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NARatnayake

N.A. Ratnayake

Currently reading

Failure is not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond
Gene Kranz
The Way of Kings
Brandon Sanderson
The First and Last Freedom
Jiddu Krishnamurti, Aldous Huxley
The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton

Great premise and I love that it's bio hard science fiction, a sub-genre of which I wish there were more shining examples. Especially given recent advances in genetics, neuroscience, and prostheses, I feel as though there are lot of questions related to the intersection of science and society that the genre could be addressing, but isn't.

 

The novel was written in the late 60's, and some aspects of it haven't aged well. All of the characters with any agency are educated, scientifically-minded, white men, and it was honestly difficult to tell them apart by anything other than their names and blunt descriptions. Counterpoints were Peter Jackson and Officer Willis, who had unique and well-crafted dialogue that I enjoyed reading "aloud in my head" if that makes sense.

 

The exposition is fairly heavy-handed, with technical (but at least interesting) info dumps roughly every other page. Like many thrillers, this novel is overwhelmingly plot-driven, with little in the way of introspection, reflection, or emotion shown by any of the characters. However, at least the hooks are laid well throughout the story -- I definitely wanted to keep reading to find out what happened.

 

I'm glad to have checked off a classic I've been meaning to get to for a long time. Overall: enjoyable but dated, interesting but hardly enthralling.