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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Book Review: Blindsight

I finished Blindsight by Peter Watts a little while ago, having found that it was released via Creative Commons and hence perfect for shoving onto the phone for reading when I got a chance.

I'm not a big reader anymore - which is a slight character flaw considering I've got an undergrad's in English and love to write. If I can get more things that will fit on the phone, I might stand a better chance of finishing more books since I've pretty muc always got my phone on me.

As for the book - it is really damn good. It is hard science fiction with dashes of speculative. Watts is a biologist and it shows ... the choice quote for the book is Stross' "Imagine a neurobiology-obsessed version of Greg Egan writing a first contact with aliens story from the point of view of a zombie posthuman crewman aboard a starship captained by a vampire, with not dying as the boobie prize."

Actually that quote isn't terribly accurate - but not worth nitpicking for the details. Blindsight is an extremely cerebral read, but that's where the strength lies. Watts has methodically thought out nearly every aspect of his backdrop and in some ways his appendix describing how he derived certain concepts is just as much fun to read.

I'm strongly considering, even though it would probably disqualify me because it wouldn't have the word count and much of it wouldn't be original, to write a screenplay based on Blindsight for NaNoWriMo this year. It would just be an interesting exercise to go into an existing novel and edit the hell out of it, methinks.

Anyway - strongly recommend.

1 comment:

Brinstar said...

Dude, we had Peter Watts on Xfire a couple weeks ago, along with fellow Hugo nominees, Vernor Vinge and Charlie Stross:

Check out the transcripts. The guy is awesome.