Following The Autonomous Revolution that pitted humanity against intelligent machines, Earth entered a Second Dark Age.  Science and technology were shunned and survivors surrendered their freedom to austere religious governments.  But, despite their autocratic rule, not even these organizations could hold back the march of progress and, eventually, the planet entered an age known as The Reawakening in which technology once again assumed its place in a developing society by means of a system called Bio/logics. 

Life is now complimented by untold tiny nanobots coursing through the human body, designed to help regulate everything from health to leisure.  Organizations known as fief corps create software for the general populace that extend and modify physical and mental ability.

Natch, our protagonist, is the owner of a company called Natch Personal Programming Fiefcomp.  He is an exceptional programmer and opportunistic businessman who, with the assistance of his development team, aims to unseed his rivals, the Patel Brothers, from the number one Primo ranking (sort of a billboard hot 100 for software – or wordpress blog ranking).  He succeeds – through a little subterfuge – and briefly secures the #1 ranking before immediately losing it again.  But that brief moment at the top wins him the attention of Margaret Surina, matriarch of the revered Surina clan and  the Surina Perfection Memecorp.  She enlists Natch’s help to develop and release a mysterious new program called MultiReal.

In three days, Natch must develop MultiReal and get it ready for launch, keeping ahead of prospective rivals and hidden enemies, scrambling to achieve his goal under the ominous shadow of the Infoquake, a “lethal burst of energy that’s disrupting the bio/logic networks and threatening to send the world crashing back into the Dark Ages.”

Infoquake is an astonishingly original first novel by web-programmer David Louis Edelman.  Its focus is not on alien invasion or interstellar conquest or even run and gun action but on the cut-throat business of software development and marketing.  And the author does a wonderful job of world-building, fashioning a highly-detailed history to compliment his complex society.  On the one hand, this thoroughly immerses the reader in a future-world unlike any other.  On the other hand, however, the originality of the setting and background demand a fair amount of exposition that occasionally risks overwhelming the reader as well.

To his credit, Edelman attempts to minimize the confusion by engaging in a little narrative time-tripping.  The first part of the book introduces us to Natch, his team, and the free market system of Bio/logics.  The second part focuses on Natch’s past, his youth in the hive academy, and the brutal initiation that shaped his later years and won him the enmity of a fellow young rival.  The third and fourth parts bring us back to the present where Natch and co. rush to complete MultiReal, enlisting the financial backing of an unlikely ally and staying one step ahead of the enigmatic Len Borda and his Defense and Wellness Council who, it is rumored, will stop at nothing to ensure the groundbreaking software never make it to launch.

Of the four aforementioned sections, the one I found most interesting also, unfortunately, served to amplify one problem I had.  While I love the second part of the book for its emphasis on academy life (in many ways reminding me of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game), I found myself disliking the character of Natch.  Right off the bat, Natch is introduced as an anti-hero, a savvy but devious businessman who will stop at nothing to attain that prized Primo top spot.  And, while the glimpse into his past certainly does flesh out the character and give us a better understanding of who he is and who he will become, he nevertheless comes off as selfish and even a little petulant.

Still, as a whole, Infoquake achieves in doing something much contemporary scifi is hardpressed to do: pull of a fresh and wholly original concept.  The book is the first in a trilogy and, while I would have preferred a tighter resolution to this opening entry, I look forward to checking out the rest of the series.

So what did you all think?  Weigh in with your comments – and questions.  Author David Louis Edelman will be dropping by to hear what you have to say – and respond.

What a day!  We were on Icarus Base shooting a couple of HUGE scenes featuring Rush, Young, Scott, Chloe, Eli, Telford, Senator Armstrong, Dr. Damji, Lt. James, Sgt. Riley, Park, Brody, and Franklin.  The set is spectacular, I’m loving the new gate set-up, and, surprise surprise, really loving those Icarus military uniforms.  Stylin’!  Chatted with David (Blue) and Brian (J. Smith), told them how terrific they were in the dailies we watched over lunch, then promised to say a special hello from them to their folks who have apparently dropped by the blog (specifically, Brian’s mom and David’s dad).  So hi to Mrs. Smith and Mr. Blue.  Your kids are lovely and wonderfully talented.  We’re taking great care of them and promise to return them in approximately a decade or so, whenever the show has run its course. 

Andy Mikita, directing the three-parter, is running a tight ship – but everyone is enjoying themselves immensely.  I got some nice behind-the-scenes pics of Bobby and Justin along with “the actor playing Telford” (not sure if his identity has been announced yet but I have to say – and did say – I’ve enjoyed his work, especially his performance in my very favorite Mark Wahlberg movie.  And, no, it’s not the movie you’re thinking of.  Or the next one.  Or the one after that.).   

Speaking of announcements, apparently TPTB are just getting their ducks in a row in preparation for the big announcement that should be coming…very soon.      

A truly phenomenal cast!      

