Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Wang's Carpets" by Greg Egan

This story was just not for me. I couldn't get into at all. I think this was because it skews so far into "Hard Science" science fiction territory, and takes long digressions into descriptions of biology and mathematics and the like that I, as someone who primarily studied philosophy and literature in the University years, just can't get into. Maybe it would be a good story for someone who's really into speculative science. For me it was just tremendously boring.

I think, for me, the problem was that, while there are some really interesting ideas and story elements here, I just didn't buy into the overarching story. I know that many people argue that "real" science fiction should be about the science first and everything else second, but I just don't buy into that. Again, maybe this is my liberal arts education talking, but, really, what is a short story without a good "story"? Moreover, to me, if the science gets in the way of the story to the point of impeding the reader's enjoyment, then isn't that just bad fiction?

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