Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sultan of the Clouds, by Geoffrey Landis

Continuing my reviews of the Nebula award nominees for this year. Sultan of the Clouds is a real throwback of a story. Geoffrey Landis is one of several accomplished scientists with a sideline in writing. He makes his main living working right here in Houston at NASA. This is the first story of his that I have read.

All the time I was reading it I was thinking about the early 60's. The hero is a basically 2D tech nerd, infatuated with another somewhat different 2D tech nerd. They deal with a power-hungry rich kid in the atmospheric cities of Venus. Zowie! The kid even has a Kinect ("some sort of full-body input device"). The ideas are pretty interesting and the story moves along, but the prose is a little awkward. It's just weird to see something like this as a current, award nominated story. Enjoyable for the hard SF fans among us (and I am one, so I liked it anyway). I'll go ahead and give it 3 stars.

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