Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Finished: Ted Bell's 'Phantom'

I'm a bit conflicted on this novel, Phantom by Ted Bell.

On the one hand, I really enjoyed the book, breezed through it and, well, just really enjoyed it. That should be enough, right? It had fast cars, hot women, pirates, explosions, sex, and Vlad Putin. Everything a guy needs in a good fiction adventure/mystery.

But when I was done I really had the feeling that Bell really jumped the shark (an old Happy Days reference for you). Flying wheelchairs? The concept of singularity, where computers surpass human intelligence and form thought and take over the world? Just seemed out of place with the other Bell novels featuring Alex Hawke.

Then I read the afterward Bell included, where he basically said: Yes, I jumped the shark with this one but that's because this stuff isn't that far from happening in the real world. He cited physicists and research he'd done. Pointed out the moral dilemmas the world may be facing in as little as a decade (though based on this English major's knowledge of physics - none - I think is much farther off). But I bought his explanation and decided to go with it.

After all, I enjoyed it. What more do you want in a book, Haugen? I'm still just giving it a 6+ for now. I'll rethink it in 10 years when computers take over the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment