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!
"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.
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.
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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