The Golden Age

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 16, 2003

The Golden Age by John C. Wright

We had five attendees for this book with one late arrival and 2 commenting via email. Only two people read the entire book.

In a far future within a seemingly utopian society, a changed humanity rubs minds with other beings from around the solar system. Phaethon, the protagonist, discovers parts of his memory has been erased (No, this isn’t “Paycheck.”).

Readers generally liked the questions this book raised, but disagreed on the way they were executed. What is personality? Identity? Reality? With such deep questions some readers wanted more payoff from the novel. Especially since there was a fairly long setup to the story. We agreed it was an ambitious novel and admittedly it’s not easy to write about a personality moving between levels of reality.

One reader talked about the title of the book and how it tied in with the pulp novels from SF’s Golden Age. He thought the klunkiness of writing was deliberate, a homage to those early works. But those novels had more action. It was suggested there was only one real action scene in the entire book.

Much grousing about the fact that this book ended with a cliffhanger and stated the story was to be finished in book two, so they had to go out and get another book. Grousing turned to being pissed off when they found that it doesn’t actually conclude until a previously unmentioned book 3.

This was yet another book where we caught several typos. Notice to publishers: this REALLY puts a reader off!!

Afterwards several people had dinner at the Mongolian Grille, during which Kurt entertained with the story of his colonoscophy.

— Judy Strange