49 thoughts on “February 23, 2009: Infoquake, by David Louis Edelman

  1. Your enthusiasm is promising. 🙂 And I guess with parents dropping by, I have to behave, eh? No gushing over their sons and stuff, right? 😉


  2. Well finally some progress, instead in the next week and now it very soon.
    Are they paying extra to keep fans interested in the cast announcement because I am becoming more frustrated than excited. Just announce the names and get it over and done with.

  3. Sorry Joe, haven’t read any of this month’s books.
    I had been hoping to read InfoQuake with the connection to what I do as a profession. But then again, I read to relax. So maybe not such a bright idea.

    I’ve been reading the James P. Hogan Giants series. Short books but extremely enjoyable. I’m pretty sure you’ve mentioned Inherit the Stars before. I do a lot of reverse engineering of software problems in my line of work so the analytical way in which the stories unfold, rather than being fed the answers, has me staring up at the ceiling on occasions attempting to predict the outcome from the information presented. And I like that.

    Thrice Upon A Time was a different take on the usual time travel book for me as they are actually discussing the issues with time travel rather than telling a time travel story and the reader is then left to determine which theory to apply to the story.

    But that is just my take on the books and my brain has been a little distracted of late.

  4. To satisfy my little corner of the world….How is the SGA movie script going? Hopefully you haven’t forgotten!

  5. Finally,
    We get to find out who the rest of the cast is. Oh and just curious, what is your favorite Mark Wahlberg movie? I really enjoyed Max Payne. Glad the Icarus base shooting went well. Also is there any chance we could see the Icarus base uniform before “Air” Airs? Thanks so much.
    Major D. Davis

  6. I found this book thoroughly entertaining. I was fascinated by the world and its history, which I think is its strongest suit. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the exposition, in fact I rather liked the way that the Autonomous Revolution was explained in Margaret’s speech. Since it sounded like many corporate speeches I’ve had to endure over the years, it was very believable for me. In fact, having spent the past 10 years on software development teams, I could relate to the characters. The one person they were missing on the team was the Tech Writer. Who is documenting all of their new software products? Does this happen automatically? DocUSoft42c, perhaps?

    I was a little jolted by the sudden switch to Natch’s childhood, but it served to explain what the deal was with hives. I agree with you, Joe, it does make Natch out to be a whiny anti-hero, but I liked the devious way he dealt with the bullies in the hive. But not the bit with the bear. We think he’s going to be a hero then he does something truly evil. I can’t decide if I like him or want to shoot him with enough black code to kill him.

    I actually thought one of the more exciting scenes was when Natch was trying to elude the black code guys, only to fail and get shot full of code. I’d like to know what the significance of his dream of drowning and being caught in the undertow was. It didn’t really seem to connect to anything, except to just check in with Natch, since everybody else seems to just be carrying on as if he doesn’t exist anymore. Until Jara notices he’s missing and freaks out.

    I have the next book reserved at my local library and can’t wait to start reading it. I want to know who shot Natch. My money’s on Len Borda or Margaret. I also have a pet theory that Jara hired thugs to shoot him because he’s too self-absorbed to notice that she fancies the pants off of him. Seriously, how many programs does she have to run to quash her libido whenever she’s in the room with him, real or multied? Move on, girl. Natch only has eyes for Natch.

  7. good to know that the cast and set are phenomenol and that we should get the anouncement hopefully anyday now….

  8. I picked up Infoquake “blind” so to speak, skipping even the reading of the back cover for any hints as to what the story was about. I’m happy to say that it has been an entertaining and intruiging read. Mr. Edelman’s prose was smooth and clean. First the introduction of the characters, then the fleshing out of the universe they inhabited, was done very naturally and without clumsy exposition imposed on the reader.
    Among the things that appealed, were the collapsing/expanding buildings, the multivaried programs utilized by the nanites/OCHRES to affect desired changes in the users’ physicological and mental processes, the distribution of power through the various organizations, and the concept of government as a consumer choice. All these and many other strands were droitly woven into a beautiful tapestry of a strangely familiar yet alien world.
    My verdict on the characters is a bit more reserved. Not that the characters are simple cardboard cutouts. Indeed, especially in the case of Natch we’re given a lot of background to explain the character we see. For me, it’s more that we simply didn’t see enough. Jara, a character who we follow through in the early chapters, fades badly in the later book. Horvil, who we find out is a long-time (and probably only) friend of Natch, never really steps out into his own. If the intent of the author was to leave the reader hungry for more, he certainly succeeded in my case.
    I’m especially intent on seeing more on the Islander culture, and of Quell in particular. I do agree with you, Mr. M. concerning Natch himself. Natch’s character is the hardest to sympathise or empathise with, despite his background. His treatment of those around him, his utter ruthlessness in certain venues, all make him a hard character to like. I do appreciate, however, that though he is a genius in his own right, he is out of his league in certain arenas, as witnessed by Brone’s manipulation of Natch.
    Another aspect of the book that pleasantly suprised was the ability of the author to inject a sense of real physical danger, and even action, into what is essentially a “talking heads” tale. The use of black code, Natch’s ambushing, the legions of troops at the Surina compound, all added a layer to the story that absolutely hooked my interest.
    I’d also like to express my thanks for the author for the appendixes attached to the book. I stumbled over them after reading the novel, and it’s a testament to Mr. Edelman’s writing that they supplimented the text, and were not a nessasary addition. Instead, they simply confirmed my understanding of the “Infoquake universe” as well as expanding on that understanding. A great job, and I’ll be looking forward to getting hold of Multireal to watch the tale unfold further.
    As for questions. Mr. Edelman, how possible/probable do you see such a universe as depicted in Infoquake being? If you had the ability, what sort of capacities would you program OCHRES to do for yourself? What do you see as the biggest danger to such a level of technology ever evolving? Thank you very much for your participation in Mr. Mallozzi’s blog, and thanks to Mr. M. for making it possible.

