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Intensely Focused

I'm not obsessed, I'm just intensely focued.

Currently reading

Home Improvement: Undead Edition
Charlaine Harris, Toni L.P. Kelner
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume I
Arthur Conan Doyle
Losers in Space - John Barnes

This was an interesting hard science-fiction book. In fact, the intro talks about the difference between hard and soft science-fiction.

The book has an unusual structure. There are "Notes for the Interested" that are worked into the story which explains the science behind what's going on. It interrupts the flow of the story, and at one point the note gave away a major plot point long before it happened. Some of them were also a bit technical for me. I think it's a cool thing to do, and I guess they had to be worked in that way. Almost all the notes contain diagrams so they wouldn't work for footnotes and if they were endnotes most people would probably skip them entirely.

It's an interesting society that Barnes has set up but the more I think about it the less sense it makes. I never really get a sense of why Susan wants to be a celebrity other than a general drive to be famous. Yes, she can earn more money than the very generous stipend that most people earn, but she doesn't really seem to have any grand plans for that money.

We have slayer's statutes for a reason. It makes absolutely no sense to give the perpetrators of crime the rights/fame/money that comes with airing footage of the crime and whatever proceedings follow. Doing so just gives people incentives to commit horrible crimes. If you want to argue for overwhelming public interest to show footage of rape or murder etc. I would think the rights/money/fame should go to the victim, or, in the case of murder, since there's no more inheritance I would say no one should get the fame/money/rights. It just makes no sense otherwise. And since that's the crux of the story things fall apart.

I did like the end though, where Susan used her fame to encourage space exploration. I thought that was a very interesting thing to do and not at all what I was expecting. It shows a lot of maturity on her part.

The revenge killing at the end is highly problematic, of course. Apparently the justice system has also broken down.