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Sunday, January 22, 2023

AirAir by Geoff Ryman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book constantly surprised me. An insanely good store on the interruption and absolute disruption of new technology on indigenous cultures.

Of course, in this, the indigenous culture definitely felt like a sleepy middle-class small town and we are consistently introduced to bigger and more amazing technologies that the rest of the world takes for granted.

The main one being Air. A portal, like the internet would be for old people, into a wider, interconnected world -- but so much more.

The pitfalls and the cultural crappiness and the denials, the turning away, the sticking of heads in sand, all of this is both predictable and rather disgusting, until we even reach the whole Cassandra stage.

Oddly, I didn't really like this and I thought it was rather too slow at first. It was only after we started getting into an epistolary novel did I start loving it. And after that, I was just fascinated. Mental health, dealing with too much information, being hellishly isolated, finding a balance with others... all of this is represented. It's easy to say it's a metaphor for what we already deal with, but the hardcore SF is definitely here. Air, itself, is really fascinating.

I'm glad I'm picking up another Geoff Ryman book. He's great for a lot of seriously original ideas and a deep dive into the consequences.

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