Baker, S. Spencer -- Slabscape: Reset

Guy wakes from rejuvenation cryofreeze amnesia. He is aboard a big-ass starship. Everything is all post-scarcity whuffie-economy sparkles-and-orgies happy time. Nothing happens.

Most of the book is classic Walden-2 utopia-tour boilerplate, with only the barest hint of plot to move things along -- the hint being "Does the guy's girlfriend-cum-PR-manager, no pun intended, care about him half as much as her cut of his take?" (As an old-term revivee, he is famous, meaning rich. The book studiously limits itself to portraying the top 1% of this society; even in a post-scarcity utopia, the less-than-hyper-rich are not worth anybody's time.)

Later on, the author appears to introduce a plotline, but it doesn't actually involve the protagonist; it's the sidebar adventures of his holographic pre-amnesia personality matrix. (A hyper-rich asshole, in case you were wondering.)

If nothing else, this book demonstrates the difference between irony and nihilism. Iain Banks wrote this sort of thing with oceans of irony and glaciers of snark, but he was fundamentally interested in what people actually do, how organizations organize, and why society works. Spencer Baker looks at the same societies (the Slabscape might as well be a GSV), considers the same questions, and concludes that society is all bullshit. This is why Banks wrote great SF.

Final note: the torrent of crap science in this book comes with enough wink to make me suspect that it's consciously crap science. However, I refuse to give the benefit of the doubt to crap relativity. Listen up, authors: when you hand me the "two spaceships leave Earth in opposite directions at 99% lightspeed, oh god, that adds up more more than C" wheeze, I drop it on the floor. I'll give Heinlein a pass on that for nostalgia. If you were born after Heinlein -- which, hint hint, was two years after Special Relativity -- that gag just marks you as an ignorant blowhard.

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