December 15th, 2010
This entry is part [part not set] of 1 in the series WWW
  • WWW:Wake

No, that’s not some strange web error. That’s the title of Robert Sawyer’s Hugo-nominated novel about a young girl who, in an accidental side-effect of a surgery intended to restore her sight, gains the ability to see the Internet…and the Internet looks back.

It was…OK, I¬†guess?

I enjoyed it, and will probably pick up the sequels, even. But I was somewhat dismayed to see this on the Hugo ballot. Large chunks read like Sawyer is winking at his audience, making sure to call out all the little references that will just make them feel sooo “with it” as both science fiction readers and web aficionados. It probably doesn’t help that everything I know about neuroscience and cognitive theory (which is more than the average bear) says that many of his central premises are really, really ridiculous. Not to mention the absurd idea that Toronto’s humidity would be noticeable to someone from Austin.

I am also starting to develop an allergy towards authors who set multiple unrelated books in their hometown. Branch out, people.

Anyway, being the first book of a trilogy is a point against the book, and it would have had to have been mind-blowingly amazing and feel complete in itself (see: Spin) to overcome that and get my vote for the Hugo, and this just didn’t measure up.

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