Silver Screen by Justina Robson


Mad Mountain Man
Jun 29, 2010
Scottish Highlands
Bought as an ebook (from Amazon) I was immediately disappointed by the appalling state of the text. Originally published in 1999 it was clearly produced as an ebook by simply scanning the original; the edition was not even a digital one; the copyright and publication information page referred to its being 'printed on acid-free paper.' This, presumably, scanned ebook cannot possibly have been even read, never mind proof-read, before being released; it is without doubt the worst ebook publication I have ever had to read; pretty much every page had 'typos' or more likely scan errors. This was a constant annoyance and without doubt detracted massively from my enjoyment of the book.

However the book itself was not good either, which was also very disappointing. I have previously read all Robson’s Quantum Gravity books which I found generally very good to excellent, but this book, which admittedly was, I believe, her debut, does not even come close to those. The story and her prose were so muddled I am frankly surprised she even managed to get it published. And this is a shame as the main elements of the story were interesting and showed great promise; her ideas on consciousness and machine sentience were both interesting and well presented. It just seems that at this stage in her development as a novelist she was unable to wrap them in a coherent story, despite the plot being actually quite good. Though I could only make that assessment after the fact; whilst reading it I was mostly just confused.

A shame but this is not a book I would recommend.