Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Hobbit, May 1, 2007.
Discussion now open. To get things started, do you agree or disagree with Rob's review?
I liked the book quite a lot and look forward to the next one because of the characters and style, more than the bio-nano-babble. In general books that take one or several particular things (tech, headlines...) then magnify them to power n and make the whole society revolve around them (cyberpunk, steampunk, disaster novels and so on) are hit or miss with me, based exactly on characters/style, since human society is too varied and likely to remain so for such scenarios to really convince me.
In terms of ideas the book is ok, but is not that audacious and the timescale is just not plausible, I do not expect the world of 1000 years hence to be understandable to us. On the other hand by and large this does not bother me if I like the writting and characters, I just mentioned it since some reviews of Infoquake really overdid it in praising as visionary and so on. Blindsight is visionary, Spin is visionary, Brasyl is visionary, even Accelerando/Glasshouse, but Infoquake while a good SF book and excellent debut is definitely not.
Still a very good read for me; check the excerpts if you have not read the book and if you like what you see get it.
I really enjoyed it and fell that it should have gotten more attention than it did - I'd have loved to see a Hugo nomination. I don't think I'd support it winning the Hugo, but it certainly deserved a nomination.
To spice up the discussion a bit - here is a link to some discussion last month about the science in Infoquake at Edelman's blog. It started with this review by Spinrad and this response from SF Diplomat.
Months later the book is sticking with me, more so the audaciousness of the protagonist. While the novel is set in a fairly far future with advanced technology, Natch is what stood out to me.
In the Locus poll I voted Infoquake 5th as best sf (after Blindsight, Eifelheim, Glasshouse, Spin Control) and 2 as best debut (after Blade Itself, about a tie with Lies of Locke Lamora) so I agree that it could have been nominated for a Hugo or at least Mr. Edelman for a Campbell, but again the strength of the book are Natch, Jara (it seems they will have a big fallout/fight in book2 !), the rest of the supporting characters, and the engaging style, not the one dimensional colourless nano-babble world.
Trying to discuss the book on the credibility of bio-nano-babble leads to nonsensical statements that is a fantasy or such. Infoquake is not and does not try to be hard sf and categorizing it there leads to mistaken expectations in my opinion.
Did this future timeline/timescale ruffle any other feathers? I personally thought his timeline and the background of the future's 'present' was a nice conceit.
I'm with you on this one.
First of all I apologize for joining the discussion so late. May it's been not the easiest time for me...
I agree mostly with suciul's analysis of the book. The technology seems not very believable to me, but the characters are quite interesting. Also, I think that the social impact of the technology is a bit understated and I think the book would have worked a bit better had it been located in the near-future.
By the way, it reminded a lot of "True names" by Vernor Vinge, which I read recently. Has anyone else noticed the similitude?
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