The Geomancer


Cyberabad Days and the Sense of Wonder

Over at Reading the Leaves, there is a marvelous review of Ian McDonald's Cyberabad Days. Terry Weyna writes, "The prose sparkles, the plots of the stories are uniformly tight, but it is the imagination, the picture of the future, that really works here. If you want that 'sense of wonder' that science fiction is most famous for, this is the place to find it."

But in the comments section, a discussion has started as to whether or not Cyberabad Days might be good introductory fiction for someone unfamiliar with SF. Terry responds, "There's been a lot of discussion recently about how to introduce people to science fiction. Most often SF readers tend to suggest much older books and stories to potential new readers -- the things they read as kids, which tend to be very pulpy. The problem with a lot of more contemporary SF, though, is that it often seems to require some knowledge of the genre in order to understand any additions thereto. So, for instance, most SF about robots will assume that the reader knows Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. It will also assume that you know what an ansible is, and so on. McDonald might well be an exception. I wouldn't call Cyberabad Days easy reading, but it doesn't require knowing the canon of SF inside and out, either."

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I think that it would be a brilliant introduction to someone who appreciates modern lit like David Mitchell, Haruki Murakami, or Kazuo Ishiguro.