Sunday, October 28, 2012

I hate it when this happens

So, since The Rapture of the Nerds  by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross is due back Tuesday and has enough requests that I can't renew it, I've been trying to plow through it.

It was a heck of a lot better in the description in the library mailer.

Because really, I'm either missing a bunch of stuff, or it wasn't aimed at me. Because reading about the adventures of a future Welshman gone to Tripoli to be on a tech jury while wearing a bio-hazard burqa  has really most sincerely left me cold.

Huw wakes up with a hangover at the beginning in a post-sigularity world. (Singularity defined in the text as the point where technology more or less broke linear time.) We get a bit of flavor as to how the world works now (something about the solar system dissolving into semi-sentient dust that people can hack into and download stuff from), then we get Huw (a post post modern curmudgeon) flying to Tripoli to judge technology someone downloaded. (Again, the logic here is not great. Something about how new technology that's downloaded must be judged by a jury as to whether or not it should be released on humanity, or what's left of it.)

Huw also has some kind of bio-tech disease that's reminding me a bit of Warlock in the old New Mutants comic book.

I'm guessing there's satire involved here, since the device he's on the jury for somehow shares part of a genome with Sarah Palin.

Really, it's a bit like reading a less interesting version of the witchfinder from Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen. (If you want to read a co-authored work of fiction, that one is a good place to start and to finish.)

I'll be honest, my tastes in science fiction are a bit odd to begin with, so this may just be one of the ones that's far enough in another substrata of genre that I'm not liking it. If it was closer to Matt Ruff's Sewer, Gas, and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy, I might have liked it more. (That one has a hologram version of Ayn Rand running around, so it's amusing that I enjoyed it.)

Hell, I'll even read Michael Crichton on occasion, even though he annoys me more with each passing page. I guess when I read science fiction, I expect either full on space opera where somehow the laws of physics have been changed to a point where they don't really effect how fast a star ship can travel (Lois McMAsters Bujold comes to mind. Time does play a factor in travels, but there is still a bunch of Sci-Fi shorthand for getting places), or social commentary (Crichton or Heinlein or Haldeman or Bradbury), or go literary with it the way Dan Simmons did with his Ilium/Olympos cycle (wherein Shakespeare's Caliban is running around with a recreation of the Illiad on Mars, people on Earth reliving Proust...It sounds like a mishmash, but wow, it's fun to read.)

I do recall reading Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke in Junior High and liking it; I also recall loathing Orson Scott Card's Red Prophet series. I remember my first Asimov, Nemisis, which was a fun read, even if the conclusion left a lot to be desired. And who can forget John Christopher's Tripod Trilogy, which I recall reading in serialized graphic form in the back of Boy's Life every month. I still love those books.

When I read Science fiction, it does make me miss my dad. He LOVED the stuff. I imagine he could better help me find stuff that would appeal to me more so than this tprobably better than I think it is tripe I'm going to return unfinished.