Setting[ edit ] The book is set on a far future Earth where the uploading of mindstates into a world-spanning computer network known as "Cryptosphere", "the Data Corpus", or simply "Crypt" is commonplace, allowing the dead to be easily reincarnated , a set number of times, first physically and then virtually within the crypt. The crypt has become increasingly chaotic, causing much concern within society. The structure used to be a space elevator, left behind by the ancestors of those who remained on earth, with the circuitry of the crypt built into its structure. The world is in crisis as the solar system is slowly drifting into an interstellar molecular cloud "the Encroachment" , which will eventually dim and then destroy the Sun, ending life on Earth. Plot summary[ edit ] The narrative switches between four main characters.
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Start your review of Feersum Endjinn Write a review Shelves: my-collection , question-reality , fits-like-a-glove , must-read-again , all-time-favorites , spec-fic , unique-theories Riting a revyoo as thoh I wuz Bascule seems 2 me the obveeyus cors. But a browz uv the revyoos postd on Goodreedz indicayts uderwize. Thayr r meny protaguniss in Feersum Endjin but Bascule iz reely the dryvin chayractr. Hez the regyoolar gi we can idennify wif. Hez the unliklee hero frust in2 sercumstansis beyond hiz understandin Riting a revyoo as thoh I wuz Bascule seems 2 me the obveeyus cors.
Hez the unliklee hero frust in2 sercumstansis beyond hiz understandin or cuntrol and givin the oportoonity 2 mayk brav deesishins wif the fayt uv hyoomanity in the balans. Hiz brayvry leedz him 2 perform acts uv grayt consikwens, even if he cant c thos consikwensis frum hiz limitd perzpektiv. Bascule playz an eesentil rol in helping the gud giz win the day and he duznt even no it until the end, enwayz.
Hez juss dooin whot seemz ryt to him. He can tok normuly but can onlee ryt foneticly. An the ofor, Ean Bankz, poolz this of brilyantly. It takes some amount of concentration. A castle with walls standing several kilometers high, the tops obscured by haze and the shear cliff-faces running to the horizon on your right and left. A central tower that tickles the underbelly of outer space. A structure set atop a three-kilometer tall mesa in one room that, seen from afar, looks like a chandelier lowered from the ceiling for spring cleaning.
Seen up close, the chandelier is a city of elaborate, soaring, glass-paneled skyscrapers. A structure is set kilometers high in the corner of one room that, seen from afar, looks like a baroque decorative gargoyle.
Seen up close the gargoyle is a residential complex where people enjoy the view from balconies in the eyes. The larger rooms have their own weather systems. One room contains a volcano. Others contain lakes and rivers and hills and valleys. The rooms in the higher levels—each level standing a couple kilometers tall—are perpetually cold, and one of them holds a year-round ski-resort. Now, stay with me here You can visualize parts of the castle Serehfa.
Your imagination has painted pictures—perhaps even detailed pictures—of the corner of one room and the centerpiece in another, of one small piece of the horizon-spanning castle walls. Your mind is busily filling in random details plucked from your memory to create a room with a volcano, and a room with lakes and rivers, hills and valleys.
You know what a ski resort looks like so your mind simply places it inside a vast interior space. But visualizing the whole castle? Definitely not. Just a few scattered pieces that contain sufficiently familiar elements for your mind to grab on to, like a good handhold on a cliff face. But pull back and urge your imagination to paint the entire monstrosity Still with me? Even through the mixed metaphors? A tenuous connection, maybe?
The society in Feersum Endjin is too massive, complex, and even contradictory to pull together in a big picture that makes much sense. That society encompasses the living and the dead, the first-lifers and the reincarnated, the physical and the virtual, the human-basic and the chimeric.
Those diverse brush strokes are weaved together in a multifaceted symphony of color that defies our ability to imagine. What Banks paints for us through the stories of Bascule and other individuals are the detailed sections--like the rooms in Serehfa--that our minds can conceive of. But focusing on the detailed sections prevents us from seeing the whole picture. So we try to step back. Unfortunately, stepping back causes us to lose sight of the comprehendable details, leaving a wash of generalities, and, worse, the stepping back is in vain because we never can step back far enough to take in the whole construction.
Yes, you answer with a bored sigh. We each can see and understand the detailed sections painted by our own stories and those around us, but when we step back, when we lose the context of the individual, we are prone to make sweeping generalities.
Fine, you say between yawns, so what? What has this all got to do with Bascule and his learning disability? Some are consistent while others are contradictory. Some rules have a logical basis while others are wholly arbitrary. We speak to it phonetically, willing people to understand us and praying people will forgive us for our lapses, trying like mad to concentrate on the phonetic mutterings emanating from our friends and loved ones so we can understand them.