[Tim Maughan] Ì Infinite Detail [guides PDF] Read Online ì I read than half of this, looked up, thought, I really don t care what happens And put it down 2019 is the year of me feeling okay with ditching books I don t care about.
Infinite Detail is a novel about technological culture and dystopia, but those two topics aren t paired in quite the way readers might expect.
It takes place along two timelines, something very close to our present Before and a time about fifteen years hence After During the former we follow characters involved in a technological separatist community carved out of the British city of Bristol during the latter, we follow people in the same area after an apocalyptic event The central trauma of the novel is that the internet is suddenly destroyed, plunging civilization into collapse Infinite Detail tacks back and forth between these two periods, taking us up to the event, then tracing its impact.
Both of these are described in a naturalist style Most of the British characters are poor or working class, and the life After is horrendous The class divides between Mary, who can see
SkyNet is real, and it wants to sell you shoes made by child slaves.
Every decade s science fiction is taking common themes and anxieties of its decade, and transfers them slightly into the future 60s SF had a nuclear war, 70s SF had ecological collapse, 80s SF had mega conglomerates ruling the planet, 90s SF had I m not sure , but Infinite Detail clearly is about the anxieties Facebook, Google and the ubiquitous Internet have caused, the loss of privacy, importantly, the loss of private space.
There are two intertwined stories featuring mostly the same characters one is Before, set in the close future, where glasses like devices called Spex have taken over as smart phone replacements Facebook, Google, etc are all still there, and have only become powerful Cars are all self driving, and people are even constantly hooked into the network We re not imagining things And nobody planned This book came in the mail today and I read the whole thing this afternoon, in about 3 hours, stopping only to make lunch Suffice to say I found it riveting.
This is a clever work of dystopian near future sci fi, imagining a world where the Internet is even ubiquitous, and even commodified, than it is now Or at least, that s how it is in the before scenes of the book, set in 2021 the after scenes depict an Internet free wasteland, where global capitalism has ground to a halt because the technology that keeps goods circulating around the world produced in factories, ferried over the ocean by container ships, and finally distributed at retail outlets has collapsed.
It s not a pretty picture, to say the least The people who were responsible for the global Internet shutdown are never introduced as characters we can only surmise their motives through oth This was a doozy of a book to read on what turned out to be the longest blackout in recent past Although to be precise this novel isn t apocalypse by blackout so much as it is apocalypse by disconnect Yes, the power goes out, but the main paralyzing factor is that a population so cripplingly attached to its gadgets and instant and constant connectivity suddenly finds that dependency taken nay, ripped away suddenly, brutally and irreversibly So in a way it s very much an apocalypse now, a very timely dystopian read for the current generation The story is told through multiple perspectives and timelines of before and after and as such execution at times got somewhat busy and confusing or maybe disjointed is a apt description But it did work, was considerably compelling and read surprisingly quickly for such a hefty volume I found it especially clever the way the author utiliz originally posted here s rare for me to be as excited about a new release as I am about Tim Maughan s excellent debut novel, Infinite Detail I don t recall exactly who put me on to Maughan s work someone on Twitter, surely, as that s where I ve gotten most of my book news and recommendations for close to a decade now but I read Paintwork in 2016 and felt like I d finally found the kind of science fiction I d been looking for, and which the genre seemed determined not to give me.
For those who haven t encountered Maughan s fiction before I d probably say that it combines William Gibson s remarkable ability to see right to the heart of now with the politics and analysis of someone like Adam Greenfield and the weird narrative prototyping of design fiction, although that doesn t seem quite right Jay Owens might call it kitchen sink dystopia, which applies to much of his short fiction, but
The author takes us back and forth through pre and post collapse, weaving threads that come together toward the latter third of the book It left me with many questions about the next stage of the city and the characters existence although their American counterparts seem to give us some indication.
I particularly appreciated that the book gave the character real ideologies and challenged them, and ga