March 20, 2003
Galveston by Sean Stewart

Galveston by Sean Stewart: this was simply one of the most magical, most amazing books that I have read in years.

It’s the story of Galveston, Texas, set after an event that the locals call The Flood. In Mardis Gras of 2004, magic flooded the world, plunging part of Galveston into a never-ending party where things like cars, cigarettes, medicine, and air conditioning still exist. The “real” Galveston, however, becomes one where technology and modern products become rare and won’t work well.

The book centers around Sloane Gardner, the daughter of Jane Gardner, the “mayor” of Galveston who has banished all with magical talent to the everlasting Mardi Gras. Jane has struggled for years to keep Gavleston afloat and wants Sloane to continue in her footsteps. The other main figure is that of Josh Cane, an apothecary who grew up with Sloane. I hate to give any more than this away since I found the book so wildly different from almost anything I had read and never knew where Stewart was going to take his characters next.

This book won the World Fantasy Award with good reason and I would strongly recommend this book to anyone, especially the lovers of sci-fi and fantasy. I felt that the ending was a bit weak - it felt like the story just kind of petered out. However, that alone could not subtract from the wonder that is Galveston.

On a personal aside, few of the books that I ever read are set in Texas, much less Houston or Galveston, a city that I am familiar with. I loved the fact that when the went to a building or walked down a street, I knew just where they were.