Customer Review

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SF pretending to be fantasy, February 21, 2009
This review is from: The Steel Remains (Hardcover)
It's obvious that there is a trend for SF writers to delve into fantasy these days. Greg Bear did it thirty years ago but is back at it with City at the end of time. Neal Stephenson has done it with Anathem, but that's more a type of "SF disguised as Fantasy". The Steel Remains is more pure SF presented as Fantasy. Or perhaps a sort of alternative future history, if you like. There is no magic in this book, it all boils down to varieties of science.

Richard Morgan suprised me with this book. Mostly because I dislike the fantasy genre in general, but also because I was worried that his hard-hitting superior anti-hero would be gone.

There was no need to worry. This book starts out a bit slow and it takes a while for things to happen, but when they do, the pace is furious. It's almost as if Takeshi Kovacs is reborn in Ringil.

The alien aspects in this story remind me slightly of the paths walked by Ozzie in Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth saga, the similarities are surprising.

I was completely disgusted and appalled by the sex in the book. I am no prude, but simply not used to gay sex being portrayed in such detail. I will hand it to Morgan though - he manages to even give that part of the story an important role. I do however find the entire "love/betrayal" storyline quite imconprehensible.

This is an important book for Morgan fans IMHO.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 6, 2009 10:04:12 AM PST
D. Sims says:
The Kovacs/Ringil comparisons are pretty clear. And there are a lot of science fiction elements in the fantasy setting that Morgan presents, though I personally find those sorts of crossover was interesting as long as the resulting millieu goes beyond an "everything plus the kitchen sink" is possible approach.

The gay sex scenes bothered me as well. It might be that I'm just not used to reading them, but I felt as though the main problem was how violent and angry they were--sex as a brutal, physical act rather than having any tender moments of compassion and empathy. It would have been nice to see a change of pace in the plotline or characters, but the sex was emotionally just as jarring and dark as the main story.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 1:51:28 AM PDT
Furio says:
"I was completely disgusted and appalled by the sex in the book. I am no prude, but simply not used to gay sex being portrayed in such detail."

while straight sex is perfectly acceptable in any detail? sorry but it rather seems to me you ARE a prude after all, and quite homophobic at that

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2009 1:27:46 PM PDT
"Homophobic"? I don't understand your comment. Why attack me and give me opinions I don't have? I wrote that I found the gay sex appalling but that it is an important part of the storyline. Would you attack me and call me "nationalistic" if I said I found the aliens ugly, too? Kick the ball, not the player.
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