Greg Bear’s latest novel, Vitals, was a very well written pile of steaming shit.
I was extremely disappointed in this novel. X-files syndrome galore. No plot tie-ups, no ending really to speak of, this thing sucked ass. It was far too possible and plausible and yet stupidly, inanely, without conclusion, without coherence. Maybe I should explain a bit. I hate half-cocked science fiction. It’s a fine line really, but one that I think bares flushing-out (pardon my pun).
I love certain kinds of surrealist writing. And I (obviously) love science fiction. But there is an area where they should never meet. If you’re writing what is obviously intended to be swallowed as a “hard science” science fiction novel, damnit, you better fucking have it all make sense at the end!
Don’t get me wrong. This novel was written well. It’s internally consistent. I’m not going to be looking for holes in the logic any time soon. What bugs me is that, at the end of the novel, we still don’t know who dun it. In fact, we’re scratching our heads as to who are the “who” candidates.
The first half, and yes, admittedly, toward the end, the narrative was compelling as hell. I kept turning the pages–completely unsuspecting–and after the climax, I raised my eyebrows… a timeline. A mother-fucking time line right there at the end of the book. I kept reading, waiting for a punch line. It never dropped, the other shoe is still out there floating in space.
One of two things is at fault here: pretentious writing, or lazy writing. Greg Bear could have really nailed it with this novel if you ask me, but he fucked it up good.