Air : (or, Have not have) / Geoff Ryman.

Air: Or, Have Not Have starts out with an interesting concept.  What if the internet became truly universal, if it became part of the air?  How would isolated people cope with suddenly being a part of the world in a way that they had never experienced before?

And the first half or so of the book follows that path in an interesting way, following a woman in a small village in China as she discovers the internet first instantly with the whole world and when that avenue disappears through a computer.  It is interesting to see how different members of the community react.  Then there is a break.  It comes in a chapter all writen in email.  I generally don’t like books that use email as a narrative device but in short amounts it can be okay.  However, a whole chapter of email is very disruptive.  The other problem I had with the book was a woman conceiving in her stomach through oral sex.  I understand that the book was supposed to have a touch of the mythic and the baby was a metaphor, but that just went too far. Sometimes I can ignore these little disruptions, but this time because the book was lagging a little for me, I found it too much.  The book should have ended more quickly for me, and left out the baby, and it would have been more successful.


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