Sunday, October 31, 2010

Greg Bear: City at the End of Time - A review

I gave Greg Bear's City at the End of Time three stars; five for ambition, two for execution... John Faughnan "John G...'s review of City at the End of Time

Bear aimed high with this one. Very high.

It's something between science fiction, magical realism, and hard fantasy. I think it's primarily science fiction; an abstract description of a reality and technology vastly beyond human compression.

It's dark, like much of modern science fiction it shows the influence of horror and zombie. It's densely written, with eloquent phrases and language that sometimes works and other times struggles.

I was never captivated by any of the characters. It was a relatively easy book to put down, but I pushed through to the end out of admiration for Bear's ambition. If you want to stretch a bit, and need a dense book you can put down when its time for sleep, this one has a heart.

I do respect the ambition. Death, creation, murderous struggle, the root of all evil and the wellspring of young love and the nature of reality transposed to a human perspective -- that's extreme ambition! The execution could have done with fewer zombies.

It's not just Bear. There are far too many zombies in the science fiction of the past five years. Give it up guys, it's time to move on.

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