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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-11-17 08:15
Subject: [conventions] Orycon Day 1
Security: Public
Location:Marriott Waterfront, Portland, OR
Mood:half awake
Music:nada
Tags:conventions, links, mainspring, reviews
Con report: Party

Also, see this mixed review of Mainspring Powell's | Amazon ].
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jimvanpelt
User: jimvanpelt
Date: 2007-11-17 18:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's an immensely articulate piece of writing. I'm not sure it's reviewing the book so much as using the book to talk about a pet peeve, but either way it made for interesting reading.

I wouldn't mark science fiction's beginnings with Utopia, myself. Marry Shelley for me, with the real energy coming from Verne and Wells.
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User: deangc
Date: 2007-11-18 14:42 (UTC)
Subject: Pet Peeve
Keyword:Meow
The reviewer is Paul Kincaid, and from his column on Bookslut in July 2007:
Of course, not all of us consider this uncertainty to be a bad thing. I have always felt that the most interesting and exciting work is that which tests the boundaries. Which is why I am sure I will be returning to this vexed question of what exactly constitutes science fiction in future iterations of this skeptical column.

So, yes, it seems clear that it is a pet peeve.
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Brian Dorion
User: briandorion
Date: 2007-11-17 23:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually, his thoughts jibe quite well with my thoughts on your book. I felt disappointed and let down for most of the last third of the book. I felt that the action itself was being driven by a watchspring and seemed to be predictable and anticlimactic.

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User: deangc
Date: 2007-11-18 14:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Meow
Oh, a review of a review: a metareview.

I'll agree with the previous commenters: an erudite and entertaining review. However, it didn't read as a review so much as as an essay. There was a lot of setup for one final point, which was that, well, science fiction has all this tradition, see, and Mainspring blurs the boundary between science fiction and fantasy because we can't know the mind of God, so therefore Mainspring isn't science fiction.

I also note that he talks a bit about how the concept for the novel is an interesting playground for ideas about things like predestination, but then seems peeved when predestination is explored. Now, I haven't read Mainspring, and his pique may be valid, but if it is, he hasn't explained it very well.

As a review, it is entertaining. As a review, it is close to useless, as it gives me little clue as to whether or not I will enjoy the book.

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