BooksOfTheMoon

Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone

By Ian McDonald

Rating: 3 stars

As a bright art design student, Ethan Ring helped discover fracters: the synthesis of images that bypass the mind and directly affect the brain, bringing healing, pain, freezing of time sense, death and more. He was later recruited by the European Security Forces as an agent but his troubled soul is now on a journey of self-discovery through Buddhist temples in Japan.

The mcguffin of this book is faintly ridiculous, but I was able to suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy it. I’m a fan of McDonald’s work, and, although somewhat muted, the lyrical, somewhat whimsical, style that I enjoy so much was detectable through the work. The book starts with Ethan’s pilgrimage and the story of how he came to help create the fracters is told in flashback alongside his journey through a Japan filled with street gangs and private security firms happier to wield the bullet than the notebook, fighting his desire to use his fracters, for good and ill, along the way.

Like I said, the fracters themselves are faintly ridiculous, so it’s Ethan’s spiritual journey as he fights against the powers that bind him and against the demon box full of images that has his soul in hock that really holds the book together and drives the plot. Worth reading.

Book details

ISBN: 9780553561166
Publisher: Spectra
Year of publication: 1994

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