Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Fri Mar 13 10:10:19 EST 1992

Raymond's Reviews #180

%T The Hollow Earth
%A Rudy Rucker
%I Avon
%D January 1992
%O paperback, US$3.99
%P 298
%G ISBN 0-380-75535-1

This book provides some welcome evidence that Rudy Rucker is growing up. The intellectual fascination and dizzy, manic inventiveness of his early work (Software, The Sex Sphere) is still present, but better integrated with the process of storytelling. He no longer seems afflicted with a compulsion to shock; the elements of gratuitous gross-out and pornographic dehumanization of sex that afflicted his earlier work are absent. What's left is a gripping cosmological adventure tale that mates 19th-century hollow-earth theories with post-Einsteinian physics.

%T Jack the Bodiless
%S The Galactic Milieu
%V Volume 1
%A Julian May
%I Knopf
%D 1991
%O clothbound, US$25.00
%P 463
%G ISBN 0-679-40950-5

The author of the justly-celebrated Saga Of Pliocene Exile gives us yet another volume in her sprawling future history of the Remillard family and humanity's transhuman destiny in the Galactic Milieu. This book chronicles the events surrounding the birth of Jon Remillard, he who will become Saint Jack the Bodiless and the greatest of humanity's metapsychic operants. The protagonist, oddly enough, is his brother Marc Remillard --- he who will be called Abaddon, the Angel of the Abyss, the leader of humanity's Metapsychic Rebellion. If you don't mind the odor of Christian theology that hangs over much of this series you will get a hell of a bang out of it. Even if you do (and I've personally decided my sympathies lie with the individualist rebels) May is an able and thought-provoking writer who will doubtless influence SF's treatment of Chardinist themes for years to come.

%T Through the Heart
%A Richard Grant
%I Bantam Spectra
%D January 1992
%O paperback, US$5.99
%P 376
%G ISBN 0-553-29320-6

Sigh. Here's another wretched pile of garbage aimed at the literary-merit crowd, who will doubtless love it to pieces and proclaim it to be one of the few decent works to come out of SF because it says what they want to hear. Grant spends 300 pages working us up to the revelation that technology is soulless and evil, scientists are arrogant vampires who feed (almost literally, in this book) on human flesh, and they will destroy the world before any of them repent of their ways. How original! How shocking! And mainly what utter, tiresome bullshit. Avoid this turkey.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Fri Mar 13 10:10:19 EST 1992

Eric S. Raymond <esr@snark.thyrsus.com>