Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Wake "a counterargument to Neuromancer"

by Rob - June 28th, 2009.
Filed under: Reviews, Wake.

Over at The Grumpy Owl, Ryan Oakley has a detailed review of my novel Wake. It’s a flattering review, yes, but more than that, Oakley gets the book:

Wake often feels like a counterargument, both in style and content, to Neuromancer. One hopes that the next two volumes will step out of Gibson’s long, dark shadow and build on the solid foundation laid in the first book. If Sawyer succeeds in this, the final nail will be hammered into Cyberpunk’s coffin and the world will have a new way to write about the Internet. … Wake is a major work by one of SF’s heavyweights.

And he gets me (which I particularly like, because, frankly, I get pissed off about this, too):

If I have a pet peeve with literature (believe me, having spent too many evenings at garbage readings by garbage writers for people whose wealth and education exceeds their intelligence, I have more than one) it’s that the literati could very well be, to a person, too bloody stupid to see any of this. They seem to think that a tight plot construction and a clear prose style are inartistic. Meanwhile, very few of these people can write a straight sentence let alone a straight novel.

Sawyer gets a lot of well-deserved respect as a storyteller and as a science pundit but not enough as a prose stylist. It should not be overlooked that he is a science fiction writer.

In Wake Sawyer attacks the novel from different points of view, using different styles and narrative tools; creates suspense while never employing an antagonist, tells history through a symbolic representation of consciousness and creates a character out of nothing. He does all of this so well and layers in so much page-turning, forward thrust, that the extent of his style is invisible.

As my character Caitlin would say, “Go me!”

You can read the whole review here.

(Oh, and after that, go have a look at Oakley’s review of Sailing Time’s Ocean, by Terence M. Green, which was published under my Robert J. Sawyer Books imprint.)

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