Air - Geoff Ryman

Another holiday book, and another 'not really scifi' book, although this one's far more recent than the others. The science may be poorly-coated magic, but the technology rings pretty true, with warring formats and stupid bugs. The real theme, though, is the inevitability of change, and the loss of the past. The story is about the arrival of modern technology (that internet, and its mystical successor 'Air') to an obscure asian village, and the work of their technological prophet, Mae. However, it gets far weirder than that makes it sounds, and the middle bit gets quite surreal. By the end, it's simply back to symbolic. Explaining the details would, I think, ruin the plot a little, so I'll just say I think it works really well.

Posted 2007-02-11.