  9. Brian’s mom here, Mr. Mallozzi! Thank you so much for the compliment’s. I am extremely proud of my son, he is not only very talented and smart, but kind and humble as well. Thank you for the reassurance that he is being well taken care of, that helps. I cannot wait to get to Vancouver to see Brian, to visit the set and meet everyone. I am hoping to meet your pugs as well, I love dogs almost as much as Brian does.
    I look forward to reading your blog every night. And I admit I glance through to see if there is any news of my son first!
    Thank you again!

  10. Hi Mr. Mallozzi,

    Haven’t posted in a long time, but I was wondering if we were ever going to see the answers to the questions for Joel Goldsmith?

  11. Just went to see Robert Carlyle’s new movie “Stone of Destiny”. Other than wanting to see more of Robert in it. I thought it was a fine movie. And loved the fact that Vancouver was used as setting in the filming of the movie!!!

    If you get a chance go see it!!! And Joe can you tell Robert I thought it was fantastic!!


  12. My home internet is down for an indefinite amount of time, so as well as not getting my daily dose of fine writing from your blog I also have limited time to write.

    Which is my way of saying I’ll endeavour to weigh in with thoughts on Infoquake tomorrow because I have so much to say (I plan on typing it out and then doing a quick cut and paste when I’m online in some strange location).

    Hopefully that will still give me time to post questions for David Louis Edelman, of which I have many (surprised?).

    One question though, is there a deadline for us to post questions for Amanda Tapping?

    Glad you’re liking the new cast, can’t wait to hear more.


  13. Infoquake – I almost put this book down before reaching my usual “50 pages or else” cutoff point. I know it’s a book about the uses (or abuses) of technology, so the techie stuff is justified, but I had trouble getting into the story. Somewhere around page 40 I was hooked and really enjoyed the book. The remaining two books of the trilogy are definitely on my reading list.

    My favorite character was Quell — interesting that he was the expert on the multireal technology, even though as an Islander he was essentially off the grid. He had about a dozen bio/logic programs loaded personally, versus thousands for everyone else.

  14. I love that their parents are stopping by! That’s so adorable. I suspect my mother would do they same if I were in their position. I can hardly wait to see the pilot ep. How many more months, Joe? 😉

    As for Infoquake, I loved it. The best book I’ve read since we had Joe Abercrombie on here. In the front cover page there is a comment from a Barnes and Noble critic about it being “the love child of Donald Trump and Vernor Vinge…” I couldn’t agree more. I’m a small time business geek (it being one thing I’m going to school for, I sure hope so) and so I was enthralled the entire time. I was never bogged down by exposition. In fact, I kept wanting more of it, dying to know just how the world had come about. Margaret’s speech didn’t disappoint either. It was very well played by DLE. And the background is so fascinating, I hope he writes prequels.

    Anyway. The business lingo and the competitive nature of it all way thrilling. The characters were fascinating and multifaceted. While I agree Natch was ambitious, selfish, and slightly cruel, I think the reason a lot of people may find him not so endearing is merely because they see themselves in him. And who wants to read a book about a normal person with flaws? I know I do. Business often incorporates a little subterfuge and certainly manipulation. I enjoyed how that was played out by the various Creeds. Pitting ideologies together, having a supposed truth teller be a salesperson? Perfect. And then enter, of course, Big Government. And not just Big Government, but a government that’s highly militaristic. I suspect the author’s DC connections and experience influenced this. I liked how he portrayed neither (business vs government) as totally evil, nor either as all wonderful. And in the end, business bring in Government via Natch and Borda. Which in itself was an interesting and surprising revelation, one I didn’t see coming. Then there’s Brone. I am intrigued to see just how this new and odd relationship between him and Natch will work out. Is Brone really just investing in a good product, or is he after something?

    The plot was superb and engaging, the writing fluid and well-written, and the end exciting enough that I can’t wait to read the next installment.

