Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Asimov he's not.

I read a couple books on the suggestion of Unshelved. They were... okay, I guess. Half the SF I try seems to be hardly more than adolescent male fantasies given a boost into the future and some spaceships and aliens for colour.

Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained are no different. It isn't explicit more than a couple times throughout a couple thousand pages, but the society is described as hardly having marriages worthy of the name, pornography is accepted as suitable for broadcast on television (or super 3-D vision or whatever it's called) and the whole galaxy is perfectly at home with lots of consequence-free coupling. Oh, and everyone gets to live forever and stay 22 years old in appearance indefinitely. I exaggerate; it's really only the 80% of the population that counts as upper class.

Which is a pity, because the story itself is fairly interesting and there are a couple sympathetic characters. I started to feel sorry for them having to put up with being in these books. The plot is about how an alien has infiltrated human society and manipulates the humans into contact with an aggressive alien species in an effort to cripple them both so that the hidden aliens can rule the galaxy. It's really a three-sided battle between the alien, the small group of humans who know what it's up to and the oblivious masses trying to fight the aggressive aliens and stop the humans claiming subversion from within, since they think that's nothing more than a lunatic terrorist group.

The best characters are the criminal mastermind who is recruited to work with the humans who know of the hidden alien and the detective, genetically designed to be as efficient as possible, who is assigned to hunt him down. Still, with the degree of nonsense, I can't recommend it in good conscience.

----------------
Listening to: Marzipan f/Strong Bad - Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits- 13 - Sensitive To Bees
via FoxyTunes