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Tea From An Empty Cup Mass Market Paperback – September 15, 1999
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"Cadigan's first novel in five years exhibits the author's high-impact prose style, eminently suitable for a voyage into the world of high-tech SF." --Library Journal
"A tightly plotted, crisply written novel that fits the classic noir mystery template set down by the likes of Raymond Chandler more comfortably than anything William Gibson has ever written." --Andrew Leonard, Salon Magazine
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It has absolutely no character development. It consists almost entirely of dream-like disjointed, unconnected vignettes. So it doesn't have a story either! You couldn't like or dislike any of the characters because you learned absolutely nothing about them. I also thought that it was scientifically implausible, e.g. an 'artifical reality body suit' that could simulate the experience of breaking bones. It purports to be a detective story where the action takes place in "Artificial Reality" (AR), but I think that, at best, it was Artificial Lucid Dreaming (ALD). Or, perhaps it was mostly a full sensory electronic game and I certainly felt like I was reading a detailed description of someone's play of a video game - even more boring than watching someone play or playing a game yourself.
The extension of the AR "hotsuits" to faster levels through the use of drugs served no notable purpose. The imagery was tattered and scattered. I felt no particular interest or sympathy for any of the players.
I would recommend that you pass this anxious turmoil by and hope that Cadigan's next effort has better focus and depth.
Well, you won't find it here.
"Tea from an Empty Cup" by Pat Cadigan - boring, rambling, and, when any detail rises above the morass, derivative. Plot? The only way I could tell when it ended was that the throbbing in my temples stopped.
I really regretted spending the time and money - rarely happens to me.
It's a quick read at a short 250 pages or so. If you've read and enjoyed her other work, you'll probably be satiated. Worth reading if you've got a hankering to toy with notions of identity, but not if you've only got time for the truly revalatory.
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