Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rainbows End

Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge won the Locus and the Hugo awards in 2007. I've liked everything I've read by this author, and I was not disappointed here.

from the back of the book:

World-famous poet Robert Gu missed twenty years of progress while he nearly died from Alzheimer's. Now, when he awakens in San Diego, in the year 2025, with his mind and health restored, reality's a shock. Books are just about gone. Computers are old news, replaced by "smart" contact lenses that connect him to the Internet via his clothes and wireless nodes just about everywhere. Buildings look low-rent unless you're wearing. Then, they look like whatever you want. Even he is different. He's seventy-five, but his treatment has made him look almost like a teen. And that's the tip of the iceberg in the new Digital Age.

As Gu tries to catch up with his future, a mysterious stranger draws him and other innocents into a conspiracy that could have disastrous consequences. Before he knows it, he's in so deep that even his high-ranking military son and daughter-in-law are clueless. His only hope -the world's only hope- is that his thirteen-year-old granddaughter Miri and her secret friend, Mr. Rabbit, might be able to keep the worst from happening....

That last sentence does make me wonder if I read the same book as the person who wrote it. It seems a bit misleading to me, but my quarrel would be with that sentence and not with the book, which I enjoyed. I'm putting it on The Younger Son's tbr shelf, and I'll see what he thinks.

SFReviews likes it. Strange Horizons predicts a sequel, which seemed a no-brainer to me when I read the ending. SFSignal says it's not as good as Vinge's other works.

The book is online free here, but I don't read lengthy works online. It's a good way to sample, though. I treat free books online the way I treat books on the bookstore shelves: Read some, and, if I like it, buy it.

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