    Questions for David Louis Edelman:

    1. I can see where the inspiration for the novel came from (your job, your work for the government), but was there anything specific that brought it about? What caused a software and marketing management person to start writing novels?

    2. Any characters modeled after people you’ve known?

    3. More of a comment than anything, but being from the “Twin Cities,” I enjoyed your liberal use of them throughout the book. I’ve been trying to decide what nature preserve Natch and his hivemates would have been


    I’m glad Mr. M. chose Infoquake for his BotM.5C. I very much enjoyed the premise, the plot, and, especially, the characters. Natch was suitably complex. Horvil was sweet if a bit stereotypical, but overall, a good side character. I really liked the way Jara was portrayed. She didn’t simper or whimper or cry all the time because her beloved didn’t notice her. She was an adult woman, which is difficult to find in male-written SF.

    I read once that those who research for a novel and those who create detailed backstory/background elements tend to want to put everything they know into the text. As we learned in Weber’s novel, On Basilisk Station, that can bring a story to a dead stop. I was glad to see Mr. Edelman didn’t give in to that tendency. Background elements — collapsible buildings, government of choice, etc. — were kept in the background and didn’t try to take over the story. That said, I’d love to know more about some of them.

    Overall, I really enjoyed Infoquake. Enough so, in fact, that I’ve already read MultiReal and am eagerly awaiting the third in the series.

    Questions for Mr. Edelman:

    1. Are you any relation to the great character actor Herb Edelman?

    2. I understand office-type buildings “fighting for space” but what is the purpose of private apartments in residential areas collapsing at night while the occupants sleep?

    3. What is the reasoning behind your decision to draw so much attention to Natch’s Jump by naming the trilogy Jump 225 yet you only refer to Natch Jumping once in two books?

    As always, feel free to skip.

    Tomorrow, I’m being moved to a private room here in the facility. It will take a while to get my phone/internet service moved over, so you won’t hear from me for a while. (Lise and/or Sheryl, if you call, don’t freak if I don’t answer the phone. This will most likely be why.)

    Healthwise, I’m doing as well as can be expected. Nothing serious going on right now, just the wrist/should problems. Last temp was 97.7.

    Anne Teldy

  16. I’m definitely looking forward to reading it.

    As for the impending announcement…I think I’m beyond anxious and excited now. Seriously. I couldn’t wait back when the guys were announced.

    And last night…I had a dream where you were asking me and several others (whom I did not recognize) if we were excited that the announcement would be soon…maybe. Strangely enough we were all in your car, going somewhere (perhaps to a restaurant), and what’s even more strange is that we all fit. It was a sleek, fancy black car with a leather interior. No idea on the type. lol.

    I’ve only ever had one other semi Stargate related dream in which I was trying to get Sheppard to help save the world.

    Hopefully the announcement will be soon before I have anymore strange dreams! LOL. 🙂

  17. Anne, ok i won’t freak out, let us know when the move is complete happy trails,, and what did ??? someone send you, i’ve been gone awhile. Sheryl

  18. Hi Joe:

    Favorite Mark Wahlberg film? Must be The Planet of The Apes. Wasn’t that the very last film that Charlton Heston appeared in?

    Anyway, I’m having a terrible time laying my hands on Terry Pratchett’s “Guards! Guards”. Would you be willing to send me your copy – autographed of course…?

    I chatted with Barry Campbell, the intrepid Arctic expert who was instrumental in the Arctic location shoot for Continuum, and who appeared in the movie for a few minutes as, “officer in the Conning Tower”. He’s headed back up to the Arctic for 5 weeks hoping to continue to avoid the Polar Bears. He asked me to say, “hi to everyone who knows me”. So, everyone complaining about the waether for the next five weeks, remember, Barry Campbell et. al have it worse.

    Patricia (AG)

  19. I enjoyed Infoquake and was really intrigued by the world Mr. Edelman created. The end of the story arrived a bit sooner than I had expected (I was misled by the Appendices — So many more pages to go.), but then it did leave me eager for the next book in the series.

    The ending also left me wondering about the potential consequences of the MultiReal technology, and whether something that allows a user to see the outcomes of each choice could in fact lead to a sort of societal paralysis, since the outcome of each choice leads you to another choice which leads to another series of possible outcomes… and so on. And might that cause everyone to stop making choices (although wouldn’t that in itself be a choice?) while they evaluated all possible outcomes?

    Or I suppose the technology could just be used to make the game of baseball even more dull. 🙂

    Guess I’ll have to go get “MultiReal” now and find out.
    – KB

    P.S. I finally finished a BOTM in time to join in the discussion. Hooray.


    Hi back to Barry! I noticed earlier tonight that windchill temps up around the Circle were -55C!! But hey, could be worse, down in New Brunswick they just had a 40cm dump of snow!!

    Oh, and Hi to Brian’s Mom!
    Just ignore us all if we start to misbehave around here… We don’t bite… too much… although I can’t vouch for Joe’s chewing habits…

  21. coucou Joseph!

