Jason Pettus's Reviews > The Process Server

The Process Server by L.H. Thomson
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's review
Mar 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, sci-fi, funny, subversive, smart-nerdy
Read from March 18 to August 07, 2012

(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this review, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

I never quite appreciated the distinction when I was younger and simply a fan, but now that I'm a full-time reviewer of such work, I've come to realize that there are actually two different strata of success in the world of science-fiction: there is the cream of the crop that bleeds through into the general culture, the William Gibsons and Neal Stephensons and Charles Strosses of the world, and there are the much greater number of authors who aren't exactly bad, but who deliver exactly what that genre requires and not a single tiny bit more, the "pushers" of the fetishistic "highs" that come with that genre for that fan, which is all that they're looking for to have considered that project not a waste of their time. (Or to think of it another way, many of these second-tier SF authors also double as screenwriters on syndicated SF and fantasy shows, Buffy and Fringe and whatnot, successful and popular shows all, but purposely designed to mostly be consumed once then never thought of again, except for that small number of convention-going hardcore fans who keep that author's mortgage payments coming in each month.) And that's what L.H. Thomson's The Process Server is, basically, a very serviceable cyberpunk-tinted space opera but not much else, that will satisfy fellow fans of cyberpunk-tinted space operas but make most everyone else say, "Eh, okay, whatever." Set among a dystopian humanity that now spans the galaxy, it posits a complexly Doctorowian political situation that essentially makes our hero a planet-hopping noir-like server of court papers, with a saucy 250-year-old stuck in a 14-year-old girl's body as a spaceship pilot, stuck as pawns within a blackly comic thriller played out among nation-sized corporations and a galactic population terminally addicted to a sensurround virtual reality. A well-done story for what it is, it breaks not even a single step of new ground within the genre but will be a minor treat anyway for fans of this type of work, which is why it's getting a good score but not a great one, and a limited recommendation instead of a general one.

Out of 10: 8.2
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message 1: by L.H. (new) - added it

L.H. Thomson Lord , this is so accurate, I feel violated, LOL

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