David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

Robert J. Sawyer Praises “MultiReal”

I knew that attending the 2007 World Fantasy Convention would be a good idea for my career, I just didn’t know why. You always hear a lot of jabber about how networking is so important, it’s always good to have friends, blah blah blah — but you rarely get any concrete examples.

'MultiReal' book cover Well, here’s a concrete example. In one of my blogs about my World Fantasy experience, I mentioned that I had finally met Hugo Award-winning SF author Robert J. Sawyer (author of Hominids, Rollback, and many others). Rob and I were both in a group of about ten people who dined at the local pub on the first official night of the con. And then I got a chance to talk with him face to face for a few minutes at the Tor party on day 3. I said on my blog that Rob was “very generous with his time and advice.” What I didn’t mention at the time was that he agreed to read my upcoming novel MultiReal for a possible blurb.

Today, Mr. Sawyer has come through. Here’s his blurb for MultiReal, and boy, it’s a beaut:

Just when we thought cyberpunk was dead, David Louis Edelman bursts on the scene with defibrillator paddles and shouts, “Clear!” If there’s any web more tangled than the World Wide one, it’s the Byzantine networks of high finance; Edelman intermeshes them in a complex, compelling series. This DOES compute!

Damn, I love this. I’m bursting onto the scene! With defibrillator paddles, no less! And I even like the cutesy “this DOES compute” at the end, complete with exclamation point. I think this one’s going to be riding high on my books for years to come, provided you all keep my career going for years to come by purchasing multiple copies of my books.

There’s nothing quite like a colorful blurb from someone who really knows how to give a good compliment. Take, for instance, one of my all-time faves, written by Wallace Stegner for the great Robert Stone: “Stone writes like a bird, like an angel, like a circus barker, like a con man, like someone so high on pot that he is scraping his shoes on the stars.” Then there’s Thomas Pynchon’s famous blurb for his old buddy Richard FariƱa: “This book comes on like the Hallelujah Chorus done by 200 kazoo players with perfect pitch, I mean strong, swinging, skillful and reverent — but also with the fine brassy buzz of irreverence in there too.”

Including Sawyer’s blurb and the one by Peter Watts, I’m now two steps closer to achieving my goal of getting praised by every single Canadian on the planet. Robert Charles Wilson and R. Scott Bakker, you’re next!

And thanks again to Rob Sawyer.

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  1. George Pedrosa on January 18, 2008 at 1:22 pm  Chain link

    I’m kind of bothered by the assertion that Infoquake (and possibly the Jump 225 trilogy) is cyberpunk. I really don’t see it that way. It’s too far in the future, too far off the streets, the technology is too advanced, it isn’t dystopic enough (or AT ALL, if you ask me), the characters are not marginalized loners who live on the edge of society… I think people wrongfully tend to label as cyberpunk anything that doesn’t have aliens and is set on a technologically advanced Earth.

    Granted I’ve only read Infoquake so far, so perhaps the other books will reveal other facets of this universe that I haven’t yet seen. From what I read so far, however, I really don’t see how these books could be labeled as cyberpunk.

    Or perhaps my personal definition of cyberpunk is incorrect. What do you think David?

  2. David Louis Edelman on January 18, 2008 at 1:39 pm  Chain link

    I’m really not sure. The initial version of my query letter (never sent, thankfully) positioned Infoquake as “cyberpunk grows up and puts on a suit” or something like that. But I think Pyr initially wanted to steer away from the cyberpunk label for fear of lumping the book in with a movement whose time has come and gone.

    I think the books do share some of the same concerns as Islands in the Net, Neuromancer, etc. But I don’t approach these concerns from the same viewpoint. The problem is with the “punk” label. This ain’t anything-punk, as far as I’m concerned — it’s fiction.

    But then again, what do I know? I just write the darn things. :-)

  3. George Pedrosa on January 18, 2008 at 2:05 pm  Chain link

    Yeah, it does have some of the same themes as classic cyberpunk works like Neuromancer. The invasive technological modification of the human body, corporations dominating the world, a virtual space of computerized data (cyberspace on the first case, the Data Sea on the second case). However, the setting is far different and far less dystopic. And, as you said, it doesn’t really have anything “punk” about it.

    You could make a case that this book is actually an example of a postcyberpunk work.

  4. Lou Anders on January 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm  Chain link

    My personal opinion is that the book is postcyberpunk, akin to Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End and much of Charles Stross. But I’m grateful for the blurb.

  5. Jesse E-V on January 18, 2008 at 7:54 pm  Chain link

    I think your assessment of this series as cyberpunk growing up seems right on to me. In anycase, great blurb — I haven’t read Sawyer’s writing so I’ll be running out over the weekend to pick some up since I’m about to have a lot of time on my hands.

  6. Thom Stanley on January 30, 2008 at 4:43 pm  Chain link

    I agree. Infoquake is not cyberpunk. Punk, to me, is an anarchists world, a dirty and gritty place of lawlessness. This is not; while there is a bit of chaos in the fiefcorp machine, there are rules and regulations, and no real everyday danger. You aren’t likely to die in a MindSpace bubble because of hackers or Black Code.

    I guess I would term it (sorry, David) as CyberYuppie. It’s more like the children of Surina grew up, walked out of their hippie communes, put on ties, and started working in the corporate jungle. Not that I mind that; in fact, it’s fresh and brilliant in my opinion. I never thought I’d read a fascinating sci-fi romp where some of the most intriguing bits were in the form of small business meetings.

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