Rainbow's EndRainbow's End by Vernor Vinge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Overall I liked this near-future story, although I did feel the characterisation was far from perfect and I had difficulty connecting to many of the characters, who often felt (to me) less like 'real' human beings and more like plot devices.

The story has a long build-up time, setting up the world and the characters in it, before things actually happen. In this sense it reminded me of some works by Neal Stephenson, although I didn't feel it was quite as successful as Stephenson in its world-building but the world itself, with its many layers of augmented reality, feels like only a small exaggeration of current trends. One of the ways I feel this is the case is the 'belief circles', where people choose what they will believe in and their virtual world will reinforce this view and discard all others, regardless of any evidence on the contrary in the 'real' world. Now, why does this ring some sort of familiar bell in this post-fact world...



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