Enter into Neth Space and you will find thoughts and reviews of books and other media that fit the general definition of speculative fiction. This includes the various genres and sub-genres of fantasy, science fiction, epic fantasy, high fantasy, hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, new weird, magical realism, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, slipstream, horror, alternative history, SF noir, etc. Thoughts are my own, I'm certainly not a professional, just an avid reader avoiding his day job.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Mini-Review: Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick
worlds do actually collide. While my alter-ego on the internet (who I
colloquially call Neth) is well known in certain areas of the internet, I do
have a real world identity that includes me being a trained geologist. While it’s
not the cliché that many would think, I do love dinosaurs. Neth loves what he’s
read from Michael Swanwick and when Swanwick writes about dinosaurs in Bones of the Earth (Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon) worlds collide.
ways, Bones of the Earth is Jurassic Park written by a much more
likeable author. They both involve dinosaurs, they both involve science fiction
(genetic engineering in Jurassic Park
and time travel in Bones of the Earth), and they are both something of a
thriller in nature easily adaptable to the likes of Hollywood. My instinct is
to call Bones of the Earth a smart
person’s Jurassic Park, though I admit
that this is likely due to my dislike of Crichton and doesn’t really reflect
what I actually thought of Jurassic Park
the first few times I read it (I loved it back in the ‘90s).
Regardless, Bones of the Earth is an intelligent
mash-up of dinosaurs and time travel where paleontologists are presented with
an opportunity to study actual living dinosaurs in their actual habitat. As
expected, it follows the rubric of presenting a few somewhat crazy ideas as
scientific possibilities in a thoroughly entertaining manner. Where Bone of the Earth does distinguish
itself is in the people. This book is as much a story of how people and their personalities
interact with others and in time – after all, time travel often presents the opportunity
for a younger self to interact with an older self. And time travel paradoxes
are always fun.
Bones of the Earth is fun and I very much enjoyed it. Swanwick is a very good author
and everytime I read his books I wander why I’m not reading more of them. The
book is probably best summed up in the simple equation below.
Dinosaurs are cool. Time travel is cool.
Dinosaurs + time travel = really, really cool.