Void Star

Void Star

Book - 2017
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"A riveting, beautifully written, fugue-like novel of AIs, memory, violence, and mortality. Not far in the future the seas have risen and the central latitudes are emptying, but it's still a good time to be rich in San Francisco, where weapons drones patrol the skies to keep out the multitudinous poor. Irina isn't rich, not quite, but she does have an artificial memory that gives her perfect recall and lets her act as a medium between her various employers and their AIs, which are complex to the point of opacity. It's a good gig, paying enough for the annual visits to the Mayo Clinic that keep her from aging. Kern has no such access; he's one of the many refugees in the sprawling drone-built favelas on the city's periphery, where he lives like a monk, training relentlessly in martial arts, scraping by as a thief and an enforcer. Thales is from a different world entirely--the mathematically inclined scion of a Brazilian political clan, he's fled to L.A. after the attack that left him crippled and his father dead. A ragged stranger accosts Thales and demands to know how much he can remember. Kern flees for his life after robbing the wrong mark. Irina finds a secret in the reflection of a laptop's screen in her employer's eyeglasses. None are safe as they're pushed together by subtle forces that stay just out of sight. Vivid, tumultuous, and propulsive, Void Star is Zachary Mason's mind-bending follow-up to his bestselling debut, The Lost Books of the Odyssey."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374285067
Branch Call Number: SF F MAS
Characteristics: vii, 385 pages ; 24 cm


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Jul 03, 2017

In thumbnail sketch, this sounds like a William Gibson book: woman with an implant that lets her interact with massive cyberspace constructs; economically-disadvantaged youth in drone-built ghetto on the run from forces beyond his comprehension. The only problem is that William Gibson likes people, whereas Zachary Mason just needs them to do the things that move the plot forward. So when a phenomenally wealthy man offers her fantastic sums to buy the memories off her implant, she decides she has to kill him. Is that an overreaction? No clue.
I found the plot compelling and did read it all the way through, but beyond the critiques here presented I'm not sure I got anything out of it worthy of further consideration, and for me there are two reasons to read a book: either the experience is enjoyable, or it gives me food for thought. William Gibson does both; Void Star doesn't quite accomplish either.

Jul 03, 2017

The author is much too enchanted with his own voice. It's written in a precious, arty style that I found cold and distancing. I stopped reading very quickly.

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