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The Outside (The Outside, #1)
This topic is about The Outside
2020 P.K. Dick Nominees > The Outside by Ada Hoffman

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message 1: by Michael, NWC Goodreads Group Admin (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michael Hanscom (djwudi) | 137 comments Mod
Have you read this nominated work? Tell us what you thought!

message 2: by Michael, NWC Goodreads Group Admin (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michael Hanscom (djwudi) | 137 comments Mod
Humankind is out in space, limited to mid-20th century tech while super advanced AI gods and their cybernetically enhanced angels control advanced tech, FTL flight and comms…oh, and Lovecraftian energies are destroying people and threatening worlds. Fun!

Having an autistic main character (and another supporting character) was very interesting as well, especially as a neurotypical (as far as I know) reader. The character’s differences in viewpoint and processing style were simultaneously an interesting look at a mental model I don’t know much about, and absolutely integral to the story itself.

Shelley George | 23 comments I read this book but it has been a slog.
I kept expecting the book to pick up and GO, go , go. But it continued to just mosey along.
I kept hoping we'd have a different kind of talk about religion that would be interesting. It was close but just never delivered.
The lead character had an interesting perspective.
The book was OK.

message 4: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 7 comments Yes, Outside was a slog, but with some interesting ideas/perspectives.
Having worked with people with autism (and other disabilities) living independently in the community for 20 years, her portrayal of characters with autism seemed weak. At most, I'd guess these were extremely high-functioning people with mild Asperger syndrome.
The concept of gods & angels as mixed human and AI and not always actually good or gentle is thought provoking.
Not sure how I feel about the ending.

This Phil Dick quote pretty well sums up the theme:
"The universe is information and we are stationary in it, not three dimensional and not in space or time."

I'm taking a small break & reading some stories in The Shell Collector by (Jonathan?) Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See, then on to Velocity Weapon, thanks to our local library.
Still unable to find a library or affordable copy of Palwick book, though I read another of hers (have to check title) and it didn't make me want to use scarce funds for this one.

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