Dillon Richards sure is in Double Vision, a new novel out from Randy Ingermanson, which is on a blog tour this week with the CSFF. I must admit, I’m still in the process of reading this one, but I didn’t want to leave everyone hanging. So allow me to comment on what I’ve read up through chapter seven, and add more later this week if I have additional comments after I finish it.
Recently, I got wind at the Lost Genre Guild of a list of sci-fi cliches. Reading Double Vision reminded me of one particular alleged cliche and got me asking, “Why would a supergenious have such a hard time figuring out secondary meanings and metaphors?”
I hit upon the answer based on the well-portayed symptoms Richards displayed ten or twenty pages before he came right out and disclosed the answer to my question: A super genious wouldn’t–unless, that is, they happened to have Asperger’s Syndrome.
An amazing number of scientists are running around the sci-fi shelves in the video and book sections of stores it seems. Igmaerson pairs the loveable Richards with his polar opposite–a young, blonde, clothing impaired, vegetarian, self-proclaimed ethnically Jewish agnostic girl genius who drives a Miata convertible at brake neck speed. Needless to say, those two managed to make even me laugh. I must admit, I’m rooting big time for her competition, a nice Christian mystery novelist who pays her bills by paying the bills at Dillon’s employer.
I really only have a caveat or three on this well-crafted novel. Part of it’s my own personal preference, but I doubt I’m the only one who can think of several websites in the blogosphere where we could go to read the complaints of anti-christian agnostics, so if that’s not your cup of tea, take into consideration that the designated-convert-apparent has a huge chip on her shoulders against religion and isn’t shy about it.
On the same note, readers senstive about how Christians and conservatives are portayed in literature will be apt to read the very-conservative Dillon as the author implying that all conservatives and people of deep faith share his mental challenges, though I seriously doubt the author trully intended to make fun of Christians or people with Asperger’s for that matter, but if that is an issue for you, please take this into consideration.
My only other warning is Ingermanson is a physist and goes to great technical depths in his story that, while great for realism, will make this a tough read for readers who got cross-eyed in science class even with a really cool teacher, though the author does include some characters without technical knowledge so the experts can explain what they’re talking about on occassion.
But if this is your genre, so far, it looks to be a real treat.
For more on this title, check out the other sites participating in the tour on the right. As with last time, I temporarily moved the sidebar to the top so it’s in easy reach 🙂
One last thing, if you haven’t seen the classic asperger’s movie Rainman in recent history, get a copy and watch it first. You’ll get more out of the allusions to it in Double Vision.
I laughed so many times I lost count. Randy’s done a great job in illustrating the differences between not only men and women, but specifically the three main characters in his ‘love triangle’. I thought Double Vision was a great read. I didn’t mind the ‘techno babble’ at all, then again I enjoy that kind of thing when done well. I think Randy found a good balance for the techno angle. Not too dry, but enough info for you to really get the importance of what they are creating.
Hey, Andrea, I found your comments very interesting. I hope you take time to post your reactions when you finish the book. I’m curious to know what you think.
OK, I’ll also confess–I wasn’t sure if you were saying people would be unhappy because a person with Aspergers was incorrectly portrayed or portrayed at all, and same with Christians.
Thanks for such a thoughtful post.
Becky, it did occur to me the orginal wording there wasn’t very clear. I’m going to edit that to better reflect what I was getting at. It’s not a huge problem, only sensitive souls that have been taunted for their faith in the past would tend to read that into the intent behind Dillon’s character, esp. if they’re not familiar with the author. If someone like that who happens to review on amazon sees this and heeds the warning, it could be helpful to the author as well.
April: I do have to take into consideration, when reviewing, that I am humor-challenged, so I am sure the humor Normals will laugh quite a bit 🙂 I took two or three collegiate level science courses, so I’m following it okay with the explanations he found a legit way to work in, but my audience here includes more than sci-fi fans, and I can think of quite a few people in my personal circles who’d have a hard time getting through it or would come away feeling stupid–and he does do a masterful job. Don’t get me wrong on that. So far, he’s more than proved he knows his stuff. It’s just not going to be for everyone, considering our culture is semi-illiterate.
Thank you both for stopping in 🙂
Thanks for your comments on Double Vision! You’ll be amused to know that Double Vision earned me an award for “Most Scathing Review” a couple of years ago. A group of Christian authors gets together every year, and we always bring our worst review of the year. I brought a review by a non-Christian SF reader who was appalled–APPALLED–that I would portray a Christian to be super-intelligent like Dillon.
I have lived on the faith/science divide for a long time, and there is a continual undercurrent in the science community of “How could you possibly believe in God if you’re a real scientist?” So in making Dillon live in that stream, I’m just being a bit autobiographical.
But not too autobiographical. To my knowledge, I don’t have Asperger’s syndrome. But I do have certain personality quirks that are a bit like Dillon’s. I’ve had clinical psychologists who read the book and asked me whether I have Asperger’s, because I really nailed what’s it like to have it. My answer is no, I don’t have Asperger’s, but I do live in my own strange universe.
Hope you’ll enjoy the rest of the book!
Well, I’m certainly not surprised by it. The real question is “How can you possibly not believe in God if you’re a real scientist?” The Heavens declare His majesty, and true science goes wherever the evidence leads, not wherever it leads, unless it leads to God’s throne 🙂
I suppose we can take our own quirks, compound them exponentially, and wind up with an accurate portrayal of some psychological disorder or another. Personally, I almost sneered every time Dillon spoke of “Normals.” I expect to meet a unicorn in Julia Davis Park here in Boise long before I meet these elusive normal people.
I only know one Normal Person. His initials in English are J. C. . . . and Rachel hated him . . . .
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