book cover of The Flies of Memory

The Flies of Memory

(1990)
A novel by

 
 
Publisher's Weekly
Watson's latest novel is a quirky, thoughtful exploration of memory, history and the nature of individual identity, all couched in a playful, fast-moving story full of well-drawn characters. When the alien Flies arrive and announce their cryptic intent to ''remember'' the planet, a team assembles to try to communicate with the aliens and, if possible, learn the secret of their stardrive. Psychologist Charles Spark psychic Olivia Mendelssohn and nun Sister Kathinka study the Flies as they tour Rome, apparently committing every detail of the city to memory. But then a Fly is killed by a hostile mob and the dome of St. Peter's vanishes simultaneously--it seems that when a Fly ''remembers'' a place, the site's very existence relies on the Fly's memory. When, after other ''forgetting'' accidents, a lost part of Munich appears on Mars, the world mounts a hasty expedition to investigate as Charles and the others persevere. Watson does a superb job of holding his material together, while offering intelligent comments about the power and burden of memory and history. Although he sometimes falls back on unvarnished exposition to develop his points and although his use of surreal elements becomes heavy-handed toward the end, this is surely one of the more ambitious and rewarding science fiction novels of the year.

Library Journal
When the unexpected arrival of insect-like aliens results in the wholesale disappearance of pieces of the Earth, ''truth consultant'' Charles Spark undertakes an almost impossible task: to recover what was lost and fathom the power behind the alien invasion. Watson specializes in tautly constructed novels of ideas, and his latest effort is no exception.

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Used availability for Ian Watson's The Flies of Memory

Hardback Editions

December 1991 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Flies of Memory
Author(s): Ian Watson
ISBN: 0-88184-782-8 / 978-0-88184-782-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


November 1990 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Flies of Memory
Author(s): Ian Watson
ISBN: 0-575-04873-5 / 978-0-575-04873-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Gollancz
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

October 1991 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Flies of Memory
Author(s): Ian Watson
ISBN: 0-575-05163-9 / 978-0-575-05163-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Gollancz
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

September 2011 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Flies of Memory
Author(s): Ian Watson
Publisher: Gateway
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


September 2011 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Flies of Memory
Author(s): Ian Watson
Publisher: Gateway
Availability: Amazon UK