A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.
When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’ ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap in to the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik — a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.
Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv, a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation — a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness – are just the beginning of irrevocable change. At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive… and even evolve.
The book is published in print by Tachyon Publications, and is out now. Here’s just a small selection taken from the great reviews the novel has received recently…
‘Magnificently blends literary and speculative elements in this streetwise mosaic novel set under the towering titular spaceport… Tidhar gleefully mixes classic SF concepts with prose styles and concepts that recall the best of world literature. The byways of Central Station ring with dusty life, like the bruising, bustling Cairo streets depicted by Naguib Mahfouz. Characters wrestle with problems of identity forged under systems of oppression, much as displaced Easterners and Westerners do in the novels of Orhan Pamuk. And yet this is unmistakably SF. Readers of all persuasions will be entranced.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
‘A fascinating future glimpsed through the lens of a tight-knit community. Verdict: Tidhar… changes genres with every outing, but his astounding talents guarantee something new and compelling no matter the story he tells.’ — Library Journal (Starred Review)
‘It is just this side of a masterpiece — short, restrained, lush — and the truest joy of it is in the way Tidhar scatters brilliant ideas like pennies on the sidewalk.’ — NPR Books
‘Tidhar’s prose draws the reader in, bringing this world to life with ease… Not only intelligent, it’s emotional too… Tidhar is reminiscent of an early William Gibson, not just in sharing that short and punchy style, but in his ability to create a world where the speculation is believable enough to fit seamlessly into the narrative… cement[s] Lavie Tidhar as one of science fiction’s great voices, an author who creates scenarios and characters that feel destined to become classics, ones that readers will be happy to revisit time and time again. It’s a compelling collection that mixes the epic and the intimate, one that succeeds at being profound, incredibly moving and, quite simply, stunning.’ (10/10) — Starburst
‘A marvellous, multi-faceted story that flows gently from one character to another like an intimate private tour of Tel Aviv and the spaceport at its centre.’ — SF Crowsnest
‘The stories include some of Tidhar’s most beautiful prose, and his future Tel Aviv is among the most evocative settings in recent SF… Somehow, CENTRAL STATION combines a cultural sensibility too long invisible in SF with a sensibility which is nothing but classic SF, and the result is a rather elegant suite of tales.’ — Locus
‘A fantastic mosaic novel.’ — New York Review of Science Fiction