Re: LIT: Zindell's _The Wild_

Anders Sandberg (
Mon, 4 Nov 1996 14:31:56 +0100 (MET)

On Sun, 3 Nov 1996, Twirlip of Greymist wrote:

> [no one uses TAGS: anymore]
> I just read Zindell's _The Wild_. I haven't read anything else by
> Zindell, because no bookstore in the area has had anything by him, so my
> only previous exposure had been Anders' quotations from _The Broken
> God_.

My suggestion is that you start out with _Neverness_, the "zeroth" book of
his current trilogy (_The Broken God_, _The Wild_, <upcoming>), it is IMHO
the best of the books and explains the world much better than the rest.

> These days I seem to prefer hard SF or outright fantasy. Both _Fire_
> and _The Wild_ are books which find wonder and magic in extrapolating
> known technology, but which are flawed from the 'hard' viewpoint. But
> the flaws serve different purposes. Zindell's mystical garnishes seem
> intended to enhance the magical flavor of the book, but they end up
> distracting and cheapening what derives from the harder nanotech/AI
> developments.

Actually, I think Zindell has a more serious purpose in his magical style.
He isn't trying to write about the real functioning of his universe (as
hard sf tries to do), what interests him are deeper philosophical
questions and the development of a transhumanist myth. The real plot of
_The Wild_ is about Danlo's growth into a "true human" (whatever that is;
I find him sometimes nauseatingly saintly), while _Neverness_ dealt with a
human's growth into a god. These themes are perhaps possible to deal with
in hard sf, but Zindell choose a looser style since it suited him (and it
may make the myth stronger).

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y