    Vous allez bien? Moi oui, je me repose avant de reprendre les cours.

    Ofaite je ne vous ai pas dit? je suis fiancée^^! Trop happy mon cheri ma offert un jolie bague en or blanc avec des éclats de diamants.

    Passez une bonne journée. Bisou

  22. @ Anne Teldy
    So glad to see your BOTM post! You did come back. Give us a yodel here on the blog when you get relocated to your new digs.

    @ Sheryl
    Some Angel sent our Ms. Anne a lovely teddy bear, personalized and everything. She was quite overcome. It meant the world to her. None of us have been able to figure out who the dear person was, other than it wasn’t some of us regular blog folk.

    @ Cap’n Joe
    Thank you so much for the lovely pugsie pictures (Lulu being an honorary pug). Looking at their adorable faces was like medicine. Max, as always, is Mr. Mellow. You can tell someone they love took their pix because of the “disappearing ears.” It’s a doggie sign of submission and love. My Samoyed grrrl does that. She has foxy sled dog ears, and when petted, she lays them straight back like a rabbit’s. Since the fur on them is as soft as angora anyway, I sometimes call her “Bunny.” If ever I did get a chance to visit up north and the pugs were there, I probably would, like many other dog-loving folks here, plop myself down in the middle of the floor to say hello. If there were only one and it was Bubba, I’d collapse into giggles the minute he tilted his head. Lulu chasing Bubba would be the living end.

    Have you started The Book of Joby yet?

  23. Hmmm…… I love a puzzle – would it be The Basketball Diaries? So many choices there though – somehow I don’t think you got Leonardo di Caprio. 😀

    Hello Brian’s mum & David’s dad & any other mums, dads, aunts & uncles **waves**. Maybe Joe could do a Q&A with your sons when the show premieres and you could ask them some questions. That’d be fun.

    I was reading up on Icarus…hmmmm son of Daedalus. Died while escaping imprisonment using wings made of wax when he flew too close to the Sun. Hope the Icarus Base is made of stronger stuff.

    So, the Icarus Base gets attacked and the team escape to find the Ancient ship The Destiny and get stranded until the end of the series – how did I do?

    Is the Icarus Base primarily a military operation or like a research station?

    Cheers, Chev

  24. Hey Joe,

    I don’t usually read many details about the books you write about, since I’m also in the software business (like the guy in the book and its writer), so I have close to 0 spare time on weekdays (thankfully, it’s the opposite on weekends, but then I use that time for general recreation that usually avoids mind-cracking, like exclusively watching House episodes now that Atlantis is no longer running). But the fact that the writer is a fellow stress understander (does that word exist??), makes me curious about how is his book written, and if the story is good, so I’ll see if I can get my hands on it. How extensive (pages) is it?

    Oh, and, even though I haven’t read the book yet, I have two questions for the author:
    – Being a web programmer, did you get your inspiration in a specific field of the business you do stuff for (like say, health-care apps, management, or whatever you work at), or it did come to you just out of the general rhythm of the software business?
    – And, do you base your depiction exclusively on the work done by the “field soldiers” (jr/sr. programmers), the “officers” (analysts and higher), or the “NCOs” (don’t know if that exists outside of Spain, here we call them Analyst-Programmers or APs)?


  25. Joe, you liked Boogie Nights?

    and i dont know much about infoquake but it sounds like something that only a producer will like lol.

    Brian’s Mom is here? wow okay. so no dirty jokes then. but seriously i like how she is still part of his life and all.

  26. Infoquake

    This was a fascinating read. Great concept where all your innards and emotions are controlled by routines you mentally invoke. Also scarey in that you may end up involuntarily experiencing routines called up for you or due to darts with black code.

    At first, I was puzzled by some of the conflicts – like when when Jara was adamant to turn in Natch; yet, she counted the days to the end of her contract. If Natch is out of business; she is out of work – well, we don’t know the exact content of the contracts except she can be transferred to another “Natch” business. But this was one of her internal struggles between wanting to succeed or failing. Mr. Edelman managed to introduce everyones struggle to enhance the story without overwhelming the reader with too much.

    Although crucial to the entire story line – the antics of the government or entities of governance; some, so typical and timeless. Even in the story, the typical weakness and flaws of those in power; those who take complaints and should be acting on information.

    They even had an economic stimulus for those wanting to setup new fiefcorps and needed investment.

    Have to wonder – how private were the confidential whispers. Shudders of big brother. Seems there were enough governance to enforce, but – after some of the other actions the Defense and Wellness people took belies that point.

    Interesting concept of the initiation. After so many years of having the OCHRES and other advantages available, then finding yourself in the wilds for a year without the conveniences.

    At first I did not like Natch, but after learning of his childhood and struggles, I came to appreciate him. He’s still cocky and too confident, but understandable. I liked Horvil and Jara – perhaps because they were used by Natch. But in spite of his using them, it was basically symbiotic. They all benefitted from their interrelationship.

