenka that got progressively morose let alone objectively sad.
That in itself isn't precisely a dealbreaker, but sitting around feeling bad for oneself through the eyes of a character that could be ourselves is slightly narcissistic and indulgent and the rest of the novel, while I can appreciate it intellectually, became something less than enjoyable.
I'm saying it. I don't think I like this new breed of LitSF titles. I grew up reading Literature before I went nuts with SF, even got a degree in it. I used to think it would be fantastic to see the two meet and grow together, but if this is the flavor of things to come, I think I want to go back to the whole action bits.
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