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Virtual Worlds and Lust Lizards

16. Permutation City, by Greg Egan

A reread. Interesting to pick this up again so soon after reading Kiln People - it deals with a lot of the same themes, only in a virtual world instead of the "real" one. Some of the metaphysics gets awfully fuzzy, but if you gloss over trying to understand his explanations of what's going on it's a good, solid book. The one thing I wish he did more of was explore how the existence of Copies changed human (and Copy) culture - he has a plot thread following two Copies who have essentially abandoned most of their old human tendencies, but two people does not a changed society make.

17. The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, by Christopher Moore

I've figured it out. Christopher Moore is the love child of Tom Robbins and Terry Pratchett. It's the only way to explain the insane mix of surrealism and farce that make up his books. Lamb kept it somewhat under control, perhaps due to needing to maintain some tenuous thread of historical recognizability - but this one just lets it all loose. And oh, good times were had.

I'm not going to go into the plot, because that would make it sound like a B-grade horror movie. I guess it's about half that, though, and half romantic comedy, with a good sprinkling of porn thrown in. I give up! I can't explain it! Just go read! For a good time, call the Lust Lizard. Just don't be upset when he wears out your best weedwhacker and then goes off for a good sulk.



Apr. 18th, 2006 06:44 am (UTC)
I found it rewarding to reread Permutation City a few times to try to pull all the threads of the metaphysics together. There are some hints to be had in the headings, although there's (at least) one aspect I haven't decoded yet. I also really liked his Diaspora and Schild's Ladder; they both use transhumanism and a crisis in physics to concepts of what it means to be the same person in the face of change.
Apr. 18th, 2006 11:06 am (UTC)
Yes, Diaspora >> Permutation City.

(Schild's Ladder did nothing for me.)


firesea: self-portrait
Heather Keith Freeman
Fire Sea Studios

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