Paper Towns« an older post
a newer one »The Little Pilates Book

The Speed of Dark

Book Notes

Years ago, I read the The Deed of Paksenarrion, a compendium of Elizabeth Moon's three books Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold. I enjoyed the books, and so picked up The Speed of Dark when it was released. I hadn't, however, actually read it until now.

I know, I know, shock, not a book from Mom's list. And not normally a book I would read. I picked it up because I enjoyed the Paksenarrion books, which were fantasy novels. This one was more social commentary with a smidge of science fiction. The beginning of the book has a number of my discomfort triggers, so I was pretty sure this was going to become one of my permanently in-progress books, or maybe the first one since Mote in God's Eye 15 years ago that I decided not to finish.

I finished it by reading it really really really fast.

The book follows Lou Arrendale, a fictionalized, high-functioning, autistic process analyst, who can see patterns that most people can't. A new boss a couple levels up from him at work starts and decides that he hates autistics and that, despite the numbers of tax breaks and sunk costs and incredible productivity, he is going to shut down autistic department. He threatens his employees with layoffs if they don't take an experimental treatment that cures adult autism (the in-utero cure already happened 27 years before).

While the Rosie Project was an amusing take on how autistic actions can be interpreted, this book is a serious look at how a non-autistic person believes autistic people view the world. I'm not sure either is accurate.

The book has a happy ending, so there's that. It's a fine book. Not recommending it, though.