The latest issue of Locus magazine has a review of David Louis Edelman's just-released MultiReal,chocked full of good and quotable things like:
"As SF, it's a brilliant imagining of a near-future that not only extrapolates convincingly from current technology and culture but fills in the gaps with world-building so detailed as to verge on the tedious."
"Others have imagined a future in which nano-machines have colonized the human body, ...but few have done so as convincingly as Edelman does in these books."
'Others have also focused on the business side of SF, ...but I've never encountered an SF writer whose focus is so relentlessly on the nuts and bolts of the entrepreneurial world, from the boardroom to the factory to the sales office, and who—pontification aside—can make the minutiae of that world seem as exciting and dangerous as a military operation."
But the reviewer does seem to have tripped up on the idea that because Dave's character Natch is the protagonist that he is being held up as a laudable individual. As witness:
"I have no doubt that others will be enamored of a novel in which the main character is frequently referred to as 'the entrepreneur,' as if there were no higher accolade available, and no one else worthy to bear it. Whenever I came across this descriptor, I simply replaced it with 'the demigod' and read on."
Mind you, I'm not arguing with the review - because it's always a bad idea to contest someone else's subjective opinion - and I'm plenty happy with the quotables above. I'm just interested in the notion of protagonist as role model because a few other people came away with similar sentiments from the first book. (I myself worked for someone very much like Natch once upon a time, and so had no trouble recognizing exactly what he was.) But I find myself wondering why we seem to have such a hard time with flawed protagonists in SF. Our sister genre, mystery, is practically built on the adventures of broken human beings you might want on your case but wouldn't necessarily enjoy having a beer with, loaning money to, or dating.
Anyway, I find this amusing, given that Dave himself just compared Natch to Adolph Hitler here in his post on John Scalzi's Whatever blog author spotlight, The Big Idea.