Post Mortal Syndrome

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sat Aug 04 2007 - 18:34:56 MDT

>From a review I wrote about Damien and Barbara's book.
If you haven't already, check it out at

This is the best science fiction novel I've read
in several years. Broderick and Lamar manage
to pack a lot of excitement into an intriguing story,
with a strong transhumanist theme running throughout.

As you know, by far the most difficult challenge
in modern science fiction is to tackle the 'Vingean
quest', posed by Campbell when he told Vinge "you
can't write this story, and neither can anyone else",
refering to the profound and ultimately insuperable
difficulty of depicting the behavior and thinking
of sentients who're far beyond the range of normal
human intelligence. This novel presents a realistic
scenario---though naturally time-compressed---of
developments as they might actually unfold in
coming decades, with an emphasis on how it will
feel to become vastly more intelligent, and to
experience many of the little things that one
would notice on the way.

I especially liked the pacing of the book and the
clarity of presentation; nothing for me detracts
more than superfluous ambiguity meant to provide
obscure puzzles for the reader to solve, and
thankfully there just a bare necessary minumum
here. The entire narrative slides smoothly from
the here-and-now further and further into the purest
SF, in which the reader's imagination is exercised by
the tension between what is unlikely and what
just-might-be-possible. On an emotional level,
the book delivers, always holding before the reader
the prospect of light vanquishing darkness, with
well-drawn, sympathetic, personable, and
straightforward characters who don't get in
the way of the story.

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