Pity The Poor Ridder
WORLDBLING A variety of worldbuilding in which a great many details of an imaginary world are put on rather showy and vulgar display in order to impress upon the ridder the prodigious imaginative wealth of the author. The imaginative wealth of the author, it can be added, is not usually in doubt, although some critiasses, especially those that value restraint, subtlety and inflection, question the judgment of authors who indulge too blatantly in worldbling.
I’ve written a few “best of the year” pieces and Anathem has turned up on all of them, despite the fact it clearly isn’t very well written. This is because I am indulging in a sort of special pleading – but the fact its not that well written isn’t the point! – that I usually distain. For the frist time in my life I find myself defending the idea of SF as the literature ideas. Some small lack of perspective caused by having engaged intensely with a mammoth text and finding your time wasn’t completley wasted may perhaps play a part as well.
Adam Roberts addresses these points in his review but more importantly he enriches the critical vocabulary with various choice neologisms. Will worldbling become the plot coupons for the new millenium? A gold star for the first person to use one of these terms in the wild.