Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Solaris - #37

Image sourced from here 
I have issues. I really do. It's a known thing, and when Lexx recommends books to me, one such caveat that is usually given is "there's a long description of lore/politics/history/science in the middle of the book". Now usually, those are things I get off on. As if I need to tell you guys. Mythology is my not so secret weakness. I love understanding the history of a place/event/person. Politics helps everything make sense. And science is fundamental to understanding anything. Including the three subjects above.

But what I don't like is the author taking me on 50 or 100 pages of this at once. Interweave bits and pieces in to the story, and I am yours. But I realised this style was not my thing in 1984. At least I loved the book though, so I paid attention for 80% of it. Then Lexx made me read one of his all time favourites, Magician, with a good warning that if I wasn't that into that part of 1984 (I had warned him when I passed the book over) I may encounter again. I did. I was bored.

So, when I was reading Solaris, and then I hit page after page after page of "science" of the planet and the scientific social history of the scientists, I was ready to scratch my eyes out. Which was disappointing. Because the other half (yes, HALF) of the book, which was the actual story, was fascinating. I wanted to know more about the stationed scientists, Kris, Snow and Sartorius - who I still know almost nothing about and just had to google him to find out his name.

I want to know more about the appearance of the visitors, I want to know who or what Snow's and Sartorius' visitors were, I want to know what happened after with the sea, I want to know more about Kris' and Rheya's relationship in the past.

Instead, I know more about a fictional planets formation of plasma waves that act like a geological formations than I ever, ever need to. I know the differences of some made up, dead scientist's theory against another made up, dead scientist's theory. In fact, I know the differences between many of these, both theories and people.

You know why I think it annoys me? Because I will never be able to remember all the information I will learn about this world. Trying to remember all the fascinating bits of science about the real world is hard. Remembering all the relevant bits of history to understand our world is pretty impossible. I can hardly speak one language, let alone any others. I can't remember all the facts of the wonderful and beautiful stories I have already read.

And then to spend a novel filling my head with pages and pages of "science" that was drier than my Advanced Issues of Cognitive Neurobiology textbook I have somewhere (complete snoozefest), I feel cheated!! I could use that space in my brain better. You could use that space in your novel better!!!

I gave the book 2.5 stars. Mainly as the half of the book I enjoyed, I really enjoyed. It was just let down by the other half.

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