The Geomancer


A Whopper of World-Building

The Chicago Center for Literature and Photography has a review of David Louis Edelman's John W. Campbell Memorial Award nominated novel, Infoquake. Though not entirely positive, the review praises Edelman for the scope of his world-building:

"... like many fantastical books, it is the universe that Edelman has created that is of equal importance as the story itself that takes place there. And indeed, this is yet something else that many sci-fi fans love about sci-fi, is the vast and consistent environment that is created for these stories to reside; it's what makes Trekkies Trekkies, what keeps Star Wars fans endlessly arguing over what is 'canon' material versus 'non-canon.' And in this case, Edelman creates a whopper of a universe for his characters to inhabit, one filled with an entire glossary of minor figures and obscure historical events, just begging for a little fan-fiction to fill the gaps..."

Amsusingly, the review gives Infoquake a rating broken out by Story, Characters and Style, with an Overall rating of "6.8, or 9.3 for science-fiction fans."

The review also contains a foot-note: "Oh, and speaking of complex backstories and fan-fiction projects, no review of Infoquake is complete without special mention of the absolutely astounding support website Edelman has created for it; ...'astounding' as in the amount of background information Edelman provides about the 'Jump 225' universe, including not only a full reprinting of the paper book's appendices but also almost 10,000 words of backstory not found in the book at all. Imagine if JRR Tolkien had had access to a personal website while writing Lord of the Rings, where he was able to publish his background notes in real time instead of years after his death."

And there's a repeat of the call for fan fiction: "... just begging for some smart fan-fiction to fill in the narrative gaps. So how about it, Edelman? You claim to be a big fan of the Web 2.0; how about open-sourcing the background universe of Jump 225, and allowing others to write and publish their own stories that take place in it? We nerdy slashfic Sigh fans anxiously await your answer!"

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