Anthropocene Rag by Alex Irvine
Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: science fiction, dystopian
Release Date: March 31, 2020
In the near-future of the United States, the country is filled with monsters and artificial-intelligences that are constantly recreating the myths and legends of humans. Prospector Ed is sent forth with burning purpose, assembles a ragtag team to reach Monument City, a place that everyone has heard of, but that no one is quite sure actually exists.
Described as a “nanotech western”, this near-future dystopia poses interesting questions about our futures, and what our technology will bring in its wake.
** Thanks to netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing me with an eARC of this book**
This is a book where I wasn’t really sure what to think of it. It was interesting, thought-provoking, well-written, and had oodles of voice. But there was something that just didn’t quite work about it. It’s definitely the kind of book where I would expect to be going: “It was weird as fuck, but you gotta read it!” and just, that didn’t happen, unfortunately.
Most importantly for me, I had trouble connecting with the characters, they didn’t quite feel real to me. I think this book raises a lot of interesting questions but doesn’t necessarily seem to do it in the purposeful way that would be required for it to be really poignant.
What did work for me was the chaotic and unpredictable nature of the worldbuilding. It painted a familiar, but distorted and sometimes jarring picture, and I thought it was particularly well done. I also really enjoyed Prospector Ed and the narrator, both aspects of this book that I think worked really well.
Overall, I think I would recommend this book to anyone who likes kind of weird science fiction!
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