Best Books of the Year So Far Introducing Prime Wardrobe nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Weekly One PCB for select Bang & Olufsen Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Personalized Jewelry Home and Garden Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon TheGrandTour TheGrandTour TheGrandTour  Echo Fire tablets: Designed for entertainment Kindle Paperwhite GNO Shop now SWMTVT18_gno

Customer Review

on September 6, 2012
"The Aviator" puts us in an imaginatively envisioned near-future, with the world divided into small almost-isolated enclaves of wildly differing philosophies, moralities, technology levels and capabilities. The ostensible cause of the collapse of normal civilization is chaos associated with global warming, but the details of that collapse are for the most part missing here, aside from one soberly-drawn rescue mission to a fire-storm-ravaged Australia. How the world and the various characters portrayed got into the state they are in in this book is largely a mystery, but given those premises Renowden does a splendid job of weaving together an exciting story of exploration and discovery. His protagonist with his airship visits almost every continent from his New Zealand base, finding beacons of hope and enlightenment and at the same time doing battle with radical fringes on all sides, from anti-technologists to frontiersmen to high-tech televangelists to Islamic fundamentalists. At times the novel reminded me of some of the ambience and free-wheeling twists and turns of Neal Stephenson's novels - "Snow Crash" and "Anathem" particularly.

Advocates of the "Heartland Institute" and libertarians of the "Atlas Shrugged" variety will probably not appreciate Renowden's portrayal of their ultimate ends, but he has at least as much fun with radical environmentalists. His sympathies seem more clearly to lie with the Singularitarians - but even there Renowden introduces conflicts and concerns (particularly associated with the behavior of the airship's Artificial Intelligence) which suggest a deep thoughtfulness about what really matters in life and in our future. The novel ends with a number of loose ends (where is the airship's owner? What is going on in Europe?) that anticipate a sequel - I'm eagerly looking forward to it!
6 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like so:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.

Product Details

4.6 out of 5 stars