August 20, 2010

Alan Moore's Watchman and Post Post-humanism [review time]

One direction for Science Fiction to proceed beyond the Post-Humanism subgenre is suggested within the pages of Watchmen through the character of Adrian Veidt. As long as there is an audience for Sci-Fi, the genre can continue to have meaning for humanity despite Post-Humanism’s climactic nature. Veidt’s perfume line, ‘Nostalgia’, is to be replaced with a more forward looking line after the crisis in New York solves the world’s conflicts. ‘Millenium’ embodies the idea that in times of great prosperity and little fear it is easier to be optimistic when looking to the future. The Post-humanism movement was pessimistic and served as an admonitory medium, and it is logical that after the presented crises become unlikely, optimism will stem from it. Although post-humanism is somewhat climatic, as long as there is a market and a demand for Sci-Fi, new subgenres will continue to emerge from the ruins. One of these may present new hope for humanity and technology as the threats posed by technological advance become improbable.

August 5, 2010

Robert Jordan's Crossroads of Twilight - A long road to nothing [review time]

I have been very defensive of the Wheel of Time series in the past, but this book is just begging for criticism. There is no story arc whatsoever - nothing happens. There is no climax. My experience with previous WoT books is that you can read the first 500 pages wondering when the climax will arrive, and it may be the last 50 pages of a huge volume, but it's usually totally worth all of the drudging build-up, character development, extraneous detail and unnecessary complication. I love those things, in a way. It makes the world real, dense, complex. But it was completely unnecessary this late in a series to provide an entire volume that does not move the plot along, that accomplishes ONLY establishing back-story, developing characters and showing the complications. It’s as if this tenth instalment is the beginning of a new story. Jordan gives us an introduction, a complication, and rising action, but we have to wait until the next book to get the climax and falling action.