SPIN won the 2014 British Science Fiction Association Award. Nina Allan is acclaimed as a short fiction author and 'Spin' brings you an opportunity to try her longer fiction. 'Spin' is a novella which weaves Greek mythology, science fiction and alternate history into Layla Vargas'. journey across an alternate modern Greece.
In the myth Arachne was the awesomely skilled weaver whose tapestries challenged the gods and eventually resulted in her being transformed into a spider. In Nina's novella Layla is our surrogate for Arachne and her fate and destiny, powers of prophecy and possibly those gods are implicit in her story and the stories of the people she meets.
Here are some quotes from reviews:
“Nina Allan’s re-imagining of the Arachne myth, with its receding overlays of the modern and the antique, creates a space all its own. The scene is clean and minimal, the light Mediterranean, the story seems musing and sad: but by the last two pages, Spin has you in a grip that persists long after you put it down” M. John Harrison
“The writing is precise, the imagery vividly sensual; by re-imagining ancient myth in a stunningly realised alternate Greece, Nina Allan traps you in a web of story” Paul Kincaid
“Spin blends contemporary, fantastical, futuristic, and contemporary elements in a way that Nina Allan is making her own” David Hebblethwaite
“Allan expertly weaves SF, fantasy and mythology into a subtle, seamless, dreamlike whole. I loved it” Neil Williamson
"Journeys mean something in a story like this one. They shouldn’t be rushed. They should be full of places, of encounters: With the young man afflicted with a curse. A fascinating epic poem on which Layla bases her newest work. The masterpieces of ancient sibyls, catching dust in the museum. Spiders weaving in the sunlight, busy at their work. The details so clear, so well-chosen to make a story."
–RECOMMENDED" Lois Tilton www.locusmag.com/Reviews/#spin
"Ultimately “Spin” succeeds for me because Allan is not trying to compete or improve upon the Arachne myth, nor is she wilfully offering up a new and jaunty twist. (Meowmorphosis… please.) No, instead what we get is a highly personal piece that was written for and is dedicated to her father. No RPG’s were needed in the arena after all, folks. The fight wasn’t there to begin with."
In short, I’d heartily recommend “Spin” to fans of literary sci-fi and fantasy, and especially to those already familiar with Nina Allan’s work. If you tick any of those boxes then I doubt you’d be disappointed with this."
Rating: 5/5" Lucian Poll lucianpoll.com/2013/04/01/review-spin-by-nina-allan/
About the Author
Nina was born in Whitechapel, London, grew up in the Midlands and West Sussex, and studied Russian literature at the University of Exeter and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. "I wrote my first short story at the age of six. Recurring obsessions include old clocks and rare insects, forgotten manuscripts and abandoned houses. Writers who have inspired and continue to inspire me include among many others Vladimir Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Auster, J. G Ballard, Roberto Bolano, M. John Harrison and of course Christopher Priest, my partner and first reader. We live and work in the historic seaside town of Hastings, East Sussex. "My stories have appeared regularly in premier British speculative fiction magazines Interzone, Black Static and Crimewave, and have featured in the anthologies Best Horror of the Year #2, The Year’s Best SF #28 and The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2012 and 2013. My story ‘Angelus’ won the Aeon Award in 2007, and short fiction of mine has shown up on BFS and BSFA shortlists on several occasions. "A first collection of my short fiction, A Thread of Truth, was published by Eibonvale Press in 2007, followed by my story cycle The Silver Wind in 2011. My most recent books are Microcosmos (NewCon Press March 2013) and Stardust: The Ruby Castle Stories (PS Publishing April 2013). I have recently completed work on a novel, What Happened to Maree, set in an alternate and near-future version of southeast England. I am about to make a start on something new." (May 2013)