Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A Substantial Sci-fi Novel: Post-Human

 My Review of Post-Human by David Simpson:


Post-Human by David Simpson is a solid, engaging sci-fi novel.  It’s not flashy or groundbreaking, but it has a nice subtle touch that blends the futuristic elements effortlessly with the more human aspects of the narrative.

"With a 600 degree Celsius surface, Venus might have been hell, and James wouldn’t have had it any other way. His favorite part of the day was his approach to the planet and subsequent descent into the atmosphere."

Post-Human is set some time in the future, in the world of James Keats.  Humans have shaped machines to their own ends, making great advancements, becoming themselves partly machine, with nanobots streaming through their bodies.  Earth seems flawless, until a worldwide catastrophe terminates their idyllic existence.  James and his friends must deal with the aftermath, and the shocking truth of what happened.

"When the clouds began to break, he caught a glimpse of something strange. It was only a momentary glimpse, and he told himself it couldn’t be right. It had looked like flames.  He kept dropping. A moment or two later the clouds abated completely and he saw where he was, over the east side of Vancouver and facing south. His mouth fell open and his eyes widened as he looked at his city. It was on fire."

What I enjoyed most about this book was the matter-of-fact way the author handled the science aspects of the plot.  There were no long-winded, technical explanations; he plunked you right in the middle of the society and whipped you along for the ride.  It was artfully done, creating a complete science fiction backdrop for the novel’s authentic characters.  The book also has some excellent character interactions and nicely written, restrained commentaries on tolerance, humanity and the nature of religion.  The author lets these observations flow naturally from the plot and dialogue and does not thump the reader over the head with his opinions.

I was hoping for a slightly darker ending; things were wrapped up a bit too happily ever after for my tastes, but that is simply a personal quibble.  Post-Human is a great sci-fi novel and a very satisfying read; I definitely recommend it.

You can find David and his book on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Post-Human-by-David-Simpson/75192853532

Post-Human is available at Amazon.ca:
http://www.amazon.ca/Post-Human-David-Simpson/dp/1440136874

And Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Post-Human-David-Simpson/dp/1440136874


You can read my spolight of the author and the book here:
http://www.examiner.com/x-37362-Canada-Sci-Fi-Examiner~y2010m2d11-A-new-Canadian-scifi-novel

4 comments:

La'Von Gittens said...

Yeah, I'm like you with the dark endings! I try and include the right balance!

Joylene said...

You hooked me on "it's not flashy". Thanks for this good review, Anita. The book sounds great.

David Simpson said...

Thanks for taking the time to read the book and write a very strong review, Anita. Just a heads up that might interest you -- I'm writing the sequel right now and it is really, really dark. :)

A. F. Stewart said...

You're welcome for the review, David; I've posted it on Examiner.com and Goodreads as well.