Genre Science Fiction Publisher St. Martin's Press Year Published 2004 Review Posted on 11/16/2006 Reviewer Rating
8 out of 10
Air, by Geoff Ryman
Reviewed by Sheri Fresonke Harper
If you've read this book, why not
I loved this book and felt deeply moved by Chung Mae's trials as she dealt with the arrival of new technology into her rural community. Her reactions seemed true to life and the only thing slightly corny was her pregnancy.
Air asserts the premise of a telepathic Internet called "Air." The story characters live in a small village in Karzistan and are among the last people in the world to get Air. The amount of hard technology is limited, but at the same time, author Geoff Ryman accurately describes the difficulties associated with deploying technology. He touches on the political, social, and personal challenges involved in using a new system and in the community.
The theme of Air seems to be those who survive accept technological change. Chung Mae's business is the first affected. Every step of the way, Chung Mae faces new and worse difficulties involving her family life, village life, professional life, and political life and how she connects to people outside her country. I have seldom rooted for a character more. She is an appealing character because her troubles challenge her and she acts with positive intent. The book is so well written that the words flow and the reader is soon caught up in Chung Mae's world.
I believe readers that like well written, well-plotted novels will like this story. There aren't any high-tech buzz words, aliens, or outer space travel, but then I don't think they are needed.
I rate this book 4.5 stars because it has good plot, character development, an important theme, interesting setting and the only thing slightly lacking is technological complexity in a future world.