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Good, but lacking the human touch
on 8 July 2010
As a fully realised possible future scifi novel, so something grounded in real or at least possibly real science, Gardens is great - thought-provoking, conversation-starting stuff. But McAuley just doesn't have the human touch with his characters, I'm afraid. Occasionally from about halfway through Gardens I got the feeling that the characters were finally becoming real people that I could imagine - but it never quite stuck. Thus, though I read both Gardens and its predecessor from front to back, I had to try to finish them. Not because they're not great hard scifi - they are, really, they are - but even Asimov wrote more convincing, compelling characters than some of these. Sorry - thems the breaks.