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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 149

post #2221 of 2226
List (Click to show)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree
6. Armageddon in Retrospect
7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
8. What we talk about when we talk about love
9. Norweigan Wood

10. The Master and Margherita

11. The Fault in Our Stars

12. Of Mice and Men

13.Fade to Black

14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

15. Watchmen

16. Captains Courageous

17. A Brief History of Time

18. The Trial

19. Wind up Bird Chronicle

20. A Visit from the Goon Squad

21. Neuromancer

22. Count Zero

23. Shadowboxing

24. Hell's Angels

25. Anansi Boys

26. Steelheart

27. A Hero of Our Time

28. Mona Lisa Overdrive

29. The Complete Collection of Flannery O'Connor

30. The Last Blues Dance

31. Gularabulu

32. The Glass Canoe

33. The Lies of Locke Lamora

34. Handmaid's Tale

35. Girt

36. Museum of Innocence

37. Neverwhere

38. The Ghost's Child

39. Picnic at Hanging Rock

40. Submarine

41. Name of the Wind

42. Wise Man's Fear

43. A Million Little Pieces

44. The Promise

45. Father's Day

46. Swan Book

47. Red Seas under Red Skies

48. Republic of Thieves

49. Labyrinths

50. Carpentaria

51. Snow

52. Straw Dogs

53. Wrong about Japan

54. Wish

55. Monkey's Grip

56. The Plains

57. Wild Abandon
58. The colourless Tsukuru Tazaki
59. Homage to Catalonia
60. Oliver Twist
61. Trilobites and other stories
62. The Narrow Road to the Deep North
63. Paddle your own Canoe
64. When Gravity Fails
65. Glow
66. Holy Fire


66. Holy Fire


Bruce Sterling's novel, Holy Fire, is apparently an important part of the cyberpunnk genre. Yet, when reading it I'm not immediately sure why. The narrative concerns itself with Mia - an old woman whose life has been prolonged (as have most elderly people) almost indefinitely. She lives in a world that's stable and constant, but perhaps lifeless. After realising her lack of verve, she undergoes experimental treatment to recapture her youth and lives now as a 100 year old mind in the body of a 20 something.


The novel is a bit obvious at parts, and Mia is not a particularly interesting or compelling character. There are some great moments, and some flashy minor characters, but ultimately the novel doesn't really go anywhere, say anything, and it's not raucous enough for the storyline to carry the whole thing along. It felt, to be honest, a bit turgid and flaccid.


I'm not even really sure that this could be called cyberpunk - computer technology is only referred to - most of the technology discussed is medical, so it's a bit of a stretch to compare this to other cyberpunk works (which, to be honest, is something I've felt about all of Sterling's work - he gets lumped with cyberpunk writers because he was a contemporary of theirs). The novel points to some obvious questions: how do the old/young interact? who deserves what? does technology actually improve anything? Yet fails to draw any meaningful conclusions or, for this reader, spark any interesting thoughts.

post #2222 of 2226
Steve B, my friend: It's 103-102 at the moment. Is this the time for a challenge? biggrin.gif
post #2223 of 2226
What did you have in mind?
post #2224 of 2226
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

What did you have in mind?

The Read out at the OK Corral?
post #2225 of 2226
Might I suggest the Norton Inroduction to The Short Novel for any combatant seeking a competitive edge...?

Shoe stories by Will Self, Chris Adrian, Ethan Canin, Junot Diaz, Kevin Brockmeir; Judy Budnitz, Anthony Doerr Lydia Davis, Ron Currie, Jr., before I ship them off to a homie. (If someone could recommend additional essential recent-ish North American collections I already own, that would be very swell...)
post #2226 of 2226
103. The Heist Daniel Silva 2014

Gabriel Allon has finally accepted the appointment to chief of Israeli intelligence.

His last mission as an agent involves raiding Syrian presidential bank accounts and recovering a priceless painting for the Italian art police that has been missing since 1969.

Better than # 102.
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