April Books 10) Rainbows End

10) Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge

Vinge has sometimes left me a bit cold, but I rather enjoyed this Hugo nominee. In particular, after a run of really bad stories about cures for Alzheimer’s which seemed to feature on the shortlist every year for the last while, it was rather good to have a central character whose Alzheimer’s is cured, and this is only the start of his and his family’s problems.

That’s not the main part of the plot, which is a complex tale of intelligence (both agencies and artificial), set in the brilliantly realised environment of UC San Diego a few decades from now. Of course, it’s a landscape Vinge must know well, but I think he has brought it to life in loving detail here. Indeed, I have to rate his worldbuilding (of a familiar world) rather ahead of the complex story, involving three generations of the same family in the conspiracy by sheer coincidence.

There’s lots to like here, and I suspect (given Vinge’s previous record) this probably has a good chance of winning the award. I’m not wildly grabbed by it, though, and I wonder whether either of the other two nominees will grab me in the same way that Spin did last year, or River of Gods the year before.

Top 5 UnSuggestions for this book:

  1. The awakening by Kate Chopin
  2. My sister’s keeper : a novel by Jodi Picoult
  3. Blue like jazz : nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality by Donald Miller
  4. Lucky by Alice Sebold
  5. Balzac and the little Chinese seamstress by Dai Sijie

One thought on “April Books 10) Rainbows End

  1. The thing with the date is that Anderson didn’t particularly specify a date in the original brief, he just said “100 year into the future”, which was interpreted variously (similarly, no-one really specifies the date for the original Star Trek). The 2065 date was adopted by TV21 (who also applied it to Stingray). The only onscreen date is on a calendar in one episode, and is 2026. But this wasn’t necessarily the date intended by the Andersons. Both the movies have onscreen dates in the 2060s – 2067 and 2068, though they are only vaguely mentioned, I think. Certainly, the date for Thunderbirds is not as emphatically stated as that for Captain Scarlet or UFO.

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