Reviews & Critics
He writes a heady, zest-filled prose that whips up a froth of speculation about anthropology and linguistics, topology, structuralism and astro-physics – in fact, after reading Watson’s novels one has the first dazed impression that there is virtually nothing that they aren’t about. J.G. Ballard in New Statesman.
For sheer inventiveness and intellectual brilliance, Ian Watson has already established a place in the fronbt rank of contemporary writers. Sunday Times.
A phenomenon, a national resource to be conserved. Ian Watson resembles H.G. Wells in both invention and impatience. Times Literary Supplement.
Ian Watson is perhaps the most impressive synthesiser of ideas in modern sf.
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.
Watson’s imagination runs riot, but his prose has the poise to keep one in the picture throughout. Don’t anybody lock this man up, just yet. The List.
Mr Watson wreaks havoc with what is accepted – and acceptable. The Times.
Ian Watson is among the very few writers of any sort of fiction who can genuinely handle the front line of contemporary intellectual work. The Observer.
Very few writers could mix aliens and the occult and produce a satisfying story, and Ian Watson is definitely among that small number. – Chronicle
Watson’s polished prose favors wry observations, sophisticated punning and droll interior monologues on the part of Anna Sharman. Yet in many passages he provides brilliantly painted exteriors as well. Like a blend of Robert Silverberg, Umberto Eco, and Philip K. Dick… – Washington Post
In the hands of another, less intelligent writer, this kind of flashy story could become incoherent, but Watson has enough intellectual power to ground his tale… Fans of one of science fiction’s most inventive and playful intellects
and those who prefer new ideas with their science fiction should find Mockymen
rewarding. – Sci.Fi.com
About my comic SF novel Converts: …the pace is breathless. …Mr Watson seems to have imbibed the spirit of Grok. Gone is the intellectual rack of his earlier work, and in its place we are assailed by a feather duster bastinado… As in any good farce there are a lot of old jokes, but they are delivered in the manner of a true farceur, with conviction, style, and relish.Vector.
About The Book of the River: Ian Watson, always a surprising writer, outdoes himself, If you doubt that a male novelist can create a convincing feminist utopia, if you think that all utopias are necessarily dull, if you believe that the first book in a projected trilogy must conclude without a proper sense of closure, read this tale of Yaleen the river-woman and be pleasantly surprised. New York Times Book Review.
About my horror novel The Fire Worm: …it is, in fact, the best horror novel since Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory; and – as well as drawing liberally on psychiatry, genre writers’ in-jokes, and historical fiction – presents a churning image of AIDS-era male sexual terror which should have Clive Barker kicking himself for not thinking of it first. Q.
About my science fantasy saga Lucky´s Harvest, volume one of The Books of Mana: Crammed with exotic details… bizarre aliens and even stranger human (and animal) mutants… all the spawn of Watson’s unbridled imagination… all I ask of the sequel is more of the same.” Locus.
Brilliant and canny manoeuvres of narrative. John Clute in Interzone.
About The Flies of Memory: Ian Watson gift-wraps startling ideas with great entertainment. The Times.
Ian Watson’s latest novel is brilliantly imagined… stunningly evoked… Watson remains a joy to read. Vector.
About my technothriller Hard Questions: A stunning, cutting edge tour-de-force. Critical Wave.
One of the very cleverest of British SF writers… this one has real soul, and a strong beat as well. The Good Book Guide.
A pinball-machine adventure involving murder, torture, kidnapping, and cross-country pursuit… a kind of John D. MacDonald-on-steroids thriller. And then the Science Fiction part kicks in… Locus.