Adam's Reviews > Vacuum Flowers

Vacuum Flowers by Michael Swanwick
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's review
Sep 04, 07

bookshelves: literature-disguised-as-science-fic

What a ride! I've read a smattering of short stories(of note the absolutely menacing "The Very Pulse of the Machine" unsettling) by Swanwick which people claim are his strength but that seems dismissive of his novels..and on completing my first one..I think he might be dynamite novelist, one of our best. Called cyberpunk or space opera but really this is indescribable, a full on plunge into white hot imagination and political outrage tackling ideas of identity(most characters have several),goverment(a satire of nearly all goverment hypocrisy of human past,present, and future),reality and the other essential messes of life. Humor, terrific characters,scary speculation on technology, and full sense of wonder, also the weirdest "Wizard of OZ" allusion I have ever read (an extra point for including Kobo Abe in the great lost works of literature of Earth..don't ask)...there seems to be about hundred idea per page in this book. Swanwick may be a match for his heroes Gene Wolfe and Pynchon if the rest of his oeuvre it equal to this book. Also, star trek's the borg and the matrix owe him royalties and an apology for simplifying his ideas with their hollywood morality.
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