Friday, March 8, 2013

Leonard Richardson's 'Constellation Games'

Internet is going to remain free, and I believe, I’ve believed since I was in my early twenties, that everything that accelerates the flow of information and communication benefits the human race, and every communication jam damages us. So internet is the greatest tool, or device, or gimmick, or whatever you want to call it, for accelerating the flow of information between peoples. It is, I think, the most revolutionary force in the history of humanity since the invention of the wheel--especially when Asia and Africa get online in a major way. That’s what I really look forward to.

                                                                               -- Robert Anton Wilson

To improve humanity's standard of living by adding connections and destroying inefficiencies.

                                                     Listed "Objective" in resume for Leonard Richardson

Everyone once in awhile, your faithful blogger posts about novels with a libertarian or civil libertarian theme that likely would be of interest to somebunall of you, and this will be one of those times. I'd like to take a moment to recommend Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson.

It's about a guy who writes code and reviews video games on his blog. When a coalition of friendly aliens arrives to visit Earth on a first contact mission, he plays alien games (some of them millions of years old) and reviews them on his blog, too.

This offbeat premise may sound trivial, but the novel rapidly becomes "bigger and bigger," covering the dangers of first contact between advanced and less-advanced civilizations, relationships, anarchist theory (the aliens are anarchists who oppose coercion), the dangers of censorship and the nature of art. There are fully developed characters, human, alien and artificial. And it's very funny. I laughed out loud many times.

Constellation Games was put out by a small, independent press, Candlemark and Gleam. It's the best SF  novel I've read in awhile.

Cory Doctorow's review of the book is here.







1 comment:

FLY AGARIC 23 said...

Thanks Tom, yeah that sounds left up my alley, and your 'choice' quote from RAW is like finding a bag of money in the street. Cheers. I went out last week and picked up the Novel 'The Mirage' by Matt Ruff, that i would throw back at you and recommend highly. That book was pinged to my attention by Cory Doctorow too, my word...he reads, writes, reviews and speaks like a legion of 50 scholars!