Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Eyes of the Calculor

By Sean McMullen. Third book of the Greatwinter Trilogy.

I only realized this was a third book after I started it, but it is fairly entertaining by itself, even if somewhat confusing. Amazon reviews suggest the confusion is only partly helped by knowing what came before.

This is one of those post-apocalyptic/nuclear winter sorts of books, but there's a big difference: people seem remarkably well educated as to what went on two thousand years ago before the so-called Greatwinter that resulted in a ban on (certain types of) fueled engines. As such, these people are not exactly averse to technology as such and have thought up many clever ways to get things done without using such engines, including a horse-powered electrical computer. Unfortunately, as this book begins, an orbital band around Earth, known as Mirrorsun, decides to destroy most such electrical machines via something resembling an EMP (shielded ones deep underground or in Faraday cages are not affected), so the development of that idea is sort of derailed. I guess we have a good idea where it might have ended up anyway from modern experience.

This book is entertaining, but also quite confusing at points and very casual about sex. What happens to Velesti doesn't seem quite right but it doesn't seem clearly wrong either.

Have a quote:
"What is your friend's name?"
"Frelle Velesti Dis--"
"She's telling the truth!" exclaimed Fras Shadowmouse. "That is our proof."
"How so?" asked the mayor.
"If you are ever unlucky enough to be helped by Velesti Disore, Fras Mayor, you will know."

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