Slow River won both the Nebula Award and the Lambda Literary Award for author Nicola Griffith. The book's near-future setting and devices place it firmly on the science fiction shelves, and the characters' matter-of-fact sexuality further label it as lesbian SF. But make no mistake, Slow River is no subgenre throwaway. Griffith's skill at weaving temporal threads through the plot bring protagonist Lore van de Oest to tragic life, and you will genuinely care about her in the end.
Born into a bioengineering family made wealthy by cleaning up after humanity, Lore leads a life of privilege and power. Riches don't bring happiness, though, and the van de Oest family hides its share of dark secrets. Lore is kidnapped, but escapes from her captors when she realizes her family isn't going to pay the ransom. Naked, alone, and wounded, she is saved by the brutally street-smart Spanner, who teaches Lore to survive by exploiting the Net (and human) weaknesses. To learn to trust, though, Lore must face her demons, one by one, until she can begin again.
Griffith's biotech-science details are accurate, and she fits them smoothly into the story in the manner of a cyberpunk master. This novel's real strength is its characters, though. The van de Oest family, Spanner, even characters who appear only briefly, are all distinct and consistent--not to mention very human. Lore herself seems so personal that Griffith's note about the story's disturbing aspects not being autobiographical was probably wise. Slow River is more than good enough to transcend genre and appeal to both queer SF readers and a more broad audience looking for an excellent character-driven SF story. --Therese Littleton
Set in a dystopian future, Griffith's second novel involves a woman's search for identity.
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i was very disappointed in the book, and amazed that it won a nebula. the science fiction aspects are minimal and mainly related to near-future waste management methods. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2003 by J. Vacek
Not normally a science fiction reader I felt compelled to give this book a shot after reading Nicola's book The Blue Place. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2002 by Sandi
I am a new Nicola Griffith convert. After reading a Blue Place and Stay, I searched for more of Griffith's works. I am not usually interested in sci-fi or futuristic novels. Read morePublished on June 1 2002 by J. Koscher
This book started out interestingly enough, and I figured the plot would make it worth the read. However, after forcing myself through the story (that ended up having a very... Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2001 by "surlyfellow"
The main character Lore has depth, but it is almost as if the author doesn't know what to do with it. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2001 by Amazon Customer
This is one of the most boring science fiction novels I have ever read. The story just kind of plods along. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2001 by Escott Fleming
This book was well-written enough that I didn't trip over my eyeballs or anything, but frankly I didn't see the point. Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2001 by Ben
Nicola Griffith can write. Every word she writes has a purpose and is carefully chosen. The character development in this novel, and really, everything of hers that I've read, is... Read morePublished on Dec 19 2000 by C. Boeck
In this wonderful book, there is so much emotion explaned. Being a sci-fi novel has nothing to do with the way in which the author discribes every detail in Lores life. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2000 by "luckyhart"