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Thursday, October 10, 2013

MOCKINGBIRD By Walter Tevis

This book was a fantastic find in a genre I thought I had long ago read everything that was any good.

The problem with dystopia fiction is that it is all so damn relevant, so damn accurate and so damn depressing. Reading it through never pays off with any hope at the end. You nod your head and think, the author is so right. We are so doomed.

MOCKINGBIRD ends on a real high note. You can see the beginnings of something brewing that may  bring mankind back. I don't want to give you any spoilers but the robot actually turns out to be a good guy in this one who is pulling for mankind even as he works towards his own destruction. The climax isn't sappy, sophomoric or unrealistic and it leaves you wondering if there is something in the spirit of mankind (meaning Neanderthals) that will triumph no matter what in this world, given enough time.

The journey of the protagonist from old silent movies to determined survivalist is pretty cool too. Read it, you will see. Definitely worth it. This book in an underrated classic.

2 comments:

samhuih said...

I found mockingbird on the web. Thanks for mentioning it. It was good. I used to read a lot of sci-fi but haven't in a while. Some of my favorites are Frank Herbert, Fredrick Pohl, John Varley,S. M. Stirling, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelles known space series I particularly like and most all the writers that Pournelle used to put together War World series, kzin series and others are top notch. If you haven't read War World series your missing out. I mostly read stuff on the web these days and non-fiction.

I saw the movie oblivion a few days ago and was horrified by the ending. I don't know if you've seen it but they made the ending as if it was finite but military logic says it couldn't be. I don't want to spoil it you haven't seen it. If you have you know what I'm talking about.

Something that's begun to worry me. A lot of bloggers are talking about the "Dark Enlightenment". Of course the ideas behind it were basic common sense before we lost that and that's not what worries me. It's their solutions that bother me. They seem to be edging towards a suppression or getting rid of everyone that doesn't meet their "we're the brilliant" standard. I ask," Who's standard?" I wonder if this is not another sick crusade and they're greasing the skids and making a (for them) moral case that the poor and not so altogether should be exterminated. Their stance combined with the recent DARPA robots has me a little worried. That someone went to the trouble of putting up the Georgia guide stones is further evidence. To get to the GGS population figures would take a lot of killing.

Russell said...

On your recommendation I tracked down a copy.

It really is an underrated classic.

It should be on everyone's reading list; Tevis was a visionary, not about the details of technology, but how people fall away from being human through technology.

I really cannot recommend this book enough.

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