Derek's Reviews > Cyber Way

Cyber Way by Alan Dean Foster
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's review
May 18, 2011

bookshelves: books-i-own, sf, mystery
Read from February 20 to 22, 2016 , read count: 2

Decent SF mystery, with the usual strange anachronisms found in so much near-future SF.

Detective Vernon Moody must investigate the death of an art collector, and the trail leads to the Navaho reservation in Arizona. Along the way, he learns more than he wants to know of Navaho religious practice in general, and sandpaintings specifically. I have no idea if this treads on any cultural toes, but I imagine there must have been cries of "cultural appropriation". I think Foster treats it respectfully, and I don't have a problem with it, but then I'm not Navaho.

The one anachronism that was particularly hard to understand was that a book written in 1990 (when we already had car-phones, massive though they were) couldn't envision hand-held mobile phones. The police are equipped with hand-held computers, but whenever they want to connect to the Web, they have to find a phone! It's not a show-stopper, but it keeps pulling you out of the novel. Another one was almost ignorable, but simple enough to extrapolate that a careful author could have avoided it: the police bring in a consultant, and her hand-held computer is much more capable than theirs. She tells them that it has ten gigabytes of memory! A simple application of Moore's law would have told him that it would take until about now to get 10GB of memory into a handheld device (we're actually a little ahead of the Moore's Law prediction, but not far), but we haven't arrived at his future yet. It's (smartly) never stated exactly when this is set, but I think he really should have gone at least into the Terabyte range!

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02/23/2016 marked as: read
02/23/2016 marked as: currently-reading
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