Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Speed of Dark

What a wonderful book! I remember my first book by Elizabeth Moon -Remnant Population. I thought it was wonderful, too, and still remember it with joy. Then I read Trading in Danger. It was ok, but the further away from it I got the less willing I was to invest in the rest of the series.

The Speed of Dark won the 2003 Nebula, which is really the reason I bought it. I don't know what I expected given the 2 Moon books I had read, but this is a thought-provoking work.

from the back of the book:
Thoughtful, poignant, and unforgettable, The Speed of Dark is a gripping exploration into the world of Lou Arrendale, an autistic man who is offered a chance to try a brand-new experimental "cure" for his condition. Now Lou must decide if he should submit to a surgery that might completely change the way he views the world - and the very essence of who he is.

To top it off there is fencing. Lots of fencing.

from the InfinityPlus review:
Every now and then -- and it's extremely rare -- a book comes along that is so very, very good that one's actually slightly nervous of reviewing it, in case, crazily, the clumsiness of one's review will somehow mar the integrity of the novel itself.

The Speed of Dark is one such book.
The Speed of Dark is one of those exceptionally rare novels that has the power to alter one's entire worldview, and reading it is a profoundly rewarding and enriching experience. It is impossible to avoid superlatives when speaking of it

from the SFSite review:
It's taken me more than two months to write the review for Speed of Dark. It shouldn't take this long to write a review. It is not for lack of trying, I can assure you. But every time I set fingers to keyboard, something freezes up.

It's not that I don't have anything good to say about the novel -- far from it. Speed of Dark is easily the most powerful thing I've read this year.
It doesn't lend itself to easy categorization, defies snappy summation. It's challenging and accessible at the same time, and easily surpasses Moon's previous high water mark, the Hugo-nominated Remnant Population. At worst, Speed of Dark is a magnificent character study. At best, it's the most powerful book you'll read this year.

The SciFiDimensions reviewer says:
It's one of the most emotionally resonant and philosophically intriguing SF novels in recent years. I give it my highest recommendation.

All in all this is a well-crafted, captivating novel that science-fiction lovers will enjoy and can then pass on to their mainstream-reading friends.

There is a reading group guide here and a blog here.

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