The title is very appropriate- a good place to start and a connection that is often missing. The future here isn’t one I would be eager for, one in which a super species, computer intelligence, and manipulated humans/androids, seem to subvert the very laws of nature and even of physics.
This is about progress defeating culture, science defeating religion, and I sense a final hopelessness for the rebel ‘Orphanage’ in a following book. The ‘Mother against invention’ may not get another outing, as the script does stand alone, but I expect one.
The style is very much telling, reporting, by characters. There is no omnipresent voice. This is a difficult style to pull off. We read a series of reports from different characters, different angles and shifting time. I was happy with that, but felt I needed to be taking my own notes. I’m sure I missed some significant points, which is always easier to do when the story is driven by detail about events rather that events as they unfold. We have to try and remember and distinguish between what is probably fact and what is likely to be flawed conjecture without narrative anchors. With one reading I got the spirit of the book rather than conviction that I understood every detail. However, I do agree with another reviewer here, Brent Meske’s probably discovered plot hole. I’ll be interested to know if any other readers agree. I reviewed from an advanced reader’s copy, so it’s perfectly feasible that Sfinas dealt with this issue prior to publication.
This book breaks all sorts of fashionable ‘rules’ or advices about matching reader expectations in a book. I respect any author who can flick fingers at fashion with such aplomb. There are great swathes of formulaic books pumped out by the writing factories, so three cheers for Sfinas. This is a very original, left of field, creative book with some fine science fiction speculations. No live action here, and plenty of infill needed by one’s imagination, I just would rather not have been made to feel so mentally sick by the pictures I painted of the central sadomasochistic relationship.