Tuesday, 18 September 2007

2 Science Fiction books

Finished September 16
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
This very engaging book gives an alternate future for a present day Earth. In this alternate future, the earth is "protected" by a membrane or blanket around it. The first the earth's inhabitants are aware of it is when the stars and the moon disappear one night, and the nights are left in the dark. The three characters at the centre of the book are Jason and his twin sister Diana and their friend Tyler. Jason is a boy genius, who makes this membrane his life's work. Diana reacts initially with dismay and then with rebellion, joining a radical religious movement and estranging herself from her family. Tyler is her touchstone when she needs to talk. Tyler finds himself still drawn to Jason and Diana and their family as he becomes an adult and is their confidant and friend. The characters felt very real and not forced in any way. I liked the premise of the book and found it original and yet not unbelievable. A great read and great plot.

Finished September 14
Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer
This science fiction plot was interesting, the idea of replicating a human mind and putting it into a fabricated body to allow people to live "forever". In this case the service of this replicating has been marketed to those with physical ailments or the genetics that determine that they will eventually have certain ailments. The main character Jake Sullivan is afraid of succumbing to the illness that made his father a vegetable and has lived his life afraid to make commitments and enter relationships. Another character, Karen is a science fiction writer who has arthritis and other age-related physical ailments. After going through the process, they both encounter new issues both from within themselves and from others in their lives. As they deal with these, the ethics of biotech becomes a topic as does the issue of what makes a person human. I found the plot engaging, but the characters themselves seemed a bit less than human. They seemed a level removed and I didn't identify with them on an emotional level.

No comments:

Post a Comment