Now Reading

Now Reading: Silicon Dreams, by Greenberg and Segriff.

Just Finished: Circuit of Heaven, by Dennis Danvers.

I liked this book, with some reservations, which I’ll get to later. It was a story of what happens when humanity gets the choice to live forever as data in a simulation of a perfect world, or to live and die in an empty, post-apocalyptic wasteland. In this way, it reminded me of But What Of Earth, though in that book, humanity was leaving Earth to colonize the galaxy, not to live in a dream world. It also reminded me of Diaspora, though in that book, humanity went on to explore the universe and beyond, despite having been digitized.

As for the reservations? Well, I figured out fairly early on the true nature of the heroine. I also had a pretty good idea of exactly where the story was going to go. While this didn’t ruin the story for me, it did make me a bit impatient with the author for dragging it out for so long. Let me put it another way. I lent a friend of mine my copy of Corum: The Coming Of Chaos, a book I’d read back in high school. While my friend enjoyed the book, he had an interesting observation about it. It seemed to him that storytelling styles had changed over the past thirty years, that in one chapter, Corum would talk to a king, then sail a boat, then kill a monster, then kill the king. A more modern series would take quite a bit longer than one chapter to tell the same story. Now, it’s possible that all my friend really noticed was the difference in storytelling styles between Michael Moorcock and, oh, I don’t know, Terry Goodkind. But I think that Circuit of Heaven is an excellent example of someone taking a long time to tell a short story.

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2 thoughts on “Now Reading”

  1. I’ve often thought that some books stretched out to novel length were really at heart short stories or novellas, particularly the latter. But novellas don’t have much of a market, so, with soupcon of padding, are repackaged as novels. Thus they seem dragged out and fleshy, when at heart the story is much cleaner and spare.

  2. Hmm. I wonder how much of that has to do with the market, e.g. a novel can’t make a profit unless it’s sold for $7.50, but a consumer won’t buy a $7.50 novel unless it’s at least 400 pages long.

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