I like Card - always have. I like his dialogue and the pace of his stories till...he starts trying to define his story's version of the universe and the meaning of life or religion as very longwinded subplots. I also hate when writers try to redefine God and the nature of faith to fit their fictional landscape. There are times and ways in which an amusing read should just be an amusing read.
In the end, the fact that a writer wants to figure out rules for his hypothetical unviverse simply doesn't mean I want to sit through the explanation. I think I'm not alone in this which is why the majority of us choose not to learn Klingon.
See? Now I'm too tired to talk about the rest of the story. Next time I hope Orson just tells the story and lets us make our own observations about deeper meanings as we read or listen. The story should create questions and answers without so obviously trying. Night night.
This book is apparently a series of short stories written over the course of several years cobbled together to become a whole. It is a recipe that frequently works. What you lose in continuity and focus you often make up for in freshness and variety.
Here it joins a great story in the first part of the book to a progressively lame (or to borrow the author's favorite term 'laborious') pseudo rationalization for the wrong side of an arguement. The holes in the ratinale for this story made me hungry for a little swiss cheese. At times I wondered if the author took the course simply as an exercise to see if his readers would swallow such a bizzarely contradictory story/philosophy. Sadly, he probably took the whole thing seriously.
If you read this story and find yourself agreeing with anything in the final unfolding of it's 'laborious' conclusion...I've got some prime real estate on Alpha Centauri Prime I'd like to sell you. Of course if you agree with this story's key messages, you've probably already put down a payment on that property with someone else. Oh well, such is capitalism...till the humanoids arrive.
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