I wrote a pretty harsh review of Geosynchron the other day– my dashed capitalist hopes speaking, I guess. In any case, I have a very quick addition–
David Louis Edelman briefly addressed the ending of the novel on April 6th, himself ending with this:
So is it a happy ending? Well, partially; it’s happy that Natch managed to find some way to achieve inner satisfaction in the end. But sad that he could not figure out how to do it within the bounds of society. Clearly the ending of Geosynchron isn’t meant to encourage everyone to toss away all their belongings, gouge out their eyes and trek out to the desert. But maybe it will help put our lives in perspective, just a little bit? I dunno, that’s up to you.
To be fair, I actually really did like Natch’s fate, for 3 reasons:
1. If he had to turn our (anti)hero from ultimate selfishness to ultimate selflessness, I’m glad Edelman didn’t follow the road to triteness and kill the entrepreneur-turned-drug-busting-social-worker. For Natch, I imagine losing sensory contact with both the physical and virtual world might be a greater sacrifice than death–although he did get some practice in Brone’s prison at the end of MultiReal (maybe Margaret Surina will keep company in his head too).
2. Richard Taylor’s kind of awesome. (I always wondered where surnames had gone, and now we know–the Pharisee Territories).
3. Dune Messiah, much? A blind man striking out into the desert–after having made a sacrifice in the service of humankind and human history… honest, did somebody say Paul Atreides? When Quell revealed the toll of chemically destroying Natch’s OCHREs I had a mixed reaction, as evidenced by my Kindle margin notes– a sad face emoticon and “awww, it’s Maud’Dib!”, respectively.
In fact, I’m half convinced that–if there were to be a fourth book–that’s where it would go. Admittedly, my predictions after Infoquake and MultiReal were kind of (code for: really really really) off, but this time my literary precedent’s Frank Herbert, not Ayn Rand, and that should count for something–right? In God Emperor of Andra Pradesh, an old blind Natch will emerge from the desert a wizened prophet preaching outside of the Revelation Spire, inspire Josiah Surina to transform himself via sandworm larvae into an immortal dictator, fulfilling the prophecies his Bene Gesserit Creed Surina forbears sowed in the populace and…
Well, at least, can we agree that it’s one of many possibilities… or Possibilities? (Sorry–I couldn’t resist). The afterword of the book after all, while making clear that Edelman has not read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead, says absolutely nothing about Dune.
This time, friends, I’m sure I’m right.