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25 October 2012 @ 09:22 pm
Recent Reads: EMERGENCE  

Having unpacked the books we couldn’t do without, I picked up one of my all-time favorites, David Palmer’s EMERGENCE, to re-read it. As I’ve no doubt said before, re-reading old favorites is fraught with tension, because what if they don’t hold up?

EMERGENCE holds up. It holds up in spades. There are some moments of unintentional amusement and cognitive dissonance, particularly regarding microfiche libraries and Russians as The Bad Guys(TM), but even if you put the book in an absolutely modern context there’s an argument for the microfiche, so it was just mildly amusing.

Other than that, though, that is still a great story. While reading it I kept having little jolts of remembering What Happened Later–not so much Next as Later–but it was nearly like reading it again for the first time despite that. I had every bit as much emotional investment–possibly more, because I’m a big old softie these days–as I ever did reading it previously, which is pretty wonderful.

Also, Betsy Mitchell was one of the editors on it, which made me laugh out loud when I read the acknowledgements. I suspect that book must have been one of the very first places I encountered Betsy’s name, thus setting me up for a lifetime of wanting to work with her. :)

(x-posted from the essential kit)

 
 
 
Autopopeautopope on October 25th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
That book gave me icky paedophile cooties. And crazy political ("libertarians good"/"commies bad") cooties. And a side-order of Fans are Slans, and cosy catastrophe ("wouldn't the world be better if all the people we don't need or like simply dropped dead?") cooties. And, now I know what to look for, a weird Objectivist vibe too. Which is weird because it was compellingly written with a very strong voice. Just, full of the Bad [Ideological] Crazy, bubbling away just below the surface.

It is, nevertheless, head and shoulders better than his execrable second novel. Oh dear Cthulhu, I need some brain bleach ...

Edited at 2012-10-25 08:25 pm (UTC)
kitmizkit on October 25th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
THRESHOLD is in fact god-awful, despite the ElfQuest shout-out in it. :)
kitmizkit on October 25th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
Also, I can completely see your point about, well, all of the above, and yet. :)
Bryantbryant on October 26th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
Indeed.

The sequel is /really/ bad, mind you.
kitmizkit on October 26th, 2012 02:27 pm (UTC)
Is it? Thank God I haven't read it, then.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on October 26th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
icky paedophile cooties.

That problem comes up for me with the Telzey Amberdon stories too.