David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

Locus and Fantasy Book Critic Raves for “MultiReal”

Locus and Fantasy Book Critic have both weighed in on MultiReal, and they’re both more or less rave reviews. Ergo, I am pleased.

Locus magazine, Garth Nix coverIn the Locus review — which unfortunately is not online — Paul Witcover clearly engaged with the book and gave its political themes some deep thought, as witnessed by the opening paragraph:

What David Louis Edelman celebrates in MultiReal, the sequel to his highly acclaimed first novel, Infoquake, and the middle book of the Jump 225 Trilogy, is laissez-faire capitalism and enlightened self-interest, as epitomized by the heroic entrepreneur, standing alone and resilient against doubters, do-gooders, and the evil forces of governmental regulation. This novel begs to be considered as a piece of science fiction and as a political screed.

And he’s got some pretty darn complimentary things to say about the book in the rest of the review. This is the excerpt I’ve posted on the MultiReal reviews page, ellipsesed to show only the good stuff:

A brilliant imagining of a near-future that not only extrapolates convincingly from current technology and culture but fills in the gaps with world-building so detailed as to verge on the tedious… Others have imagined a future in which nano-machines have colonized the human body, and indeed every other nook and cranny of the physical world… but few have done so as convincingly as Edelman does in these books. His portrayal of that world is richly evocative… I’ve never encountered an SF writer whose focus is so relentlessly on the nuts and bolts of the entrepreneurial world, from the boardroom to the factory to the sales office, and who — pontification aside — can make the minutiae of that world seem as exciting and dangerous as a military operation.

Of course, behind those ellipses are some critiques over the novel and its (perceived) political slant. There are a few passages in the review like this, which knocks the protagonist Natch for his extreme libertarianism and compares the book to the heroes of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. (Can you believe I’ve never actually read either of those books?)

As political screed, MultiReal is a lesser book: blunt and dogmatic, very much in the vein of Ayn Rand, with the hero-entrepreneur, an omnicompetent megalomaniac named Natch, who runs the Surina/Natch MultiReal Fiefcorp, playing the Galt/Roark role. I found this aspect sophomoric and irritating, but I have no doubt that others will be enamored of a novel in which the main character is frequently referred to as “the entrepreneur,” as if there were no higher accolade available, and no one else worthy to bear it. Whenever I came across this descriptor, I simply replaced it with “the demigod” and read on.

Overall, a very satisfying review indeed, with caveats. (And incidentally, if you click through to the Locus website right now, you’ll see a very keen banner ad for yours truly, sponsored jointly by Pyr and Solaris.)

Fantasy Book Critic sealIn his review on Fantasy Book Critic, Liviu C. Suciu engages in quite a bit of setup and plot summary (including not a few spoilers, for those who care about such things):

It took me some time to fully get into MultiReal, since the motivations, choices and actions of the characters depend a lot on this wonderful Jump 225 world built by Mr. Edelman, and it’s been two years since I read Infoquake… Once I immersed myself in the world of Natch and Jara, the book became a true page-turner that I could not put down, and when the final page came I was sad since I really wanted more.

The review is mostly summarization, although if you skip to the end, you’ll see that Liviu did enjoy it quite a bit:

The combination of extraordinary world building, compelling characters that grow on you in Jara and Natch, legal intrigue, political maneuverings and fast action made MultiReal an even more entertaining book for me than Infoquake, which I loved too. Better pacing and a more compact time frame make MultiReal technically more accomplished too, and I really have the highest hopes for Geosynchron. Highly, highly recommended…

So looks like MultiReal has gotten six highly complimentary reviews and one pan, or 86% positive in Rotten Tomatoes terminology. Which is 6% higher than Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, in case you’re keeping track. So suck it, Abigail Breslin!

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