Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Close to Critical (Mesklin, #2)Close to Critical by Hal Clement
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Well, considering how much I enjoyed the afterward on the previous one, I wanted to see what was improved or explored upon within this admittedly interesting world. Science, Ya'll! It's a world built with interesting applications of science! And we ought to have very interesting ramifications in the alien cultures and physiology!

Um...

"Should" does not equal "Will".

Frankly, I was bored out of my skull by the plot. Okay, look at all the stone-aged yokels gawking over the human's remote-controlled waldo. Wow. That's like, amazing, dude.

I mean, sure, it might have been interesting at one time if someone actually had to describe or be awed by the *idea* of a waldo. Or if there were really interesting things to be learned by the psychology of stone-aged aliens beyond the fact that they're using logic to figure out what is absolutely freaking plain to us. Or starting up a cargo cult, even, that doesn't make us think of some long-ass joke.

Sigh.

The only barely interesting things that happened in this book were the *other* aliens throwing a hissy over the human's perceived treatment of ... oh forget it, it's not that interesting, either.

Science. Science does not equal quality storytelling.

Did you know that I also got bored as fuck at the stone-aged antics at the beginning of the 2001 Space Odyssey movie? Yeah. Same as this. Only there was no murder. And no bone that becomes a space station, either. I feel CHEATED.

Well, okay, this was written in '64, so it's not like he was cribbing from Clarke or anything, and I seriously doubt that Clarke cared much for this book, either. Which is kinda beside the point, anyway, because both were boring.

*sigh*

So yeah, does anyone know if Clement's interesting world was picked up by any other competent writer to be given a spin? Anyone? Bueller?


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