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Old November 29 2011, 04:44 AM   #72
stj
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Leviathan Wakes by "James S.A. Corey," a pen name for a team of two fantasy writers. It shows. There's a main character whose motivation is falling in love with a dead woman (except its not as entertaining as Laura.) This character is written to be a noir pastiche, except the fantasy people don't quite get that no one in their right minds would live on a space station that doesn't track the people breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. The whole mean streets ambience fails miserably if you stop to let yourself think about it, because there's no movie FX to let you see the nonsense.

Then the vomit zombies show up. I think they're supposed to be horrifying but they're too stupid to be frightening. Then the dead woman returns to undergo a vomit zombie apotheosis. This is not exaggerating as the vomit zombie goddess blithely ignores the laws of physics, presumably to the metaphysical horror of the reader who somehow manages to actually care about this.

The cop character is rationalized as being crazy but the ignorant cliche about crazy people going unnoticed while they cope isn't enough to save that character. There is actually another supposed lead who represents the idealistic human being but the authors plainly don't believe the guy really has a point. Nor for that matter do they much like him. Unfortunatley the emphasis on the clash of ideals between crazy mean realist and noble nebbish relies upon a fatuous view of wars being caused by public outrage. The painfully obvious truth of course is that public outrage is manufactured to justify predetermined policy. So much for the lame effort to be serious.

As time goes by, it seems more and more that fantasy's current domination is a reflection of the backwards drift in mores and ideas. The hacks who can't distinguish fantasy and SF are not just ignorant but backward. And the zombie lovers may be the biggest assholes of the lot.
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