Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on January 5, 2017
Peter Watts is, if anything, consistent.. The same future dystopia reigns in every novel from the first Rifter Trilogy to Blind Sight / Echopraxia. It is a dismal, soulless mess of biological and technological dreams / nightmares with characters that can only be described as depressingly complex. The same themes appear over and over - intelligence, free will, consciousness, boundaries, purpose and reason.
Unlike many authors, Watts eschews lofty power talk from the likes of the Kremlin, UN or White House. His focus is on the middleman - those who are controlled and control others, who both take and give orders. This is a difficult perch due the inherent nuances of such a position and yet this is what he does best. In a world starved for more and more energy, the deep rifts in the oceans are now being exploited. But the cost in human sacrifice is great.
STARFISH is the story of one group of workers at the Beebe energy plant. First novels are almost always autobiographical which is the case with this novel. The author worked in the oceans protecting marine life and thus has inside knowledge of the last unexplored place on Earth. The description of the underworld is fascinating but it is the workers that grab our attention. These are greatly modified humans that can withstand the tremendous pressure of the deep and who can remain in the waters for long periods of time due to their internal machinery that allows respiration. The catch is that these individuals must fit a certain psychological baseline and that include sociopaths, pedophiles and abuse victims.
But something lurks among the insane crew, an ancient form of life (pre DNA) that threatens the world. . And once its meme enters the Maelstrom (future internet) intelligent monitoring organisms set up to prohibit viruses and malware are drawn to its very simplicity. The reader is in for a bumpy, ride to the future with word twists, technical verbal fireworks, phrases as sentences, competing thoughts and a swirl of condensed, punk writing. My Grade - A1