Monday, January 31, 2011

Pink Noise: A 2010 Posthuman Tale by Leonid Korogodski

Apparently, I’m among the last the realize that Pink Noise: A Posthuman Tale (Silverberry Press, 2010), the recent hard science SF debut novel by Leonid Korogodski, who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in Mathematics, is set on and around Mars. Here’s the promotional piece from the inside flap of Pink Noise:

One of the best brain doctors of his time, Nathi lost his own brain five centuries ago when he became a posthuman. He is called upon to save a comatose girl. The damage is extensive, so he decides to map his own mind into her brain in order to replace the badly damaged part.

But something unexpected waits for him within the Girl’s brain. She is a carrier of a Wish Fairy, an enigmatic sentient cyber being whose only purpose is to kill the Wish, a virus used by the ruling cyber Wizard Orders to enslave all posthuman minds—including Nathi’s.

Liberated, Nathi forms a symbiotic union—the Dancer—with the Girl, discovers the true cause of her brain injury, and finds a way to break out of the Castle, their high-tech prison, and into the Martian polar night.

But once outside, the real chase begins. They must resist the cyber wizards who are trying to remotely regain control of their minds while also sending a force in pursuit. This battle must be fought both in the physical world and that of the mind.

You can read the first 26 pages (pdf) of Pink Noise for free or listen to Korogodski (mp3), with his funky accent, read some of them to you.

Surprisingly, despite some promotional blurbs penned by prominent science fiction and fantasy writers (Karl Schroeder, Mike Resnick, Joe Haldeman, Kij Johnson) that are printed on the back cover of the novel, Pink Noise does not seem to have generated a lot of noise among fans. Nevertheless, here are some reviews to consider if you’re wondering whether or not to read the novel:
  • Jacky Cassada of Library Journal reached this verdict: “Explosive in its approach to language and imaginative in its portrayal of a life lived in cyberspace as well as in the real world, this postcyberpunk adventure injects the genre with a long-awaited freshness. A good choice for both adult and YA fans of hard sf and postmodern fantasy.”
  • Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing concluded: “I taught Korogodski at the Viable Paradise sf writing workshop some years ago, and it's always good to see a student doing well. This is a promising debut from a writer who isn't afraid to be as technical as he needs to be in order to tell his story.”
  • Antony Jones of wrote, in part: “This book is one of the most impressive works of literature I have read in some time, both utterly original and technologically head-spinning, the pace is relentless and the prose almost poetic in places with a real sense of grace and emotional power. Pink Noise is the explosive birth of a new star in science fiction.”
  • Ove Jansson of Cybermage opined: “It is worth reading just for the many ideas but the story has good characters and an interesting universe I wouldn’t mind learning more about. It is on the short side, I prefer books in the 400 plus pages range. It has some good action but it is quite a bit more cerebral than most action novels.”
Lastly, if your interest has been piqued, check out this December 2010 interview with the author of Pink Noise, Leonid Korogodski.

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