enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Karl Schroeder, Ventus

I read this book about 13-Sep-2003. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2000. This note was last modified Wednesday, 24-Sep-2003 16:24:57 PDT.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


My second by this author. I've seen considerable favorable comment on rec.arts.sf.written, I remember particularly Andrew Plotkin. I liked Permanence a lot, so when I found Ventus used I had to grab it.

So far this is very good indeed. An interesting pseudo-fantasy setting, a colony planet where the nanotech and AI put in place to terraform the place and get it ready for settlers seems to have forgotten the settlers were coming. So the people live rather lo-tech lives, and don't know what the Winds really are.

And some people from off-planet have covertly brought the trailing pieces of an interstellar war against god-level AI to the planet. Eeep!

It's a really ambitious first novel. It does accomplish a lot, and it's fun. The idea of a planet saturated with nanotech dedicated to telling you what things are is fascinating. The Winds and other controlling AIs making the planet stable and livable for humans sounds just like how it might be done. And having things not work quite right is almost inevitable.

I do think the definition and debate over "thalience" isn't terribly clear.

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David Dyer-Bennet