The Geomancer


Crossover Hits the (FantasyBook) Spot

Paul at calls Joel Shepherd's Crossover "very enjoyable," and says:

"The prominent theme of Crossover is what makes a human, well, human, and what better way to explore this than through the mind of a lifelike android. It's been explored countless times in myriad mediums. What makes Shepherd's take different? His characters, especially Cassandra, they are what's worth reading for. Check out Crossover; it's a fun sci-fi thriller that is brimming with ideas and questions."

Paul also notes the similarities to Masamune Shirow's excellent graphic novel, Ghost in the Shell. What always impressed me about Ghost, both manga and anime, was the seemless integration of digital telepathy into - not just one or two protagonist's heads - but to every citizen of the entire world of the future. Shirow gave us a world where every conversation happened on multiple levels - digital images and text annotations popping up via wireless cyberbrain-to-cyberbrain communication in every dialogue. He managed to demonstrate what a paradigm shift even everyday communication becomes when we are all chipped. While much of the look and feel of Ghost in the Shell found its way into cinema in its appropriation by The Matrix, I'd not seen literary or cinematic SF deal with this singularity in verbal & nonverbal communication before. Without being derivative, Shepherd's Crossover impressed me in being the first SF (to my knowledge) to really take this onboard. That the book is loaded with sex and action sequences certainly doesn't hurt, and it's got wonderful characters and great world-building, but this was the aspect that first impressed me.

1 comment:

  1. Nice reviews, Lou!

    SFcrowsnest is a well-respected British SF site and four excellent write-ups such as these bode well for Pyr. I look forward to reading Justina's new novel (just finished the brilliant Mappa Mundi) and also Joel's Crossover looks tempting too.