Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

‘Bookworm, Run!’ by Vernor Vinge

with 2 comments

A cold war thriller in which nuclear weapons are replaced with intelligent animals. The idea is there but the story is told with such slackness as to destroy it. My favourite example is a escaped chimp who tries to hitch a lift “blissfully unaware that a talking chimpanzee is not a common sight in the United States.” Literally in the paragraph before this we have been reminded that the chimp has escaped from his institution because he has downloaded all information about the US ever recorded. Vinge wrote these sentences down on the page next to each other but made no attempt to fix their incompatibility, presumably believing that the idea was enough. Hard SF in a nutshell.

Quality: **
Hardness: ***

And that is the end of that.

Written by Martin

12 February 2011 at 07:46

2 Responses

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  1. And that is the end of that

    It feels like we’ve been waiting for this sentence for something like eight years.

    Adam Roberts

    12 February 2011 at 11:56

  2. […] ‘Kyrie’ by Poul Anderson ‘The Person From Porlock’ by Raymond F. Jones ‘Day Million’ by Frederik Pohl ‘Cage Of Sand’ by JG Ballard ‘The Psychologist Who Wouldn’t Do Awful Things To Rats’ by James Tiptree Jr. ‘In the Year 2889′ by Jules Verne ‘Surface Tension’ by James Blish  ‘No, No, Not Rogov!’ by Cordwainer Smith ‘In A Petri Dish Upstairs’ by George Turner ‘With The Night Mail’ by Rudyard Kipling ‘The Longest Science Fiction Story In The World’ by Arthur C Clarke ‘The Pi Man’ by Alfred Bester ‘Relativistic Effects’ by Gregory Benford ‘Making Light’ by James P. Hogan ‘The Last Question’ by Isaac Asimov ‘The Indefatigable Frog’ by Philip K. Dick ‘Chromatic’ by John M. Ford ‘The Snowball Effect’ by Katherine McLean ‘The Morphology Of The Kirkham Wreck’ by Hilbert Schenck ‘Tangents’ by Greg Bear ‘Johnny Mnemonic’ by William Gibson ‘What Continues, What Fails…’ by David Brin ‘Mammy Morgan Played the Organ; Her Daddy Beat the Drum’ by Michael F. Flynn ‘Bookworm, Run!’ by Vernor Vinge […]

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