German SF books? You don’t see them very often translated to a broader public in English.
I’ve read Eschbach’s Das Jesus Video before, which is a kind of time-travel story, and very well-known in Germany – it even has been adapted as a film.
The novel’s structure hooked me right from the the start, as it is structured as connected short stories. It might even be called an anthology of stories in a common setting building up a plot. This is an interesting connection to Trafalgar by Gorodischer, which happens to be part of Penguin’s new Classics imprint, as Trafalgar is also a narration consisting of several short stories.
The plot is centered around the eponymous carpets. Material for the carpets is human hair – the hair of the weaver’s daughters and wifes. They need a whole life to weave one single carpet as an act of devotion to a God-Emperor who ruled his galaxy-wide empire for some 80,000 years.
The stories plant spotlights with different point of views around that business: The weavers, the merchants, the space transporters etc.
The stories are connected not only concerning their common setting but also by sharing characters – some characters show up in two or three stories.
This might be an issue for readers who are more used to one single protagonist driving a linear story.
In summary, I loved the short-story form, the involved characters, the topics and the ending. It’s been translated into several languages, and the last time for an English publication has been more than ten years ago. It is well-time to bring this excellent book back into readers’ attention.