- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; First edition (June 16 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765328038
- ISBN-13: 978-0765328038
- Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.6 x 20.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 322 g
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Echopraxia Paperback – Jun 16 2015
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“A paranoid tale that would make Philip K. Dick proud, told in a literary style that should seduce readers who don't typically enjoy science fiction.” ―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
PETER WATTS is the Hugo and Nebula nominated author of Blindsight and has been called "a hard science fiction writer through and through and one of the very best alive" by The Globe and Mail and whose work the New York Times called "seriously paranoid."
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Mr Watts' continues to challenge the reader with concepts and idea's that are far enough "out there" and are based upon enough science to scare the living bejesus out of you. He also does that in the form of a book you cannot put down; a testament to his research, obvious HUGE intellect and a willingness to challenge all views, beliefs and theories.
I didn't used to be scared shi@#%$ of the future .... but I'm beginning to wonder ...
That would be, in our pattern, MAELSTROM and ECHOPRAXIA, respectively. Then, he does one more follow up that is so bad that even his really smart writing cannot get you to the end. So far this has only happened with that first group, the ending mess being B-MAX which he even managed to split into 2 separate parts, proving that you can actually fool a lot of the people a lot of the time. He has not yet gotten to this stage with that follow on to ECHOPRAXIA, but this time I think I will drop off the merry-go-round a bit early.
ECHOPRAXIA might have been a good novel, if it was not set in the BLINDSIGHT 'world'. Maybe he is the one responsible for carrying things too far and maybe it is publisher pressure for the apparently required sequel and then trilogy. Whomever is at fault, if you really liked BLINDSIGHT, skip ECHOPRAXIA, it will only leave you with a bad taste and somewhat dim the overall good feeling for the first novel.
The ever useful Wikipedia defines echopraxia as “the involuntary repetition or imitation of another person's actions” which makes for an interesting and though provoking subtext to the novel. There is a lot to think about, too, with musing on the nature of consciousness, humanity and faith just for starters. Bundle all that into incredibly dense but well researched proper, truly hard science fiction and a cast of generally unlikable characters, Echopraxia is no easy read but it is never boring. Small elements of space opera glimmer through chinks in the otherwise impenetrable hard sf shell so there is enough pace, intrigue and dialogue to keep the story moving along but a blistering page-turner it is not.
At the end of the novel are a number of surprisingly interest appendices where Watts discusses current thinking and published scientific works around the central themes of the novel – they’re well worth a read. Echopraxia is original, complex and very clever, perhaps too clever and I’m definitely going to have to read it again to fully appreciate its..um…cleverness as I definitely have the feeling that I’ve only scratched he surface in my first reading.
Many accounts have noted how 'hard' *Echopraxia* is, how cutting edge its science, and will just you look at all those references at the end...and it is indeed these things. Yes, it can be a little complex at times - that is the intention, to be an immersive experience. (That's why the Kindle's ability to show word definitions such as "allometry" is so useful.) To finish the book is to feel a sense of achievement.
But *Echopraxia* is so much more than just 'hard' science fiction. What hasn't been pointed out enough in the reviews is how polished the writing is. There are few extraneous words if any. One lovely little example: it's a novel dealing with determinism, and rather than simply talking about it with infodumps, a recurring joke sees the various post-human characters repeatedly finishing the sentences of the 'baseline' main character. The truly scary ones vocally answer his unspoken thoughts.
What this book represents is a unification of C.P. Snow's "Two Cultures." It deserves to win awards like the Clarke.
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Like Blindsight, which this one runs parallel to, Echopraxia builds to...Read more