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WesternSFA
The Fractal Prince
by Hannu Rajaniemi
$25.99, Tom Doherty Assoc., 300pp
Release Date: November 27, 2012
A second novel from a young man in Scotland with many professional science credits to his name. A novel with much press and marketing. A novel that is not for everyone.

This is a cyberspace/cyberpunk story. If you have any experience with this genre, you know it comes with its own vocabulary. So, until you have some experience with this genre and vocabulary, it will be difficult to choke down. I am not such a person. It was difficult to get into the story because the words and concepts slowed me down and, sometimes, downright baffled me. No author should want that to happen to readers but not every genre is right for every reader. And I’m not saying this is a bad book; actually, I can’t be certain of that at all. Unfortunately, it fell to me to review this one.

The first book in this series, and the debut novel from this author, introduced a future shaped by posthuman intelligences and permeated by IT. You see? Right there – I had trouble understanding what the heck a ‘posthuman’ intelligence was. The concepts are grand in scope and mind-boggling. Try and imagine a world where humans can use their brains – and the brain power of the dead – to create and manipulate the physical world – even out to the sun. Where a person can actually hide behind the persona of another. Where one person can be so powerful as to be like a god.

There was an interesting plot as different people, with like goals, finally come together to defeat a pervasive and domineering mind. It was just difficult to understand the people as their world is just so alien. I give the author a lot of credit for creativity but the book was written for his peers, not for us mere mortals. I don’t see him becoming a popular writer; even William Gibson offers us recognizable people with whom we can identify. ~~ Catherine Book

For other books by Hannu Rajaniemi click here

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