The Capricorn Sky
Colly Campbell (author page)
There’s a lot to like in The Capricorn Sky but unfortunately there’s more than a little to dislike, too. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first.
It’s Campbell’s first novel (nothing wrong with that) and it’s self-published. The book’s unpolished design (fonts, text spacing, etc) sends up the first warning signals and suggests immediately that it has missed out on the benefit of experienced editorial eyes and hands. Furthermore, Campbell has chosen to write in an invented future English in which hyphenated words are replaced by camelCase, “qu” by “qw” (qwite, qwiet, etc), and there are other neologisms and re-spellings. He probably intended that it would help place the action where it’s set, at the end of this century. It’s a tactic which can work well in the hands of an experienced writer (Burgess’s Clockwork Orange and Hoban’s Riddley Walker come to mind) but this reader, for one, found it merely distracting.
And that’s a pity, because Campbell has set a good story in a worryingly plausible future North Queensland.