enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Linda Nagata, Deception Well

I read this book about 4-Oct-2003. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1997. This note was last modified Tuesday, 10-Feb-2004 23:44:30 PST.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Well, I made it past the first point when I was seriously considering not finishing it, anyway.

There's an underlying mysticism, both in the situation and in the characters, that I dislike intensely. Yes, some of it's explained as the effects of the "tears", chemical sensors in Lot's face. There isn't much actual explanation, no understanding of the rules, and Lot himself doesn't understand them. And isn't, so far as I can see, interested in learning, either.

There's also the aspect of playing out the human future among the ruins, animate and otherwise, of gargantuan alien constructions that we don't understand. Fine, it's a valid view, some good stuff has been done with it. But I've been encountering it too often; Summertide has a big dose of this, and Ventus, and Dread Empire's Fall: The Praxis. If you want to work this stuff, you should do more with the interesting parts—like people whose job it is to try to understand the stuff. Summertide should have had a great shot at that, but didn't. Vinge did a related idea very well, just as a throwaway—the job title "Programmer Archaeologist" says it all.

Luckily, it got somewhat better. Still, though, the characters are dealing with non-human artifacts millions of years old entirely by instinct and simple analogy, no attempt to actually think about the problems. That's very annoying.

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David Dyer-Bennet