Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Embedding, by Ian Watson

Ian Watson

I've first started reading this book with aprehension, it seemed to involve weird and useless experiments, a heavy language or writing style, socialist concepts and a lot of bull. After a while, however, it started to become interesting. The concepts were refined, the gray areas explained, aliens appeared... it seemed to gather pace. After reading 90% of it I was looking forward for the grand finale. Which was nothing but a big and sloppy hiss.

The whole idea of the book revolves around the nature of reality and our perception of it. It starts from three different points of view and it seems to have a very good foundation to build on. It does present some concepts that might have value, but in the end, it fails miserably. I guess the author was unable to carry everything through or he just got bored with it.

But do bear in mind that it's his first novel, written in 1973, and he won the Apollo Prix in 1975 with it.