Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Manual That Crept

ContainmentContainment by Christian Cantrell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While reading this story which has received some rather enthusiastic reviews, I kept on having the feeling that I was reading a technical manual — and I rather liked it. Of course it wouldn't be everybody's cup of tea, or plate of coils and chips, but I was after all, reading Science Fiction.

Science Fiction has surely to be fiction with a lot of science in it. Switch them round and you'd have fictitious science, which simply wouldn't work at all. So without further ado, I read the fiction that goes into the science within it. And I could mostly keep up with the science, although at times it was slightly beyond me, but I don't have a problem with that. Not being a true scientist I can't attest to the authenticity of the science, but it seemed OK as far as I knew, at least at the beginning.

There's a loose story with a lot of particular detail in it and I found myself being particularly interested in the delicate matter of the interface between the biological workings of the brain and the implant inserted into it, along with the problems that can occur as the tissue begins to harden in the presence of conductive metals, even if they're sensitively aligned and harmonised.

Little by little the background atmosphere of the technical manual began to fade as the story welled up from its damp pages like an exotic fungus. This was going to suck me right in, I felt, and I settled myself in good and snug, to have a Good Read.

The story inched its way along. I didn't have a particular problem with that because inching is by and large the story of my life. It kept on reminding me of 2001 ~ A Space Odyssey, and I'm sure that part of its DNA at least was founded in that root-stock. I felt quite pleased when I sniffed out the odd red herring (but does the author really have to lecture the reader on what a red herring is?), however my sense of smell grew far too confused along the way: our hero Arik may well have become hypoxic and disoriented himself in the narrative, but does the reader really have to feel oxygen-starved as well?

I liked it in parts, I was really gripped at certain points, but my attention did keep falling apart, particularly towards the end, and the silly spelling mistakes at key points didn't help.

I ended up desperately wanting it to end, and now, with the penning of this brief review, that job is done and dusted.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment