The Roamers by Francesco Verso
(Flame Tree Press, 2023)
Reviewed by Stuart Carter
Long, long ago, back in the nineties before I’d written a single review for Vector, it felt like a boom time for nanotechnology in science fiction: Neal Stephenson’s whimsical The Diamond Age, Kathleen Ann Goonan’s jazz-heavy ,Nanontech Quartet, Wil McCarthy’s vertiginous Bloom, and the grandaddy of them all, Greg Bear’s magnificent Blood Music.
So, I felt a Proustian rush on reading this new nanotech novel: The Roamers, by Francesco Verso. Set in Rome, and translated from the original Italian, The Roamers follows a group who “…altered their bodies, changed the way they eat and liberated themselves from the need for food” (back cover). The blurb mixes the terrifying onrush of transformation in Blood Music with the hard work of grasping and maintaining freedom seen in much of Cory Doctorow’s work.
Review from BSFA Review 21 - Download your copy here.