Sunday, December 26, 2010

Discord and Unincorporated

"Discord's Apple" had a great premise: what if you inherited- albeit against your will- a basement full of the artifacts discussed in a dozen different mythologies? What I didn't expect was graphic sexuality, and how author Carrie Vaughn moved the premise from the core of the story to the background. I wanted to explore more of what that basement contained and how it got that way, but the heroine soon faces a ruthless opponent and gains some mythological help, and before you know it the story comes to a chaotic conclusion that was well written, but not very satisfying for me. I want to rate this one higher, but despite some great ideas and creative presentations, I had a hard time really enjoying this one as much as I wanted to. Flawed? Yes, but original and showing promise. 25 /42 Richmans,

Now why did I have to try to read the Kollin brothers (Eytan and Dani) fine "the Unincorporated Man" three times? Because the copy I told the library was missing 40 pages was not repaired; it was just put right back into circulation. This happened three times. Finally, I got past page 92. It's great, but does it have new classic status? Let's run through the checklist.
*A detailed and bold vision of the future? Yah.
*A part of the book that will stay with you? Oh my, will the VR plague issues be with me.
*Will I want to read it again? Er... maybe.
*Moral and Philosphical messages? A great deal; in fact the comparisons to Heinline are very apt- no sci-fi work since "Starship Troopers" has had so much political theory disguised as sci-fi plot. And therefore, people might really hate this book.

But as great sci-fi does, it raises questions about the dangers of technology- both those that will affect the body and those that will affect the mind. It may not have the action that some readers want, and it has its slow spots. But one thing never happens when you read this- you never feel that the reality in which the characters live is anything less than real. So what score does this rank? Does it break into the fabled 40's? Not yet. For now, I'm giving the book a probationary 36/42. This book is many things- a warning about the dangers of technologies headed our way, about the nature of corporations and freedom, and a bit of adventure. It's rich sci-fi with a message, and worthy the late night ours . But will I read it again? Not for a long time, which along with some of the slow moving political theory is what keeps "Unincorporated" out of the 40's. But don't let that stop you from reading it.