Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

Rainbows End is a near future SF novel about a dawning virtual age and the threat of a deadly biological weapon.

I had mixed reactions to the book. While I liked the main character Robert Gu (a former Alzheimer's patient now cured and younger thanks to breakthroughs in medicine) and his attempts to assimilate to a new world where people interface directly with computers and silent message each other, I found myself wondering at times if the novel's setting, circa 2025, was far enough in the future for the kind of deep medical and software innovation present in the book. I also thought Vinge's use of markup to denote silent messaging was awkward. I know what he was trying to do, but markup is for web geeks and programs to process it, not prose!

Still, you could do far worse than reading this novel. The story is engaging and the technological extrapolation is always interesting though unlikely to happen in the next twenty years.

No comments:

Post a Comment