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Implied Spaces
Walter Jon Williams
Night Shade Books, 375 pages

Walter Jon Williams
Walter Jon Williams is the author of Knight Moves (1985), Hardwired (1986), Days of Atonement (1991), the Nebula nominee Metropolitan (1995) and its sequel, City on Fire, and the Drake Maijstral Series (The Crown Jewels, 1987, House of Shards, 1988, and Rock of Ages, 1995) among other books. At his site you'll find a complete bibliography and sample chapters.

Walter Jon Williams Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Implied Spaces
SF Site Review: The Sundering
SF Site Review: The Praxis
SF Site Review: Metropolitan
SF Site Review: The Rift
SF Site Review: Metropolitan

Past Feature Reviews
A review by John Enzinas

Implied Spaces Implied spaces are things that comes into being not as a direct result of careful design but rather as a side effect of the interactions of the pieces you want.

Walter Jon Williams' Implied Spaces is an exploration of what would threaten a post-singularity humanity. The hero was a computer programmer who helped architect the singularity a thousand years ago. Now going by the name Aristide, he has taken to studying the implied spaces of the wormhole universes that humanity now creates. While doing this in a world created by World of Warcraft enthusiasts, he discovers evidence of a nefarious plot.

Now, this is a world that has conquered death. You get reborn as your most recent back-up. This makes most threats we are familiar with ineffective. Far more threatening is the concept of being turned into a pod-person, and worse, having your brain altered so that you are fanatically in favour of your new condition.

The villain's plot concerns conquering humanity, robbing them of their free will and turning them to some, as yet, unknown purpose. Will Aristide save the world? The answer, as you have likely guessed, is yes. The question is, is it done in an entertaining manner. Luckily, the answer to this is also yes. The book is a wonderful exploration of a war using super technology that, following Clarke's law is pretty indistinguishable from magic: captive suns used as weapons, "Magic" swords that constrain people to purgatory of cruciferous vegetables, a talking cat!

Fun as this is though, it's not his best work. It does not have the depth of character or plot of some of his other works like Angel Station or Aristoi. I suspect that it is more of a literary experiment, exploring the implied spaces of the post-singularity genre, seeing what's plausible when almost anything is possible. I'm willing to put up with the lack of depth in exchange for the breadth of imagination that he provides.

Copyright © 2009 John Enzinas

John Enzinas reads frequently and passionately. In his spare time he plays with swords.

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