Lori's Book Nook

Trends and SF

Posted on: July 25, 2006

I just spent an utterly delightful hour and a half over coffee with a new friend — turns out we have a lot of similar literary & cultural interests, which is always a pleasant surprise.

I, of course, imposed my will, and made her write down some books to read, based on the paths our conversation took.

We discussed trends, among other things, and two books jumped to mind:

Bellwether by Connie Willis. Here’s a tidbit review from a computer science prof’s webpage (apt, for SF):

Sandra Foster is a sociologist trying to understand fads, Bennett O’Reilly is researching chaos theory. They both work for HiTek, a research corporation with a Dilbert-esque Management from Hell, where, due to an amazing series of blunders and coincidences, they end up working together.

This is a sheer delight, breathlessly paced, and wittily observant. Sandy is a fun, believable character: her obsession with fads, which she cannot stop herself seeing in every event around her, and the consequent hilarious view of modern life, are beautifully drawn. Her technique to stop her public library selling classic but unchecked-out books — by constantly checking them out — is one of the many wonderful subplots.

And Pattern Recognition by the man himself, William Gibson. The first link there is to a synopsis of the book — I recommend not reading it, just go find the book. Gibson is always best read unintroduced…let his magic just roll over you.


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