oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen


Trouble and Her Friends, Melissa Scott.

I didn't like this book as much as I hoped I would.

A large part of my dislike had to do with its structure; large sections of the narrative, in which various characters work on the Net, are set in italic typeface, which produced real eyestrain. Also, though the device of having people experience the Net as physical action was much newer in the early 1990s when this book was published, to me now it seems dated.

The main characters are mostly queer and/or disadvantaged in their society, which is the reason they risked installation of the brainworm, a way to more directly experience the Net. I felt this point was hammered home a few too many times through direct statement, rather than shown more subtly. I think the writer was more concerned with the tech in her science fiction than the sociology--which is perfectly valid, but isn't to my taste.

There was also a point of view slip that really bothered me. One character, Cerise, is putting on her nail polish, which looks like "the icing on a cookie." Much later in the book, we are in Trouble's point of view and she thinks the exact same description. It threw me out of the story completely, and I think reflects a problem throughout, that I didn't really get a sense of separate voices from the different points of view. I did get a sense of the characters being different, but I didn't feel very much for them. I couldn't seem to empathize with their goals and loves and hatreds.

I feel like I am whingeing too much about this book, probably more than it deserves. I was enjoying it for a while, then I got tired of it all at once; perhaps my disappointment made me see larger flaws in a pretty good book.

Tags: books, sf/f

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