Yet Another Graphomaniacs Compendium
Monday, July 11, 2005

River Of Gods.





After
the dissapointment of Ares Express, which was less than inventive
return to the fizzingly original world of Desolation Road, I thought
Ian McDonald was a spent force. Of course, I've turned out to be
completely wrong. He solved his creative deficit by changing
cultures. Instead of the Africa-centred Martian, and Chaga stories, he
comes up with a seemingly alien - free tale centred around a
near-future India, splintered into smaller states, and habouring AI's
outlawed by the USA's Hamilton acts, much in the way the US attempts
to outlaw P2P or Strong Cryptography in these present times.



He comes up with a colourful cast of characters from every section of
society: Shiv, a low-life criminal, Shaheen Bador Khan, a civil
servant privy to cabinet decisions, Thomas Lull a self-exiled US
academing, and Nanda, a Krishna Cop, charged with the hunting of rogue
AI's, along with some others. We find, in the end, among other things,
the final resting place of William H Gates, which will be a delicious
twist for those of us who curse the insecure and sometimes buggy
software that his empire foists on us.



Although the wide cast means that it takes time for the story to
get moving, as the characters are introduced at the beginning, one by
one, it pays off because once the story does get moving it's hell of a
ride, and we get to see a complete and vivid picture of an alien, but
very interesting and plausible future society, as a setting for a
story that's a heady brew of SF tropes and themes: Cyberpunk, Hindu
Mythology, First Contact, and straight Thriller.

posted by John Connors at
Monday, July 11, 2005

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A miscellany of topics that intersest me: deaf culture, game design, politics as soap opera, the cyborg condition and the experience of learning to hear again. Other topics presented are speculative fiction and imaginary cities. There are appearences of snippets of work in progress, public rants, pointless posts and Mish the Mouse.




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