Hiatt suggests that two traditional thematic approaches to the antipodes—as part of ancient history and as part of the history of discoveries—and a tripartite periodization—ancient/medieval, Age of Discovery, and eighteenth/nineteenth century surveying—have dominated treatments of the Antipodes in cartographic history and historigraphical geography. In this book he traces the development of Antipodean representation through European history as a whole. Collapsing the boundaries between these buckets provides useful insights for the complex, evolving, and multivalent ways that the Antipodes, and unknown spaces in general, influenced European cosmographies and epistemologies.
I am torn on my reaction to this book. On the one hand, I appreciate its engagement with world building and big-picture, strategic concerns. On the other hand, the strategic picture it paints frequently feels confused. I enjoyed the anti-colonial/anti-imperial thematics of it, but wished they were explored with more variety and detail. I enjoyed the willingness to be unflinching and brutal with the main characters in a way that makes sense in this world, but felt like it was frequently done in a lazily shocking way.
A short detective story in an interesting near future urban fantasy world. Ellis published it as a Kindle Single in an almost off-the-cuff fashion last fall and suggests that it will be the first of a series, one story for each of the boroughs of the city of Elektrograd. I look forward to reading more of them.