    I also thought about the similarity with Ender Wiggin in Ender’s Game.

    The story took a rather unexpected turn after the revealing of the partnerships between the Surina and Natch, the Patels and Surina, and big surprise the introduction of Brone and even bigger surprise with getting chummy with Borda. Then with still many pages left to read, or so I thought, and then – it ended. Aarrrgh.

    Very entertaining use of business speak, computer/programmer speak. I loved that Mr. Edelman had the appendices with all the background information. This did not break any flow of the story and the info was readily available

    Question for Mr. Edelman
    1. What is your impulse or foundation for the Black Code? Where or what are you drawing from for that concept?

    2. What was the impulse to end the first book seemingly so abruptly? Was this a natural “break?”

    Thanks for joining to respond to our questions. Looking forward to the next 2 books in the trilogy.

  27. Hi again Mr M!

    Sorry, didn’t have time to read Infoquake, but love the concept. Will put it into my TO DO list.

    Great to hear things are going so well at SGU! Look forward to seeing the results.

    A big hello to : Mrs Smith and Mr Blue….. Sounds like a cross between a Angelina Jolie/Reservoir Dogs Movie.

    Best to all


  28. @ shiningwit – Thanks for the well-wishes yesterday. I hope to be better soon, too! Never been sick like this (I lie – something similar hit me back in 1992, but not quite as bad).

    @ Chev – Great pictures! You stay safe, too! I haven’t heard much about the fires lately, I thought maybe they were under control.

    @ Narelle from Aus – I just sent ya an e-mail, but looking back at your comment from yesterday, I think that answers my question. Are any of the fires closer to you??

    @ Anne Teldy – Glad things have settled down health-wise for ya. Are you excited about having a private room? Let us know when your computer is up and running again!


  29. *Waves @Brian’s mom* Welcome, pull up a chair and enjoy the insanity that is Joe’s Cafe. I’m not too sure who is supposed to keep who in order but it seems to work out for the most part. We’re mostly harmless.

    I am WAY out of synch with the BOTM and have promised myself that I’ll get back with the program just as soon as real life lets me. I do enjoy reading what everyone thinks of the current selections though and if the reviews are favourable I will make it a point to read them.

  30. It’s pretty rare, in my experience, to come across a science fiction book that gives pretty good business advice as well as a good story. Infoquake, book one in a trilogy, is one of those. After a rough start choking on ChaiQuoke (LOL! I imagined tea-flavored Coke aggh ok choking because I wasn’t getting the technology and frankly, fictional books about business bore me) I flipped to the Appendix and read all that before going to section 2. It helped alot and so did 2, the story got more interesting when it went into the history of both the characters and the society, giving me some sort of context to put all this info and a better feel for these people. I really like the idea of border-free governments and I loved the many healthy expressions of politics & religions. Since I’m writing this here I should mention Stargate ruined me on the idea of biological nanites, if I were a character I would be an Islander or Pharisee because I’d never allow unrestricted nano machines in me. The only piece of software I regret not having at this very moment is Shyster. The piece of software that irritated me the most is SeeNaRee with the exception of the pointillist representation LMAO! Would love to See a Dali. I was disappointed that the mysterious Project was MultiReal because Stargate also spoiled me for multiple realities. But glad this came off differently, the idea of trying scenarios then picking one in a fraction of time was interesting, with finite resources I’m just not sure how that would or could be implemented by millions all at once (maybe causing another catastrophic infoquake? gotta agree with Borda on the possibility) Black code is cool in its unpredictable insidiousness. I was also smirking at the Autonomous Mind and Revolt thing, too similar, already rode that anti-thinking machine wave in a little series known as Dune.
    Despite my initial problems understanding the tech and some of the people, I really enjoyed the story and want to know more about this world, so the probability is very high that I will look for Book 2 MultiReal. I especially want to know if Natch ever makes the Jump program work since trees are so important, who shot him and what (if anything) the black code will do to him. I’d also really like to see a book in this series written from the point of view of an Islander, Quell wasn’t enough.

    Politically Incorrect Questions:
    Was choosing an Indian as the world’s technological savior random or deliberate?
    I can’t help but feel ironic about the Economic Plunge in relation to current real life and that it took government spending to end it. Having lots of Libertarian in the book was really great, do you personally prefer that over Democrat views? Or do you just have fun poking at them all? (I would.) Thanks!!

  31. @ Joe – SGU questions:

    1. Now that you’ve seen a bit of what the actors can do and the sort of personality they are bringing to their characters, will you tweak a few things in your script to enhance the little idiosyncrasies they are bringing to their roles?

    2. When a character has a particular interest or ‘gimmick’ (like Rodney with his coffee, or Sheppard with Johnny Cash), who creates that – the writer/creator, or the actor – and will we see similar peculiarities in the new crew?

