Posts Tagged ‘Kristine Kathryn Rusch’

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On Technology, a connection between Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Historian Paul Herrmann

February 22, 2010

I’m thoroughly enjoying my own dives into both The Spires of Denon (novella) and Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch as I juggle audio books between Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris and more than a few treatises on the Ancient Near East on my commute to work each day. With that in mind, I wanted to comment briefly on a connection I noticed late last week between Ms. Rusch’s work and some of the Near Eastern studies I’ve been enjoying. That connection resting with the characters of “Meklos” and “Boss” in each of the respective novels, wherein both characters subscribe to the idea that technology can be forgotten, and much more, that the ancients knew far more than we give them credit for:

“He couldn’t imagine that sort of painstaking work. He wasn’t even sure how the creators made it…The technology needed to do this seemed beyond the ancients. But the ancients had build and forgotten more technology than we would ever know…civilizations rose and fell, knowledge was lost, knowledge was gained, and wars were fought, then forgotten.” – Maklos, p. 10

Kristine Kathryn Rusch contextualizes the principle in the form of fictitious ancient civilization’s, sure, but it has a very real parallel with real world ancients as well and what some historians are coming to believe about their mental and technological capabilities. For example, just last week I was made aware of studies by Paul Herrmann in which one of the primary aim’s of his scholarship (found in the book Conquest by Man) is to “weaken the very widespread conviction that our progress in the technological aspects of civilization represents, in any real sense, a greater achievement than those of our forebears.” This being one of several treatments on the subject.

I find it refreshing that a modern science fiction author, in a couple of great books, was able to touch upon a similar notion, and one that plays such a central theme to the works themselves. I know that adds a layer of interest for me as I read and that as a result I’ll probably be tearing through them all the quicker. It’s not all sci-fi folks.

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Diving into the Wreck-verse

February 9, 2010

One of the sci-fi novels that I was anticipating most late last year was Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Diving into the Wreck, a novel about an “active historian” diving into the wreckage’s of space in search of the past, an honest living, and most recently, clues to a massive and mysterious ship that drifts abandoned in an area of space where it shouldn’t have been able to travel. What happens as she investigates further leads to, by most accounts, a page turner of a novel that moves at break neck speed, which is exactly the kind of thing that I’ve been looking for in a sci-fi book following a few…more methodical books as of late.

And I suppose the best news, for those that perhaps haven’t yet heard, is that fans of Diving into the Wreck are in for even more “diving” as the author has recently sold the rights to the sequel, entitled City of Ruins to Pyr books:

Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Diving into the Wreck is proving to be quite a hit. Portions of the novel had already garnered not one but two Asimov’s Readers Choice Awards before the book itself came out. And since Diving appeared, the novel is garnering numerous favorable comparisons to the best of sf film and television, in that it brings back a sense of action and adventure that Rusch herself feels is so often lacking in contemporary SF literature.

So I know quite a few of you will be as excited to learn as I am to announce that ¬†we’ve just shaken hands on a sequel, City of Ruins, so that fans can follow the further adventures of Boss and her crew. The novel sees Boss dealing with the repercussions of events in Diving, and further expands the universe in which the novel takes place in all sorts of interesting ways.

So, while I wait for Diving into the Wreck to arrive at my door (only a few days now), I thought I’d download Rusch’s short story set in the same universe, entitled The Spires of Denon to hold me over. You can obtain the short story from Scribd as a .pdf download for $1.99 in the case you can’t track down the Asimov’s Science Fiction Anthology (#400) in which it originally appeared.

On my way to print it out as soon as I submit this, and looking forward to some happy reading in the days to come.