July 4th, 2006

20111112, Marilee

The Bridge by Janine Ellen Young

Every night I considered whether I would continue reading this book or not. The author blurb in the back says she lectures and teaches on specfic, but she doesn't actually seem very good at writing it. The book shows evidence that it was spellchecked ("tenant" for "tenet," "renown" for "renowned," etc.) but there's an editor listed and it's from a major publisher. Word choice repeatedly dropped me out of the story, especially her choice of word for one group of humans. Her presentation of India felt much more real than the future did.

Aliens who communicate by virus make a stargate and send many packages of viruses out into the universe to see if there are other intelligences out there. One package lands in the Indian Ocean and releases its virus. The virus spreads to the rest of the world. Since viruses can damage humans, most humans die. Of those who are left, 90% have survived the Pandemic and are called Pans. 10% were immune and are called Tenors. Tenor is one of the things that popped me out of the story. Maybe she was trying to make a weak link between Pan and Tenors as music-makers, but it doesn't make sense in the story. If you were going to give that 10% a descriptive name, why not Tenners, or Tens? There are a number of other unrealistic names for groups (one of the things rasfc is good at fixing). The story covers 25 years in which humans adjust to the new world and make a stargate, planning to send their own message back.