Sunday, October 29, 2006

Book Review: Rainbows End

Everything that Vernor Vinge writes is pretty much pure gold and this book, while the weakest of his offerings, is still a great read.  The author paints a future in which computing has become so pervasive that without it people have difficulty functioning in every day society.  With largely believable networking and software concepts, this book seems like it is peeking into an all-too-believable near future.

The main character, Robert Gu was a widely read poet from the 90's that developed Alzheimer's and slowly wasted away for the next 50 years.  A cure is discovered that gives Robert his mind and body back, but does not prepare him for how the world has changed while he was lost in his own mind.  A tech neophyte, Robert is forced to learn what children pick up as naturally as language.

Readers of Vinge's previous work will see a lot of similarity in Robert's character with Pham Nuwen who plays a major role in his other Hugo Award winning books (highly recommended, btw): A Fire Upon The Deep and A Deepness in the Sky.