Rob's Reviews > Ventus

Ventus by Karl Schroeder
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's review
Sep 18, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011, science-fiction
Read from May 15 to 30, 2011

Somewhere inside of Ventus is a great story waiting for the patient reader to tear it out. But I wasn't that patient reader. Early on, I thought to myself: meh, this is too much like A Fire Upon the Deep... Only it's really not like A Fire Upon the Deep at all (which is a good thing). But it does read too much like a fantasy novel to be "good science fiction". This always grates on me [1] -- it happened with Dune, too -- all that weak quasi-medieval pageantry etc. There is some cool stuff going on in Ventus with the whole terraforming-gone-mad angle... but it takes 300 pages to get there. And as I mentioned, I just wasn't patient enough to sink in and enjoy it.

Maybe that was because it you're going to subscribe to that whole "show don't tell" strategy with your storytelling, maybe also realize that I need only be shown once or twice.

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[1] And maybe we're right back to A Fire Upon the Deep again but... that novel could get away with it because it was the alien species that was (shall we say?) mired with that aspect.

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See also:
Cory Doctorow's review from Mindjack.com
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Reading Progress

05/16/2011 page 24
4.0% "getting overtones that remind me of "Fire Upon the Deep" (which was "just OK" as I recall?)"
05/17/2011 page 47
7.0% "Ok... Less like "A Fire Upon the Deep" than I thought but... Thus one is on cruise control to 2-3 stars if it doesn't pick up soon."
05/18/2011 page 61
9.0% "Getting a weird "Earth-o-centric panspermia" vibe here; also: "well that's a weird twist on a first contact story, isn't it?""
05/20/2011 page 126
26.0% "Back to thinking this will be a solid 3... maybe a 2?"
05/22/2011 page 165
35.0% "I think at this point I'm being stubborn. The truth is: I really can't stand scifi-as-fantasy-as-scifi..."
05/24/2011 page 224
47.0% "So it took until... roughly page 180? ...to get good. I'm thinking a review with two ratings: one for the patient and one for the impatient?"
05/26/2011 page 273
57.0% "Ok..."
05/27/2011 page 312
65.0% "If you're patient, it gets really good by 307... But you've got to be patient."
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