This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a very surprising read.
I had read a trilogy by C. S. Friedman before and while it was mostly fantasy, it had some really great SF elements. This one was entirely cyberpunk with a very cool, very deep worldbuilding Space-Opera storyline.
What did it remind me of?
A mix between Cherryh's Downbelow Station and a post-cyberpunk civilization with a rather heavy focus on sophisticated and interesting hacking ethos.
For 1998, it has a lot of the Stephenson sensibility while remaining true to the core idea of societal divergence, a diaspora of genes, and alien inculturation. I almost feel like I'm reading Cherryh's more complicated and fascinating works.
But who was the real star in this novel? I'd say it's the computer virus. :)
This novel really brings me back to the days when SF used to be 3rd-person limited viewpoint. The vast array of worldbuilding potential always feels much greater than other, more modern fiction, but this time period, right before most SF turned into a much more limited or first-person viewpoints, is much more developed and richer with ideas.
I have to admit I miss this kind of thing.
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