Thursday, May 25, 2006

"The Djinn's Wife" by Ian McDonald, pt 1: Thoughts to ponder

Posted by Trent Walters at 3:47 PM
Not finished with McDonald's latest in Asimov's, but so far so good. Initially, the story was a bit difficult to dive into. It began with what appears to be the main story thread, then veered off on a description of the world. All well-written, but the connection for why we're going here to talk about that wasn't there.

They are not the first to fall in love on the walls of the Red Fort

The politicians have talked for three days and agreement is close.


Perhaps this is a very different kind of love, perhaps tangential?

On a more Mundane note, this isn't Mundane SF. No crime, of course. We have artificially intelligent creatures called djinn who compose themselves out of dust. I'm a fan of nanotech, but this strains my credulity as a Mundane reader. As a typical SF reader, I'm willing to stretch out time and say that any technology is possible, but contrasting these two competing philosophies brings one back to the thought: Is SF just competing with fantasy, creating worlds we wish existed than what may be more reasonable to expect?

Of course, we don't know what to expect from the future, but how many visions of SF simply tried to look at what seems probable rather than what would give the better eye-ball kicks--akin to Hollywood's love of the explosion and car chase? Don't get me wrong. I love special effects--SF's or Hollywood's--but we should elbow a little space for the more quiet features as well.

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