    Thankies! (Oh, and I was serious about that ‘shiny Wraith’ question – whether it’s sweat, or just the natural shine to their skin. It could be interpreted either way, so I’m interested in which look you guys were going for.)


  32. It’s so cool to see Sherry Harris write in to express her support of her son’s career! I often wonder who all the other people are that write in – what they they do, how they found this blog – how often they check in. I read it every day to start my morning off right! (and to see if there are pictures of the pugs, of course)

  33. Hey Joe! Your blog kicks ass! It’s real great!!

    I have read in some sites that it’s possible Daniel Jackson makes a cameo in the SGU series premiere. I was wondering if you can confirm that.
    If it’s true, is he already in the set?

    I’m sorry for my bad english, it’s because I’m from Jupiter !

  34. You know, of all the BOTM months we’ve had so far, I think this is proving my favourite in terms of the reading material. And to think, if it weren’t for the BOTM club, I might never have picked these wonderful books up!

    Okay, Infoquake. I loved this book for all the reasons everyone else has already mentioned: the complex worldbuilding, the detailed back-history, the fact that none of the characters in the book are perfect heroes. In fact, I think of everything, it’s the characterization I liked most.

    Natch is definitely not admirable or even likeable, but I found myself sympathizing with him nonetheless. (It got a little hard after the bear attack. Our field crew was involved in a bear attack up in Northern Canada in ’97, so that part of the novel didn’t feel much like fiction for me. And while I realize that Natch’s decision was a split-second thing–that he chose to act almost subconsciously–I was completely disgusted with him at that moment). I guess, for me, the vulnerabilities and insecurities that Natch goes on to display, his desperate need to be someone remarkable, helped me to understand his selfish petulance and over-riding ambition a little more. To me, Natch came across as a not very likeable human being — and that’s all I think one can ask of characters in a book.

    (That said, the character I sympathized with most, and who I wanted to read more about, was Jara. She’s the moral compass of Natch’s group, and I like seeing the sorts of decisions she finds herself facing — does she stay with Natch and make her fortune while ignoring her conscience, or does she keep her self-respect and walk out…but lose any chance of reviving her career? Again, she struck me as a very human character with whom I found it easy to identify).

    I didn’t mind the few bits of exposition at all — in fact, I think Edelman did a very good job of blending exposition into the main story, so that it got absorbed almost without me realizing it. Like Kathy H, I thought Margaret’s speech was a pretty clever way of giving a quick history lesson without weighing down the reader in too many details. (Though, I do kind of want to read the prequel to this trilogy now, in which the story of the falling spacestation is told in more detail. Can you imagine being stuck on that station, knowing it was falling to Earth, and knowing there was nothing you could do to prevent it?)

    I think the one thing I did find a bit jarring in this new universe is the sense that everything is so close. For some reason, when Natch’s class travelled to their field-school, I’d pictured their camp as somewhere in Africa–maybe because mention was made of a couple hours flying time? I don’t really know. Anway, when the bear showed up, I was a little thrown. At the same time, I kind of envy the inhabitants of the world in Infoquake–imagine never needing to leave the house, because you can accomplish pretty much everything you need to in a virtual world. And if you do have to be somewhere, you can be there almost instantaneously by teleporting (if you have the cash, of course, but, well, is that any different from today? If you want to travel, it costs money to do so).

    I’m not so sure I really understand MultiReal. As outlined by Margaret, it sounds kind of great–a chance to have things turn out exactly as you wanted. But what happens when the batter wants to hit a six and the bowler wants to get his tenth wicket for no runs (hah, take that, baseball analogies! Give me cricket any day of the week). Whose reality ultimately wins out — or do both batter and bowler split off into separate universes, each achieving their individual goal? For every individual who’s installed the MultiReal program, are there a zillion universes in which things go wrong, and only one in which everything is golden? I guess maybe I need to re-read this book, or read the next two in the series to understand it better.

    All in all, a great book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I will definitely be picking up the next in the series.

  35. I thoroughly enjoyed Infoquake. It did the difficult work of introducing a completely different universe without it feeling like work. Edelman easily slipped into the tried and true method of introducing the rules of his world through conflict such as Jara’s brooding over the terms of her contract.

    Something Edelman did particularly well was to have me able to accept these characters’ paradigms quickly and cleanly without introducing internal monologue that screamed “oh yeah, you, the reader, are from the year 2009 so my character is going to mull over this just for your benefit.” The reason why lodging a complaint must be done “in person” to assure anonymity was introduced so concisely that, although such an assumption doesn’t play at all in the year 2009 paradigm, Edelman had me accept that rule quickly enough to keep me in his world. The quick dismissal of the idea that the Pharisees would be able to contact Natch at all did the necessary work of tying up loose ends in a part of the story, but that short thought alone did more to plunge me into the rules of Edelman’s world than a full page of exposition could.

