The Speed of Dark

Posted by : atcampbell | On : September 21, 2004

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

Eleven people met to discuss this book, and 2 sent in e-mail comments. Of the 11, only one had not read any of the book and one had not finished. Nine had read Moon’s work previously.

In this Nebula Award-winning, near-future book, autist Lou is faced with a dangerous procedure to correct his condition, but it may also change who he is. Moon paints a vivid picture of his different inner world, showing us his obsession with patterns and with what is normal behavior. The book does not end with a sugar-coated, everything is perfect now scene, but with realistic consequences.

Moon has succeeded in creating a story quite unique from Flowers for Algernon, but it is a very human story. More like Remnant Population than her military SF. Although some of us found the story a bit slow-paced and the ending too abrupt, we found Lou so engaging and sympathetic, and Moon’s writing so flawless, that we found ourselves discussing the issues brought up in the book instead of how the book was written. One issue was Asperger’s Syndrome (Geek Syndrome), a part of the autistic spectrum and a common disorder among sci-fi fans and techies.

This is one of the few books most of us have liked and would recommend from what we have read so far in 2004.

— Sandy Kayser