Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Version Control (by Dexter Palmer)

As I mentioned in my last post, I loved Version Control! I've already recommended it to half a dozen people.  It's a wonderfully absorbing near-future story about not-quite time travel.  Setting it ten years in the future is so clever -- I'm reading about my daughter's generation, only when they are my age. It's a trippy experience! And that's before you even get to the world-building details -- the self-driving cars and the dining tables with embedded touchscreens and the personalized messages from the president.*

*Amusingly, or "amusingly," the dystopian touches do not go nearly far enough given our current political situation. Like, women still are treated as people and everything! That's how you know it's science fiction.

You also know I'm a sucker for an unreliable narrator. This narrator, Rebecca, is a quasi-functional alcoholic whose husband is a scentist working on a not-quite-time-travel-device. And she keeps getting hints that something about the world is not quite right. She's a great character, and the world is so interesting to read about, you really don't want this book to end. Or at least I didn't.

My only quibble -- actually my only two quibbles. One is that the character of Alicia (sexually voracious, brilliant, emotionally cold scientist) could only have been written by a man.  The other is that the ending didn't quite land for me -- maybe because I didn't fully understand what... a certain character did.  I am being intentionally vague but maybe will head over to Goodreads to see what others have to say.

Highly recommend this novel, and indeed I have slept on my opinions of both of the books in the bracket, and I'm giving the nod to Version Control. 

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