Saturday, December 09, 2006

Book-A-Day #146 (12/9): Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer

I love my children; I really do. But...they spent the day at The Wife's extended family's Christmas celebration (I didn't have to go because The Wife didn't think she needed to go, and I definitely wasn't going without her, so The In-Laws took Thing 1 and Thing 2 on a day-long sojourn to Deepest South Jersey), and I got so much done. A whole bunch of laundry, dishes, more time with the Times than usual (and it was the annual "Year in Ideas" in the magazine, too), several errands (including getting Xmas cards made), and I also read this here entire novel in one day.

(I miss my old, pre-kid Saturdays; I used to sit down and just plow through a decent-sized SFF novel nearly every Saturday and Sunday, and it meant I was further ahead at work.)

Oh, well, the world must be peopled, as Benedick says.

I'm blathering on about extraneous stuff, because this is yet another novel that hasn't been published, so I don't want to talk about the plot much. It's set just under fifty years in the future (though I think Sawyer's being awfully conservative in the changes over that period), and the plot involves both SETI messages (sent and received) and rejuvenation treatments.

If anyone's still looking for "entry-level" SF, Sawyer's a great example -- he writes very readable books set in worlds and times very close to our own that your Aunt Matilda could probably read and enjoy just as easily as she does Kathleen Woodiwiss or James Patterson or Nicholas Sparks. And, though I haven't read all of his recent novels, I think Rollback is one of his better books. Really, really hardcore SF readers who only want bleeding-edge speculations are not going to be happy with Sawyer, but I'm finding that the people who keep saying "but there's no new ideas in Book X!" are starting to annoy me anyway. So I don't really care what they think. Nyahh!

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