What do reverse cyborgs want? A review of David Marusek's Glassing the Orgachine

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/07/what-do-reverse-cyborgs-want.html

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The novel ends on a cliffhanger, leaving many questions unanswered.

This bullshit is starting to get out of hand with modern science fiction. Cory seems to be one of the only scifi authors left that’s capable of writing a stand alone novel.


Yeah, I was really excited about the description of the first book until the cliffhanger let me know that I’d have to read through this:

Yeah, right! That narcissist would never have turned down that opportunity. She didn’t even stick around to serve her gubernatorial term because of the publicity it got her. She threw the people of Alaska under the bus to pursue :15. Just having her in the novel would be distracting enough (and to what end?), but that would completely pull me out of the narrative. Maybe the author offers a deeply compelling justification, but, just, why?

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I had the same reaction.

Whatever the politics of the author (for or against), there are some people are just less interesting to read about as fiction.

It can feel like an awkwardly placed celebrity cameo on a tv show that’s near cancelation.


So you can accept a premise in which an alien being comes to Alaska in the guise of an angel, but not the premise that a fictional governor inspired by Sarah Palin turned down the opportunity to run for Vice President?

Authors use characters inspired by real life figures all the time. For example, three of the central characters in Neil Stephenson’s Seveneves are clearly modeled after Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Hillary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai (but in a timeline where Hillary actually wins the Presidency). That doesn’t mean that those characters’ biographies or actions have to exactly match their real-world counterparts.

It’s not about the unrealism of the premise for me.

It can just be super corny.

Intellectual thoughtpiece sci-fi, exploring new conceptual frameworks, and it turns out the angel was none other than Elvis Presley all along…

Authors can do whatever they can get away with, but they rarely get away with celebrity characters as well as less-obviously-lifted characters.

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Oh, I can accept the premise and I have no problem with modeling characters from real life personalities or even having a real life personality featured as a character. What I’m saying is that this particular person is so grating, self-serving and attention-mongering that I fear I would have a hard time suspending disbelief. And the way Eric wrote this makes it sound like the character isn’t merely modeled after her, but is actually her in an alternative (and entirely unbelievable) timeline. Again, the author may have a really compelling reason to do so, but my enthusiasm is gone.

Also, we’ve had the good fortune of hearing very little of her lately except when one of her derelict kids fuck up, so inviting her back into my conscious mind any more is very unappealing.

Edited to change the poster’s name. I just assumed it was Cory, apparently.

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The name of the character in the novel is “Vera Tetlin,” so I’d call it a case of “fictional character inspired by real-life figure but not actually supposed to be the same person.”

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The book’s jacket reminds me of the cover of a great electro EP, I recently discovered:
Death to the Planet by The Comet is Coming

It has nothing to do with the article but I though I would point it out anyway. Carry on.

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What do reverse cyborgs want?

You know, that’s precisely the question I ask myself every morning, while listening to Gary Numan’s “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?”.

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