Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Incrementalists, by Steven Brust & Skyler White

When I leafed through this book, having found it on the new releases shelf at my local public library, I was not sure I wanted to check it out to read.  So I sat down in a chair next to the stacks to read the first chapter as a way to decide.  After I finished the book I realized that some time had passed... and that there was now no need to check it out.

I share this to indicate that Brust and White's book is interesting enough to capture my interest for far longer than I'd intended.  And this is even though the reason I thought I might not want to read it is an issue that permeated the novel:  the story line itself is.... let's say, weird.

The concept is that there are folks who can pass their memories from person to person so as to generate a continuous sense of self over thousands of years.  And that there is a shared psychic virtual cloud where these memories can be stored.   They call themselves incrementalists, and their mission is to make the world better in very (extremely) small bits.   The hero is Phil, a poker player in Vegas.  It is a bit of a love story (vis Phil's relationship to Celeste) which is complicated by the arrival of Ren as Celeste's next incarnation.

The premise is interesting, albeit odd, and in addition, the book is well written and compelling reading - more than enough to get someone who might not like this genre through the unusual premise.

So all in all, this is a winner.

The Incrementalists

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