Saturday, August 18, 2012
Not Long Before The End
With the Lady -- the physical incarnation of humanity's collective consciousness called the noosphere, per Teilhard de Chardin -- already seriously depleted by previous assassination attempts, the Earth hangs in the balance. Should the Lady be destroyed, the Earth's protection from the Otherness will be removed, and pretty much literally all Hell will break loose as local reality becomes hostile to humanity's continued existence.
There's a grand conspiratorial lunacy to the Repairman Jack novels that's quite engaging. While the previous volume (Ground Zero) folded many of the 9/11 conspiracy theories into a Grand Unified Theory that was much, much weirder than anything in our world, Fatal Error plays with doomsday scenarios that involve the Internet. Much of the action centres on New York, the locus for most of the Repairman Jack novels, along with Jack's home-state of New Jersey.
Jack and his allies try to stop the End of the Internet for reasons I'll leave anyone who wants to read this series to find out on his or her own. The arch-enemy of humanity, 15,000-year-old Rasalom, plots away at a variety of other schemes meant to usher in the Age of the Otherness. Wilson's cosmic schemata is vaguely Lovecraftian -- two vast and impersonal forces vie for control of individual planets in the multiverse.
It all makes for a fast-paced, occasionally thoughtful read. Wilson's prose is adequate -- he's a plot-and-idea man first and foremost. Jack is, as usual, extremely competent; his allies are less so, to varying degrees. Recommended.