Chung Mae is the only connection her small farming village has to culture of a wider world beyond the fields and simple houses of her village. A new communications technology is sweeping the world and promises to connect everyone, everywhere without power lines, computers, or machines. This technology is Air. An initial testing of Air goes disastrously wrong and people are killed from the shock. Not to be stopped Air is arriving with or without the blessing of Mae's village. Mae is the only one who knows how to harness Air and ready her people for it's arrival, but will they listen before it's too late?
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||563 KB|
About the Author
Geoff Ryman is the author of 253, Was, The Child Garden, and The Unconquered Country. He has won the World Fantasy Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and The British Science Fiction Association Award. He lives in London, England.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Air is a brilliantly conceived book that- at its very core- is a damning indictment of the 'civilized' world's immoral disregard of cultures considered 'primitive' and therefore inferior, even expendable. At the same time, it's also a novel about hope, and the remarkable resiliency of the human spirit. These messages shine brightly together in Ryman's clever story, where a Karzistan village- filled with people living meaningful, dignified lives in their own way- is disrupted and change forever when the villagers are selected as guinea pigs in an ill-fated United Nations experiment involving Air, a quantum device intended to transmit a flood of worldwide information directly into their targeted brains- in essence, 'westernizing' them in an instantaneous and overwhelming fashion. The result is chaos for the villagers, even death, and the beginning of a strange, almost magical journey for Chung Mae, a village elder who becomes a seer of sorts, and a warrior for survival of her people. Although very different from those of us in the west, Ryman's characters are not only believable, but universal and immediately familiar. As intriguing as the book's premise is, it's these sharply defined characters that keep the pages turning, as we weep for what they lost forever and cheer them on to victory. I can't recommend this book highly enough, especially for those who 'hate' science fiction because they have no idea what it's capable of. Air will change their minds. Another science fiction novel that touches on the themes of dignity and resiliency of the human spirit is the intelligent An Audience for Einstein, a young adult title. I'm far too old to wear that young adult label myself, but still found it enjoyable and highly worthwhile.