Title: Freeze Frame Revolution
Author: Peter Watts
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
I was incredibly impressed, even enamored, by Watts’ work of curious, consciousness-bending space horror Blindsight. So much so, that once I was done I discovered he had another book recently released and dove straight into it. In recent years I haven’t read a whole lot of space faring sci-fi, I’ve been more interested in other realms of fiction, but I’m glad to have taken these last couple of trips.
This book, though, is not in any way related to Blindsight. Nor is it anything that could be considered horror, cosmic or otherwise. It is an interesting experiment, and presents a number of fascinating concepts and ideas. The entire course of Freeze Frame Revolution’s story takes place over millions of years. The story itself, though, is quite compressed–and rather brief. Which I suppose is to be expected, when one of the primary conceits is that out protagonist and point of view, only exists during very brief and compressed moments of time. This works simultaneously to the benefit, and the detriment, of the story. Moments of the story that could be fleshed out, that could be turned into larger and more fuller moments, feel at times aborted. Concepts are introduced and in some cases aborted, before they can be fully understood. And given the proclivity of Watts to adhere to a very hard kind of sci-fi, it can at times be bewildering. That said, it is from beginning to end, an imminently interesting story. It’s the kind of book I can see Watts mining for stories for quite a while (he created sixty-million years of continuity for crying out loud). On that note, should you find yourself reading Freeze Frame Revolution, keep an eye out for the little red characters. Make a note of them as they appear. It’s a fun game, an interesting experiment, and leads to a pretty cool bonus for when you’re done with the book.