Sunday, December 30, 2007

Metaplanetary - Tony Daniel

Large Array of Odd.

Serendipitously, I had been going through the couple of Stewart Cowley's Terran Trade Authority collections that I have, and Metaplanetary is a little reminiscent of that, in a much more 21st century style.

Its major problem is that as a novel, which it seems to be billed as, it has big structural issues with the cast of charcters and bits and pieces featuring them to be rather disjointed.

If it was actually put together as a collection (which probably publishers don't like to do), and structed so the 'archival' future history material was used to the full, and the code-scrap-ferret woman parts and other bits like that weren't, then it might have worked as one type of book.

As it is, it doesn't work particularly well as either. It has a whole bunch of nifty ideas though, and these are detailed at some length throughout the book and at the end in an appendix type section, and for me, those are the strongest parts.

With the array personalities, animal people, grist, baroque transport, quantum scientists and everything else thrown in it may be tough for some. I like that sort of thing, so I'd give 4 stars for stuff, but only 2.5 as a novel, so call it 3.25 and nifty enough to round up to 3.5.

As it ended, there is presumably more of it around, if not published.

3.5 out of 5

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