Bewildering Stories

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The Reading Room

by Jerry Wright

By Stanley Schmidt

It's been 16 years since Analog Editor Stan Schmidt has written a novel, but it doesn't show. I don't know if I wasn't paying attention, or what, but when this book came across my path a couple of weeks ago, I was very surprised.

Argonaut is light entertainment with some good questions and different answers. Nanotech is a primary trope of this book, as is Alien Invasion. Frankly, much of this book reminded me in the nicest possible way of a Heinlein juvenile. If it weren't for the fact that the protagonists, Lester and Pilar are just too old for a "juvenile", it could have been marketed that way. This is a gentle book in many ways, where it could have been a tabloid monkey. I enjoyed it, and I found the argus-eyed nanotech invasion very logical and the ramifications well thought out, but heading in a much different direction than I was expecting.

I could tell you all about the book, but pfui, why spoil it? Read it, and say, "Thanks, Stan, write another one, please!"

Also in the queue, Resurgence by Charles Sheffield and The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge.

Copyright © 2003 by Jerry Wright