Apr 21 2008

Spirits in the Wires

Published by at 6:59 pm under General

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I’m about two thirds of the way though this book now having started it in February – I’m a slow reader ok – and I just wanted to make a few notes about it.  What I’m looking for in books at the moment is something that mixes together techie-sci-fi-fantasy set in an almost believable real world.  I’m not looking for futuristic sci-fi or fantasy set in another realm.

Having exhausted my stock of un-read books I turned to Waterstones, whilst I was in the UK, to provide my next read and what I found was Spirits in the Wires.  This book is definitely one that I’m enjoying reading, although it has taken me a while to get into it.  The author, Charles de Lint, has taken the approach of writing each chapter from a different characters perspective.  So through out the book you’re seeing the same continuing timeline from differing angles.

This is a new approach for me and possibly why I’m so slow at reading it, every time I pick up the book I have to flick back to the beginning of the chapter to remind me which character the current perspective is from.

The core idea of the book is about websites taking on a spirit & life of their own as more and more people visit (worship) those sites.  Whilst this is not something I believe in at the moment, I can one day see a time when system become intelligent enough and gather together enough information to become sentient and free roaming.  It probably wont happen in my life time but I’m certain it will happen one day.

Spirit in the Wire seems to me to be a cross between some of Cory Doctorows ideas and Tad Williams’ Otherland and his War of the Flowers.  If you like either of those you’ll probably enjoy this book.  And in fact, speak of Tad Williams, I’ve finally bought his second book in the Shadowmarh series.

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