Sometimes I wonder why is that if something is that if I find out that fashionable my first reaction is turning away. Intellectually I know that popular items and ideas can also have plenty of value, but emotionally I am turned off for them. I am often more interested in the obscure as if scarcity in itself would be of value. I know that the answer to my reactions is buried somewhere in my personal background and the circumstances of how my taste in music, literature, fashion and even ideology developed. In communist Hungary underground culture was more alive and relevant than the public one. At least for me.
When I was reading M. M. Buckner’s Hyperthought I had mixed reactions for the above reasons. On one hand I utterly enjoyed the fast paced science fiction and the ideas it explored. On the other hand I had a negative gut reaction to some of the themes it explored. Pollution, global warming corporations overtaking the roles and functions of nations… these are all valid and important concern but in recent years they became popular memes in science fiction novels. Extrapolating these trends is a common pastime nowadays for authors.
I am aware that it is essential to point out the dangers and consequences of where we might heading and sci-fi is a perfect medium for that. Furthermore Buckner did a good job of item, because he painted a believable scenario and filled it with action and characters who are beyond the black and white superhero/villain dichotomy. Nevertheless it took some effort for me to fully accept that it is OK to write about popular themes. If you’re OK with it too, than read the novel, because it has originality beyond the commonalities with other books.