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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Radio Freefall

Copyright 2007 by Matthew Jarpe

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this on the 27th August 2012.

As Earth unites under a World Government, the space stations and the Moon are less sure they want to be a part of this.

Out of the desert comes the old stranger with the old Les Paul. He plays with the house band in the Las Vegas club and turns them into superstars. Who the heck is this man who calls himself Aqualung.

This time it's the music that will make the revolution.

The Digital Carnivore controls the web. It's a spontaneously-generated, emergent artificial intelligence that resides across every computer. It invades privacy and no one's data is inviolate. Walter Cheeseman is hunting for it. Tabor Quinn the obsessed genius with his astounding assistant Molly, is hunting Walter Cheeseman and Digital Carnivore. And of course Aqualung's old best mate was in on this from the beginning.

After a plot that meanders around a few gigs and several musical rem incenses, we end up in a space station at the cusp of the revolution and a very exciting place to be it certainly is.

Hey, hey, hey, you got me rocking now
Hey, hey, hey, you got me rocking now
Hey, hey, hey, there ain't no stopping me
Hey, hey, hey, you got me rocking now
(sensitive and subtle lyrics by Jagger/Richards)

Rock and roll and SF! What an unexpectedly enjoyable novel Matthew has made from this mix. Gwyneth Jones' "Bold As Love" was another rock and roll SF novel, but although I recall enjoying that book tremendously (or rather by referring to my superb review I see that I actually don't recall much at all of the book, except for remembering that tremendous enjoyment. And gosh, don't overlook "Song for A New Day" by Sarah Pinsker.

Jarpe has written a great book, It's an absolutely thrilling read. It's "Michaelmas" brilliantly rewritten for a more complex age.

He even throws in a reference to "Johnny B. Goode" - well that's from the mists of memory. Yes a classic of course but I still feel the great Peter Tosh's knock-out reggae version is worthy of comparison to the original. Oh my oh my what the boy can play

What's it got: AI, space invasions, and throughout the driving force of rock and roll.

Loaded on the 1st February 2021.
Cover of Radio Freefall
Cover art by John Harris

Reviews of other works with covers by John Harris:
Ancillary Mercy
Light Raid
The Stonehenge Gate
Old Man's War
The Ghost Brigades
The Last Colony
The Moat Around Murcheson's Eye
Earth Unaware
Children Of The Mind

Reviews of other works with covers by John Harris and Carol Russo Design:
Earth Made Of Glass