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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-02-27 15:14
Man's Ingenuity Is Surpassed Only By His Depravity
Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: A Novel - Judd Trichter

Fair warning: this will be a brutal review for a brutal read. There will be spoilers, and I'm going to have to swear. If you don't like those things, stop reading here and take the stars for what they are.


Okay, so...










God, this motherfucker is flawed, but in a gorgeous way. Like watching the theatrical cut of Blade Runner for the first time, knowing there are superior cuts, acknowledging the devastating faults right alongside the stuff that is absolutely fucking brilliant. If books got to have director's cuts, I'd pick up that version in an instant, but since they don't, I'm going to have to keep this one on the bookshelf to page through and wonder why the fuck it wasn't perfect. So close and yet so far away.


Cyberpunk, biopunk, splatterpunk... well, it's as punk as it gets, then stops being punk and goes full noir, and then goes Pynchon psychedelic, and then throws up and staggers through L.A., screaming like Hunter S. Thompson about goddamn bats. It's got the grit, it's got the violence, it's got the intense, phantasmagoric techno worldbuilding. It's got more gems than a diamond mine, filled with sewage. It's Se7en with robots.


What did I love about it? Eliot Lazar, his history, his lunacy, his addiction. Hot damn, this guy does addiction right, and all the hideous shit that comes with it. The splendid awfulness. Spot on. Actually, though I hated his first scenes, Shelley Lazar becomes rather epic as time goes on, enough that I sort of hope he gets his own spin-off. Eliot is a tortured soul, but Shelley is a madman for its own sake. I dig it.


Flaubert. Ochoa. The whole corrupt police force. But Flaubert in particular had some wonderfulness to him that made me WANT HIM TO WIN, even though any success he had would destroy the narrative. And then we had psychopaths (a good percentage of the human cast) of varying levels of brick-shitting terror-inducing malevolence. One scene in particular had me on the edge of being physically ill, and for that, I must show respect.


The diggers. The disciples. Militiamen. The whole system. The slow build of 'what defines right in an age of property' philosophy. It's a beautiful thing. It's why this book has four stars instead of two or three.


What did I not like? Not going to lie, there are some serious cliches that do damage just by being there. The most grievous of these involved a small child being sympathy fodder at an inopportune time, and it almost crossed the line to cause me to close the damn book. Another, so close to the end, made me blaspheme out loud in front of group of small children, and I absolutely did not care. The one with the screwdriver. You'll know it when you get there.


And the end... actually, I can dig the end, because it's a total descent into insanity. Where the first act was a horrible and majestic love story and the second became a taught police thriller, the third decayed into an episodic train of bizarre, for-the-hell-of-it antics and forced plotting, not bothering to tie up half of the subplots begun in the first hundred pages. Bu the epilogue made it work. Some have called this a cliffhanger, but I truly hope this is the end of the story. In a tale less about the meaning of life than the meaning of death, there could only be one way to end things, and that is how it went.


Do I recommend this? Yes. Did I like it? Yes. Has it scarred me? A little. Okay, maybe a little more than a little, and it pissed me off all the while. But for the failings this book contains, it is certainly superior science fiction. This book has made me want to drink, and that's saying something.


Approach with caution. 

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text 2015-02-04 22:56
Hardcover or e-book?
Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: A Novel - Judd Trichter

I love this in hardcover, but prefer e-books. 


I'm trying to decide what to do.   What would you guys do in this case?

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review 2015-01-05 00:39
Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, by Judd Trichter
Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: A Novel - Judd Trichter

Eliot Lazar loves an android. In his world, this is one of the most repellent sexual perversions there is. Androids were created for cheap labor. They're objects, not people. So, Eliot hides his love for Iris Matsuo (and his drug habit) from his family and employers. Someday, he promises Iris, they will sail to Avernus, where they can live openly in a Pacific utopia. And then, Iris is kidnapped, murdered, and chopped up for parts. Judd Trichter's Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is the story of Eliot's quest to rebuild his lost love...


Read the rest of my review at Summer Reading Project.

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review 2014-06-01 04:06
Three Mistresses Are Better Than One
The Greek's Chosen Wife (A Mediterranean Marriage) - Lynne Graham

This contemporary romance has a historical kind of plot. Nik and Prudence were forced into marriage, and after a disaster of a wedding night that left the marriage unconsummated, he want back to his playboy ways. (Three mistresses at once. Three! You have to say that in the accent of Bryony from "Arthur Christmas.") But they remained on good terms while living separate lives for eight years, and Nik always figured that at some point he'd settle down with Prudence; it's quite a shock when she tells him she wants a divorce, because she plans to become a mother.

Prudence is equally shocked that Nik wants a real marriage, and after having to force herself to get over her infatuation with him, she doesn't want to risk her heart again. But Nik is not going to take no for an answer.

I enjoyed this slightly offbeat reunion story. The characters are sweet; Nik is much less of an asshole than you'd think. The plot strained credulity a bit.... how they went from Prudence refusing to have anything to do with Nik after their wedding to them being chummy while he's cavorting with his harem is unclear to me. And then it got very episodic in the last third of the book, with a lot of drama to create conflict for the couple. It could've been shorter and been just fine.

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quote 2013-06-20 10:19
The idea of machines making machines is a recurring theme in both science fiction stories and serious academic studies. There are probably two reasons for this fascination: One is a practical view of scalability. Creating a machine that can create more machines leverages technology to it's maximum capacity:With no humans in the loop, production is limited only by availability of material, power, and time. The second reason for fascination with this topic may be rooted in a deeper psychological need - one that some might call hubris - our need to create. The natural distinguishes itself from the artificial in that natural creatures can make more creatures but machines cannot. At its core, self-reproduction is the ultimate hallmark of biology. If you can create a machine that can make other machines, you will have attained a new level of creation.
Fabricated: 3D Print Everything from Body Parts to Bicycles... to Dinner - Hod Lipson,Melba Kurman

Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing p. 280

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