Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Ian Watson
Golden Gryphon, 324 pages

Ian Watson
Ian Watson was born in 1943 and brought up in the North of England. He attended Oxford on a scholarship to read English. Married while at Oxford, his wife Judy also came from Tyneside. After leaving school, he became a lecturer in Literature in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania then Tokyo. Returning to Oxford, he taught in Birmingham a few days a week, writing during the daily commute. The Embedding, his first novel, appeared in 1973. In 1976, he became a full-time writer. He and his family live in Moreton Pinkney, a village in Northamptonshire.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Great Escape
Ian Watson Tribute Site

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Michael M Jones

What do body-possessing aliens, mind-destroying drugs, Nazi occultism and reincarnation all have in common? They're the disparate threads of Ian Watson's visionary new novel, Mockymen, a truly bizarre tale of life, death, betrayal, and jigsaw puzzles.

It starts out innocently enough, when an aged Norwegian hires a young British couple to make some very specialized jigsaw puzzles, involving nude pictures of themselves with a certain statuary garden in Oslo. When they discover that this odd commission relates back to Nazi war crimes and a little-known occult line of defense, their lives are thrown into chaos and disarray, ending with a betrayal and an ominous look to the future.

Come the future, and aliens called Mockymen have arrived on Earth, bringing proprietary technology, and a drug which destroys the minds of some who use it, leaving them ripe for temporary possession. Interstellar teleportation has become commonplace, if agonizing to the user, but there's always someone willing to risk pain for the offered pay. Naturally, there are plenty of secrets afloat in this strange new world, and one woman, Anna Sharman, is determined to put the jigsaw pieces of the mystery together. It all ties back to a certain now-dead Norwegian, a young man who recovered from something he shouldn't have, and the true purposes of the Mockymen.

Mockymen is, by all standards, the sort of book you just don't see everyday. Multi-layered, surreal, convoluted and complex, it weaves together a series of different themes to tell a memorable, unique story. It has the same forward-thinking, no-holds-barred, barriers-shattering narrative as a good Philip K. Dick novel, and really takes the concept of consciousness to a new level. That said, it's not an easy read, nor run of the mill by any means. I wouldn't suggest trying to read this one before bed.

Copyright © 2004 Michael M Jones

Michael M Jones enjoys an addiction to books, for which he's glad there is no cure. He lives with his very patient wife (who doesn't complain about books taking over the house... much), eight cats, and a large plaster penguin that once tasted blood and enjoyed it. A prophecy states that when Michael finishes reading everything on his list, he'll finally die. He aims to be immortal.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide