Dec 15, 2008

Futureland by Walter Mosley


Parts of this I enjoyed and parts I just felt underwhelmed by. I've been spoiled with all the William Gibson and Jack Womack cyberpunk I've read this year. Those two manage to take this sort of near-future, corporate control tale and make it thick and realistic. I found Mosley's stories a little too easily wrapped up, a little thin. Which could be the difference between short stories and novels, but I don't really think so.

Maybe it's just that Gibson and (to an extent) Womack are concerned so centrally on the technology and how that impacts society, but Mosley uses his creative takes on where we're going to express views on race and (to a lesser extent) sex and class. But, again, even those comments seemed a little too, not glib, obvious? Shallow? I'm all for a simple story told well, but if you are going to introduce what feels like Major Social Commentary into your tale, at least have something interesting to say that I haven't heard before.

Some of his characters, however, were excellent, and I would really like to revisit them in longer form. Fera Jones, boxing champ, and her drug-ravaged father and underclass lover, for example. Bits Arnold, too, and the TransAnarchist Trade Union. I want his back story and life before prison.

I understand that Mosley is mostly a mystery or crime writer, and I can see that. Futureland is nothing if not pulpish. I might pick up one of his longer works sometime and see if it carries the same flaws.

final thought: The used copy I bought was missing the final 5 pages. That pissed me off, but not enough to go hunt down a complete version. So that's about how I felt about it, overall.


Leila said...

Maybe those last five pages were amazing!

downtown guy said...

Could be. If I ever see another copy, I'll find out. Could be the best 5 pages ever.

Anonymous said...

I envy your ability to read all this. :)

downtown guy said...

I'm sure as hell enjoying it.