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( Mar. 20th, 2009 11:12 am)
"Rainbow's End" is fantastic. I feel like I've committed a crime by not discovering Vernor Vinge sooner. I'm about halfway through and it's blowing me away. I could do without all of the international intrigue and 21st century weapons of mass destruction part of it. It's typical post-cyberpunk Stand-Alone-Complex-esque fair that's about as interesting as expected. The real meat of the story for me is how the main character, a man who has had alzheimer's for four years and was miraculously cured, is adjusting to a world that is completely alien to anything he remembers. I love that part.

There's also a funny part where the main character uses his augmented reality environment to make his surroundings to look like the Discworld setting. It explains that Terry Pratchett has become very rich off of that, and is now living on a very large part of Scotland. "Rainbow's End" was published before Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's which seems like a cruel joke. The main character has been cured of Alzheimers in a fictional world, while Mr. Pratchett is dying of it in the real world. I think I'm going to donate money to Alzheimer's research now.

The podcast I downloaded of "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" has the most annoying reader I've ever heard. He's talking in this hep-cat trying-too-hard hipster voice that's grating and gets on my nerves. I understand that it fits with the theme of the book, but it gives me a headache. If I can't stand it after I finish "Rainbow's End", I'm just going to read the book. At least it was free.

Also, holy crap, I want to read all of the Hugo nominees. Gaiman, Stephenson, Scalzi, Doctorow, and Stross are in the running for best novel. I especially want to read some Charles Stross before Balticon.


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