The Collapsium

Posted by : atcampbell | On : September 16, 2003

The Collapsium by Wil McCarthy

Thirteen people attended the discussion of The Collapsium by Wil McCarthy held at StrangeHurst Manor. Eleven had read some of the book, with eight finishing it, and five had previously read works by McCarthy. We also had another first time attendee. This book prompted a lot of discussion. An interplanetary adventure with hard science elements, it featured heavy duty physics alongside rescuing the Queen of Sol (not Aretha). Most readers liked the science but quibbled with the idea of fax copies of people, arguing such a process would cause more degradation of the copy. Most readers would have liked stronger characterizations with one person commenting: “Hard science writers should take lessons in character development from the New Wave.” We actually would have liked even more of the book. More societal details, more science, more avenues to explore. And a little less triteness: the scene where the villain offers the hero a chance to join up which the hero gallantly refuses. We voted to describe the book as a set of separate novellas, which could have been strung together with a lot less repetitive explanation. There was a big section of Appendices, which some people enjoyed as much as the book and others skipped altogether. We thought they prevented the book from the sin of info dump. We enjoyed The Collapsium and many people plan to read the sequel as well. Dinner was at Kerbey Lane.

— Judy Strange