21 October 2007

S.M. Stirling – A Meeting at Corvallis

Posted by Dirk under: books .

This is the third book in a series. I have read the first two and three others that are sort of connected to this one.

The basic premise is that an event occurred called ‘the Change’. The Change changed the laws of physics so that basically no modern technology works. Civilization fell, everything went to hell. Some survivors made it through the chaos and this is their story. It’s basically a post-apocalypse story with a twist.

I don’t think S.M. Stirling is a great writer. He writes dialogue that nobody would actually speak. Same with ‘inner dialogue’. It’s very expository. People just don’t talk like this. He also has a problem with stereotypes. As in, he never seems to have met one he didn’t like. His characters, beyond the stereotype thing, usually don’t behave the way real people behave. His bad guys are really bad and his good guys are really good. Well, mostly really good. Sometimes they are assholes too.

Also, Mr. Stirling seems to let his socio/political beliefs seep into his work quite a bit, and since I don’t agree with it, it puts me off a bit. Supposedly he wrote a forward to one of his books where he says something about these beliefs being the characters beliefs and not his, but similar themes seem to crop up in many of his books so it sort of makes you wonder. Especially when some off the cuff anti-Islamic comment made by a character does nothing at all to improve the book.

Despite all this, I have read quite a few of his books. I did quit buying them though. This one was a library loaner. I guess I’m just a sucker for the post-apocalyptic books. It all started for me with The Swiss Family Robinson and I’ve been hooked ever since.

But if you want to give S.M. a chance, don’t start with this one. Get the first in the series “Dies the Fire”

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