    Questions for DLE:

    By transitioning from the end of the Shortest Initiation into Natch’s study of how humanity has been tinkering with the bandwidth of the brain stem, were you implying that Natch’s impulsive decision with the bear may have been influenced by altered physiology?

    A couple of times, characters express that they consider the influx of loans into the markets by government interests to have been the reason for the economic recovery. Is that the reason or are we meant to only know that the characters express it as the reason?

  36. @ Sherry Harris – *waves* Hi Brian’s mom! Looking forward to ‘meeting’ your son through the show!

    Totally unrelated…

    Last night hubby and I watched Dirty Harry. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this movie, and it really struck me how much Andy Robinson’s performance as Scorpio reminded me of Ledger’s Joker. Some of the similarities were uncanny. In fact, Robinson did every bit as good a job, if not better, at portraying a total nutjob killer as Ledger did. It just reminded me of how hype around one role often makes us forget that there are equally great performances out there that have gone un- or underappreciated. So, kudos to Mr. Robinson for being the a great ‘Joker’ to Eastwood’s ‘Batman’ – it was a job well-done!


  37. Ack – a rogue ‘the’… 😛 I hate when that happens…

    And YES. I’m home again today, bored out of my mind…blowing and sneezing, sneezing and blowing. The family told me to ‘stay the hell home!’ because mom doesn’t want to risk getting sick before her surgery tomorrow. That’s fine with me, but now I’m running out of ‘at home’ things to do. Maybe I’ll break open Powers

    Or maybe I’ll take another nap. 😀


  38. Infoquake- I enjoyed this book. I was never real fond of book reports in school, I love to read though. The ending, so sudden> was not prepared for it. but am at present looking for the next one in the series so your ploy worked.
    How did the ex utero work? In Lora’s case she mentioned having actual sex in younger days and no mention of pregnancy, did OCHRES control that also, and the father of Natch, not so sure it was Vigal, but it could have been someone else?
    Would darts be the only way to get black code? and why not a program to stop a black code invasion?(virus protection?)
    -What if you didn’t want to have bio/logic, (not sure why you wouldn’t) would they have been sent to the live with the Islanders? or some planet to fall from space? I really did like the book, was hard to put it down once I started.
    -thanks for your time Mr Edelman. and thanks Joe for the book ideas, keep ’em coming. I am thinking of having a bake sale to be able to buy more books, if I just didn’t eat all the goodies b4 the sale. 🙄

  39. I’ve been out of touch for a while but upon reading that one of the SGU actor’s parents posted a comment I was so compelled to drop a line. How cool is that? I think I mentioned a while ago that I’m going to def watch SGU and see if it appeals to me but somehow reading that made me even more connected to the show. I know that sounds weird but well, I’m a little weird.

    On an unrelated note, found this link Joe and I just couldn’t help but think that you’d be interested. Not sure if you’ve got another LA trip in your future but this would be a great resource for sweets in LA



  40. dasndanger said:

    @ Chev – Great pictures! You stay safe, too! I haven’t heard much about the fires lately, I thought maybe they were under control.

    Thanks Das. I am safe. That fire the other day was brought under control but I heard this morning that there are still 7 fires burning out of control (not immediately threatening people’s houses, but still it’s a worry, especially for all of the animals).


  41. What great words everyone has to share about Infoquake!! I am absolutely loving the world Mr. Edelman has created. I cant say how many parallels have run through my head with regards to the various stargate episodes dealing with nanites (my favorite was the girl who gave them the naqueda(sp?) generator technology, i think its season 3 but its been a while)… it is one technology that has got the fear of god in me, I think the book fairly accurately depicts very possible directions society would take if placed in such a situation based on our current state. i was absolutely terrified of future technologies after seeing gattaca and realising that most of that technology is well on its way to becoming reality and a lot of it is already.
    All the same this was a thrilling read, though i wouldnt normally have chosen such a business oriented book on my own it was well worth the effort.
    Thank you so much for the wonderful book selection and i look forward to reading everyone elses comments on the book. Hopefully ill come up with some good questions soon!

  42. Ok – now I am really excited about SGU. When is SGU set to air?? and when is the SGA movie coming out and will it go to blue ray when it goes to dvd?? I know it’s probably stated somewhere in the blog. Sorry my brain needs more ram. I suffer from CRS.

    I know I am behind here, but love the pug pics, omg!!!!!!!! A friend sent me an email of a pug licking the “inside” of my computer screen, it was very cute and mad me think of your puppies, Joe. Can always count on those guys to bring a smile to my face and lighten things up.

    I went to my local library to get see if I could get any of the books on the upcoming list(s). Ok what are the chances there is someone else in Palm Beach County Florida reading the same books??? I found Thursday Next by Japser Fforde, thought since I am not allowed to surf the net anymore at work, I would read during down times, since that is the only time I have to read anymore. The book is quite interesting, I can’t put it down any longer than a day, otherwise, I forget what I have read.

    So when is SGU set to air?

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