November 28, 2007

Annals of the Heechee

Annals of the Heechee is the final book in the Heechee saga by Frederik Pohl. (The Boy Who Would Live Forever is the newest novel in the saga, but I don't think it was originally intended to be. I could be wrong though.) This time, the foe is finally revealed and their motivations are explained. The usual suspects are present, of course, although this time Robinette Broadhead is a machine-stored being, and a whole lot of the story and ideas revolve around the idea of living that way, while still being involved in the physical world.

I did sort of feel like some of the technological behaviors available to Robinette and the other machine-stored humans, Heechee, or AI programs were not grounded in science though. Pohl either didn't think it through, or chose to ignore those issues for the sake of the story. Although none of his books are really hard science anyway, at least the technology mentioned in the previous novels was of a type that did not require reconciliation with current science. The ideas behind machine-stored humans would have needed to match the science of 1987 though, and they don't.

One thing I felt brought some nice energy to the book were the characters of Oniko and Sneezy. They are children, one human the other Heechee, and their child-like innocence in serious situations and hoping to see how they would turn out in the end was exciting. Unfortunately, their story-arc takes a back seat to things once their purpose in the overall plot is done.

Posted by josuah at November 28, 2007 7:18 AM UTC+00:00

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