Inside a Silver Box by Walter Mosley
Mosley is a prolific writer, perhaps most known for his mystery stories (which I mostly haven’t read). This book is science fiction, though it is set in contemporary New York City.
The titular “Silver Box” is some sort of ancient super intelligence that has been wiping out biospheres for zillions of years. For some reason, a dormant shard of this super entity is buried in Central Park. Go figure.
The story unfolds when it is wakened (in the course of a violent mugging), setting off a series of events that recruit several humans (?) to defeat the other superentity before it becomes necessary to scrag the planet.
Don’t blame me if this makes no sense.
Much of the dialog and inner dialog is hard to follow, tending toward New Agey speculation on consciousness and guilt and how we can be better if we just decide to do so. Much of the philosophy makes little sense, except for the fact that, if you have sufficiently advanced technology, it is indistinguishable from wish fulfillment.
While the plot was (literally) mystifying, the characters fairly shallow, and the super entities surprisingly stupid, I did like the portrayal of contemporary NYC. Some of the best parts of the book are the pitifully biased and misguided attitudes of the “normal” people, compared to the pretty messed up, crazy, alien infested protagonists. The things we worry about every day seem pretty stupid in this perspective, and the stereotypes and negative assumptions we make about each other are starkly highlighted by the gentle wisdom of the upgraded individuals.
- Walter Mosley, Inside a Silver Box, New York, TOR, 2015.
Sunday Book Reviews