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Creatures of Light and Darkness

Cover of Creatures of Light and Darkness.

Very Zelazny – I had hoped, after liking Lord of Light a lot, that something similar would work equally well. And it’s somewhat similar, superficially. Egypt religion instead of Indian, but regardless, high-powered gods with their own agendas, all that stuff.

But in a way, it’s more like Nine Princes in Amber, which I didn’t get on with: there’s nobody to like, and the story is sufficiently abstract that it could go in any direction at any moment, at the author’s whim. With Lord of Light, I felt like there was a degree of internal consistency enforced by the story that the reader could rely on – not so here. And when everything feels arbitrary, I’m just not terribly interested.

It is pretty well-written, though, and I enjoyed the style and mysticism. If any of the characters had been sympathetic in any way, I would have overlooked any arbitrary (and literal) dei ex machina.

Also, absolute bonus points for the terrifying, terribly cyberpunk addition of women, who out of economic despair lease their bodies to companies, to be joined into machines that are human only from the waist down, and that will answer any question as long as they are kept aroused by the client for the duration of the required computation.

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