and set the bar in 1984. I just can’t believe I hadn’t read this book before now, but I am very glad I have.
I didn’t read this book as closely as I should have, and will probably read it again in the future, because my dear darling Siberian Husky, Holly, had to be put to sleep this week. So, I’m not sure if my observation that the quality of the book dropped off toward the end is actually true.
I would also like to add that one of my favorite characters of all time, Frances from Bone Dance, probably can claim to be a direct descendent of Molly. One review I read called Molly “The Competent Man” of science fiction, which I immediately had to research. I’d never heard of it before, but I recognized it when I found an explanation of it. The Competent Man is a Heinleinian motif, of the stolid individual who can rise above the seething masses, pull himselves up by his bootstraps, etc. I’ll have to look out for this in future books, especially the Heinlein I will be reading. I can think of a few books that already exhibited this: Alas, Babylon, Andromeda Strain, and Mission of Gravity.
The names in this book were jealousy-inducing. Wintermute, 3Jane, 8Jean, Molly, Steppin’ Razor, razor girls. Language sings when it’s used the right way. Great names were laid over great characters – flawed, dangerous, fragile, history-steeped characters. Yes, the science is here in spades, but poetic language draws out characters that drop you into this story as if you were in a matrix yourself.