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Article

Pollen

Posted on

Pollen

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Jeff Noon
publisher:
Crown
genre:
Fiction, Sci-fi and Fantasy

We gave it an A-

In a future world poised ”on a constant knife-edge between species,” Jeff Noon pits mutants and telepaths against illusory creatures fighting for a foothold in reality. Noon demonstrated his singularly psychedelic imaginative powers in his first novel, Vurt, but this sequel makes that look tame by comparison. In Pollen, flowers have sex with humans; Manchester, England, is a living organism controlled by a cab dispatcher; and drug travelers visit Rio de Bobdeniro, where they access the violent visions of either a long-ago movie star, a real-life villain, or a mama’s boy (no one quite remembers which). Dimensional characters are not Noon’s strong suit, and his flip-flopping realities lose their logic toward the end when he attempts to fold too many mythical and literary references into this ambitious tale. Nonetheless, as a funny, heartfelt, and action-packed slice of cyberdelia, Pollen confirms that Noon’s talent is nothing to sneeze at. A-