January 25, 2005

Entertaining

Posted at January 25, 2005 12:08 AM in Science Fiction .

So, yesterday afternoon I picked up the copy of Sister Alice that I'd gotten the other week. I like Robert Reed's books, usually, so I was looking forward to reading it. In between other tasks (like dinner and errands), I finished the book around midnight. It's been a while since I read a book in one day like that and it wasn't terribly short.

Sister Alice is relatively well written but it suffers from some common issues that the author has. As with Marrow, he likes to write about immortals or near immortals so the timespans in the book tend to be a bit long. The issue here is that I am a believer in some of the concepts around the Singularity in that I don't believe that a truly immortal person who had been physically modified for their brain and such to handle it, would still be truly human in the way that we are. To be clear, that doesn't mean that I think that they would be inhuman or otherwise some kind of abomination but that I think that their mental processes and perspective would become utterly alien from what ours are. To lose the fear of death and to, reasonably, believe in and expect a near unlimited life would create a vastly different person. To then be a person would had, literally, thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years of memory (no matter how trimmed of fat) to go far far further in that direction. I don't buy it that they would have motivations and reactions that would map to ours. It makes for an interesting story, to be sure, but I don't believe it.

That being said, I do think that my friends who like Reed's work or, say, Egan's work, would also like this piece.

Today, I was home sick with the flu. I was still on work e-mail a bit trying to set up a test pass and solve a few problems but I kept it low key. I slept in fairly late and generally rested during the day. I didn't even read much.

When R came home, also not feeling well, we decided to watch Troy, which had arrived via Netflix a week or more ago. My main reaction to that movie is "Wow, it's amazing how a bad soundtrack can almost ruin a film." The music is so over the top, with lots of horns and epic sounding bits, that it becomes highly distracting in much of the movie. The same movie with the same edits but a much more sedate soundtrack would have immensely improved it. Other than that, I did like it for the most part. Trying to show Achilles' as someone that modern people would think of as a hero is a bit of a stretch but I thought Brad Pitt was fun in the role. I wouldn't say it was a fine movie and I don't plan on owning it. I'd watch Gladiator over it any day if I wanted something of the sort.

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