Saturday, October 18, 2008
Til Human Voices Wake Us
Til Human Voices Wake Us by Mark Budz
"We don't want to be human anymore. Human voices woke us, but that's not who we are. We want to forget we were human. We want to wake up to our own future. Not drown in the past."
In three different eras, three protagonists struggle with the spectre of death and grasp for a means to survival. During the Depression, an architect communes with mystics for the key to healing. In the near future, a traveller who believes he has found the answer with Jesus broadcasts his story from a church van. Far in the future, a post-human space explorer who has lost vital parts of his programming because of an accident fights to maintain coherence. Each character struggles for truth and life, their fates becoming more closely linked with every passing moment. Discovering the truth behind their fates and choosing the right set of memories constitute the only path to survival for all three. Budz's fascinating thriller made up of three disparate stories crucially connected and eventually converging on a conclusion perhaps not entirely unexpected satisfies through the exploration of mind and choice that is its mainspring.
I checked this out of the library based on a recommendation from someone (as an aside, I really need to start writing down the source for all these recs....), and am glad I did. This is good science fiction, folks. The three characters introduced separately as the book begins are each interesting in themselves, but as the book progresses and the connections between the three start to become apparent, it really gets fascinating. Because it takes a little while to get into each character's story, the first part of the book is a little slow-going, but even then I didn't ever consider ditching it. The exploration of the different facets of personality, and how we chose to hide or express them, was quite interesting. I enjoyed this one - thanks to whomever told me to pick this up!
Source: Franklin Avenue Library