Sunday, January 24, 2010

Colliding Branes

Short Story by Rudy Rucker & Bruce Sterling

Rabbiteen Chandra is a physics blogger who tries to link everything with Hindu mysticism. Angelo Rasmussen is a political blogger, with conspiracy nut tendencies. Since the universe is about to cease existing (the titular colliding branes), they figure they might as well hook up. But before settling in for a night of wild, pre-apocalyptic blogger sex, they follow a tip from another blogger and head out to Area 52 ("Wow, that's one digit higher than 51.")

As the universe literally falls apart around them, they fall in love and conclude the story in an out-there, twist ending that makes exactly the kind of cosmic sense Rudy Rucker makes. Which is to say it's internally consistent, and if you're willing to retire your Occam's Razor from cosmology, and use it to measuring out whatever drug you're snorting off that 12-dimensional mirror - then it's plausible. I quite liked it.

This is an affectionate parody of bloggers and the blogosphere. The dialogue is stilted in places and the most recently mentioned character serves as the lens through which all description and narration is seen, changing many times without notice. This makes for tough reading in a few places, but allows for competing varieties of sarcasm and over-the-top idealism bias. I laughed several times reading this, although it might be more awkward reading than I'd like, especially the first third or so.

Given the blogosphere nature of this story, I'd have loved to see cape-wearing Cory Doctorow join the dream team, but the Rucker and Sterling are sufficiently brilliant on their own. 4 out of 5 blogs are disappointed they didn't get a shout-out, BoingBoing is not among them.

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