Monday, December 06, 2010

REVIEW: "Pink Noise" by Leonid Korogodski

Nathi is posthuman, having given up his body five centuries ago. He is now one of the most talented brain doctors around, entering into the (un)consciousness of injured brains to help repair the damage. Nathi can hardly remember any other reality, although he did have a life even before his posthuman existence began. But Nathi is in for a shock when he comes to the aid of a comatose girl. As he attempts to aid her awareness, he is startled to realize it's really an epic awakening for himself, and as he delves deeper into her brain and discovers the surprises in store, his real adventure begins.  

Leonid Korogodski, a PhD in Mathematics, has explored some fascinating science to create the premise of this short novel. A extensive summation of his research is included in the "Notes and References" section of the book. It's awe-inspiring and somewhat terrifying to think of a future where these things are not only possible, but a normal part of human- and posthuman- existence. 

This book was a whirlwind adventure. There was something fluid and hypnotic about the phrasing in this story, making me feel very much like a futuristic Alice who had just fallen down the rabbit hole into a whole new world. Every time I thought I might have gotten a grip on reality, a new surprise threw me, once again, into another conversation with the Mad Hatter, making me question my own understanding of reality.  The possibilities involved in pairing one brain with the brain of another, of having an reality that doesn't require a body, of experiencing a life without the boundaries to which we are accustomed.... those possibilities were staggering and eye-opening.  

This book is illustrated by Borislav Varadinov, a finalist in the AntiMotion: FUTR WRLD digital art contest. While the visuals were thought-provoking, it was distracting to me to have them included in the book. The placement of the pictures created some unexpected page breaks in my digital version of the book, which led to a bit of confusion on my part. There were a few times I thought the chapter had ended abruptly because the words stopped two-thirds of the way down the page at the end of a paragraph, but the chapter actually continued on the next page, after an inserted picture. I may have enjoyed the pictures more as a collection of images in the middle (or at the end) of the book. 

Altogether, a fascinating concept and hypnotic language make this book a mesmerizing ride through a future that may one day become ours. Although it's a short book, there are a lot of ideas to take in all at once, and you may find yourself thinking about the implications long after you've turned the final page. 

4 /5 stars

Available on Amazon.


Leo said...

Grace, thanks for the thoughtful review. I think the illustrations work better in the print edition, but I can see how they can be seen as interruptions in an ebook.

GraceKrispy said...

Hi Leo- I can see how the images would work really well in the print edition. Thanks for an interesting story!

Melissa Martin Ellis said...

Illustrations in ebooks can be problematical, but having read the hard cover version of PINK NOISE I can testify that the illustration placement within the text was completely appropriate and added to the experience a great deal.

PINK NOISE is a trip down the rabbit hole, a magic carpet ride--an amazing read in any format.

Leo said...

Thanks! Something to keep in mind for the future: illustrations in an ebook probably belong to the end. For an example of how Pink Noise looks in print, see