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Attack of the inaccurate blurbs

I just finished reading the rather fun Radio Freefall by Matthew Jarpe, a respectable slice of post-cyberpunk rock-and-roll SF.

It's a good book, and one I'm happy to recommend to all and sundry. However, I'm not so sure about the cover quotes, which describe it as a book that displays the "bloodlines of Heinlein and Varley". Sure, there are aspects of the two in the work, and after all Heinlein did sort of invent the rock SF sub-genre with "The Green Hills Of Earth".

But there are much closer antecedents, and much better comparisons in the blue-collar Grateful Dead-tinged SF of Allen Steele's Clarke County books, or John Shirley's A Song Called Youth trilogy - or (and I worry that I seem to be one of the few that have read this) Bradley Denton's superb slice of musical alt-history Wrack and Roll.

It's easy to imagine Aqualung standing alongside the Bastard Child, building a lunar colony, and the Snake Vendors sharing a billing with Blunt Instrument.

Just not with Rhysling...



Nov. 24th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, I have read and enjoyed Denton too. Both Wrack and Roll and Buddy Holly is Alive & Well are under-rated books.

Radio Freefall looks interesting, but I'm not sure about your comparisons. Denton and Shirley yes, Steele perhaps not. My problem with Allen Steele is not so much the Deadhead characters as the fact that nearly everyone is a Deadhead and there's no range. On the other hand Steel is very definitely working in Heinlein/Varley territory.
Nov. 24th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
It's more the blue collar side of things that leads me to the Steele comparison. Heinlein and Varley are really very middle class at heart...