Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sci-Fi Reads (and the King)

I've been a reading fool this week. Finished Robocopolypse, The Green Mile and Triggers.

First up (and the one I just finished) Triggers by Robert Sawyers. Thanks to my fellow bibliophile Robin, I've become aware of the Hugo and Nebula Awards (Awards for award winning sci-fi writing). Sawyer has won both (and much more), so I picked up Triggers. It's an apologetic for how singularity could spontaneously (think evolution) happen without the need for machine interference. As Sawyers states at the end of the book; "machines were not getting more intelligent as time went on; they had zero intelligence and no consciousness, and no matter how fast they got at crunching numbers, they were still empty."
O.k., so Sawyers found a way to circumvent the need for machines to create the reality of singularity His point is that folks are just fine letting their individuality go - that they embrace and thrive under the rubric.
Singularity ushers in a whole new utopia, where no one is racist or sexists, everyone is Christian, Muslim, Jew, and everyone's o.k. with that, kookookachew (religion, sex, race doesn’t mean anything anymore – a group “mind think”)
The problem with this whole line of thinking is that there is an underbelly to the human experience. Sawyers addresses this briefly, then ignores it later - when it's really important and totally ignores the idea that not only would folks be linked to the light side of each other’s existence but also to the dark side of the force. He glosses it all over insinuating that no one (one does not exist anymore) would hurt anyone else because it would harm the collective. It’s a post-modern dream come true and a logically conclusive nightmare. People become the “body” of whom they were, while their “selves” have evolved into a group.

One of Adam’s first tasks was to name. The elephant is different than the zebra, which is different than the woman, which is different than the baby, which is different than the gecko. It’s not all one big collective whole and there in lies the rub. As a Christian I am not called to become something else in order to understand it. I am called to become more Christ-like in order to gain wisdom and understanding. Singularity, no matter how it comes about, flies in the face of the Master of Universe.  "Un-naming" was also one of the antagonsists in L'Engle's Wrinkle Trilogy. The act of "un-naming" -undoing the personality of someone- or something was considered evil. An assult on their self. In Triggers, Sawyers makes a proposal that the un-naming of our very selves, or person-hood, would be to evolve to a greater sense of being. Don't think I agree with him on that, folks.

Robopocalypse- another sci-fi adventure where the computers/robots link-up and attack the humans. Creepy violence, but I had to see how it ended; interestingly enough, not without the help of other robots. I found myself thinking about this for the rest of the week, especially as I was driving. Watch for it in theaters- Speilberg is taking it to the big screen. I’ll sit it out. Creepy and violence is not my normal cuppa.
The Green Mile by King. I’ve been interested in King’s writing since I read his book on writing. He mentioned The Green Mile several times in that piece so it roused my curiosity.  I didn’t like this book at first- too vulgar and set on death row in the 30’s in the south. But the book grows on you. It’s actually a beautiful story of justice, mercy, racism, and religion. King caught me at the beginning with the characters. Love how he portrays Edgecombe and his wife- he does the same thing On Writing between himself and Tabitha. True love, baby.
And I love how the guards really guard Coffey at the end. Poignantly beautiful. King weaves a story. That’s what 2000 words on a day on the page will get you.

1 comment:

Robin McCormack said...

You are welcome. Glad you found some books you enjoyed. One of King's you may want to check out is Duma Key. It's more psychological than horror, but scary none the less.