Air: Or, Have Not Have

Air Or Have Not Have Chung Mae is the only connection her small farming village has to culture of a wider world beyond the fields and simple houses of her village A new communications technology is sweeping the world and

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  • Title: Air: Or, Have Not Have
  • Author: Geoff Ryman
  • ISBN: 9780575078116
  • Page: 302
  • Format: Paperback
  • Chung Mae is the only connection her small farming village has to culture of a wider world beyond the fields and simple houses of her village A new communications technology is sweeping the world and promises to connect everyone, everywhere without power lines, computers, or machines This technology is Air An initial testing of Air goes disastrously wrong and people areChung Mae is the only connection her small farming village has to culture of a wider world beyond the fields and simple houses of her village A new communications technology is sweeping the world and promises to connect everyone, everywhere without power lines, computers, or machines This technology is Air An initial testing of Air goes disastrously wrong and people are killed from the shock Not to be stopped Air is arriving with or without the blessing of Mae s village Mae is the only one who knows how to harness Air and ready her people for it s arrival, but will they listen before it s too late

    One thought on “Air: Or, Have Not Have”

    1. Oh my god I hated this book. Hated it, hated, it, hated it! Fuck, I just got madder and madder the more I read. But I had to finish it, see, because one of my most favorite people, who is a very delinquent, sporadic reader, has been raving about this for like a year. A year!! He loved it! How could that be? This book is ridiculously bad. Due to the guilt I feel about this, I can't do a long, detailed screed. Instead I will do a concise little list of badness, all the ways this book let me down. [...]

    2. There were many things I enjoyed about this gracefully written novel, and a few minor blemishes that were mildly irksome. The portrait of small village life in an imaginary (but realistic) third world country in Central Asia, the thought of which originally made me cringe a little, turns out to be so full of wonderful detail and character shading that you can almost smell the diesel fuel emissions from the passing trucks. In particular, some of the best, most dramatic parts of the novel come fro [...]

    3. Pocas veces crítica y público coinciden, y ’Aire’ es uno de esos casos. En el año 2006 se hizo con algunos de los premios más importantes del género: Arthur C. Clarke, British SF, James Tiptree Jr. y Sunburst, además de ser finalista al Nebula, Philip K. Dick y John W. Campbell. Esto de los premios es relativo, pero en este caso realmente la obra se los merece. Geoff Ryman realiza una profunda reflexión sobre las consecuencias derivadas de la implantación de una nueva tecnología en [...]

    4. Wow, really great read. I heard about this book from 's adaptive marketing and from a podcast interview with Richard K. Morgan. Morgan was telling the interviewer that he thought 'Air' was better than his own award-winning novel, 'Market Forces'. As big a Morgan fan as I am (and there aren't many bigger), I have to say Richard's right.'Air' is not just a good science fiction novel. It's a great novel period. It's one of the rare science fiction novels that is also a really good literary novel. S [...]

    5. wikipeidia has a nice non-spoiler summary of the plot concept, so I'll just quote it. "Air is the story of a town's fashion expert Chung Mae, a smart but illiterate peasant woman in a small village in the fictional country of Karzistan, and her suddenly leading role in reaction to dramatic, worldwide experiments with a new information technology called Air. Air is information exchange, not unlike the Internet, that occurs in everyone's brain and is intended to connect the world. After a test of [...]

    6. I read this years ago but still remember whole sections; it absolutely astounded me. It's the tale of Mae, who lives in the not-quite-distant future. Mae is the exact opposite of an expected main character: middle-aged, not white, a woman, not a revolutionary or particularly gifted or chosen in any way. But her personality is so vibrant, and Ryman writes her world so well, that I couldn't imagine a more appropriate heroine. Last year I saw Geoff Ryman speak, and he mentioned his ambivalence abou [...]

    7. oh my god oh my god oh my god. I want to say AMAZING in capital letters, but that might look like ordinary fannish squee, and it is not because this is such an important book, such a good, serious, interesting book. I want to make everyone I know read it. omg.The ending was seriously bizarre**, but apart from that, wow. Wow. I am basically going to go out and buy everything Geoff Ryman has ever written now.**I should say that I'm basically pretending that the stomach-baby didn't happen. I am hel [...]

    8. The one where Air is going to put the internet inside everyone's brain, and in a tiny village between Russia and China, where there's only one television set and no one has ever seen the internet, fashion consultant Mae is forced into a very strange future.Oh, man, it's really hard to rate this. I absolutely adored everything about it but one thing, and that one thing is so so so stupid that it's messing up my enjoyment of the rest of the book.Let's get the stupid thing out of the way -- and it' [...]

    9. Firstly, I take issue with this book being listed on a best SciFi of the last decade list where I found it.This is NOT a good SciFi book. The fictional science is weak at best, and outright fantasy at worst. This book would be a prime example of why many people see the genres of SciFi and fantasy to be blurred. In my opinion if you're going to write about implausible, bad science, just leave it and call it magic.That is not to say this was a bad book, but simply a bad SCIENCE fiction book.What i [...]

    10. Sci fi club book.It's a good thing this was an assignment, although we did feel itstarted off a little slowly, we kept at it - and did enjoy it.The basic premise describes the next generation of world wideconnectivity, AIR, a method that accesses and explores the Internetdirectly by the mind.  An initial trial goes very wrong, overloadingmany people to the point of suicide, but the full launch is still onschedule. In a little and backward village in a Third World countryone of the villagers, Ma [...]

    11. I don't get what all the fuss is about. This book has a few interesting ideas, but it never really explores any of them in depth. Is it a book about the accidental merging of two personalities? Is it a book about the evolution of the human species? Is it a book about the nature of reality? Is it a book about the impact of technology on our lives? It tries to be all of these (and more!), but fails to really deliver on any of them.To top it off, the characters are almost uniformly mean-spirited an [...]

    12. This is about the coming of technology, and the old way of life dying to make way for the new. It's about grieving and celebrating that change and struggling to learn how to live in a new way. I really loved the ideas and the people. The weird pregnancy storyline did put me off at the end though.

    13. There is a most excellent book inside of this novel. Kizuldah is a poor back-water village in fictionalized Kazakhstan, where only the richest family owns a TV/computer and they let their neighbors use to watch kung-fu movies. However the internet is coming, specifically Air - a new wireless technology that is beamed directly into the brain. A trial run of Air goes wrong, but leaves the village woman Chung Mae with a permanent internet connection along with some side effects. It is both an oppor [...]

    14. Čo by sa stalo, keby bol internet (airnet) dostupný pre každého? Nepotrebovali by ste počítače, ani inú elektroniku, úplne by stačil len váš mozog a realita by zrazu dostala 11 dimenzií.Príbehom nás vedie Mae, miestna dedinská udávačka módy, v zapadnutej dedine kdesi vysoko v horách. Miestny kolorit je úžasne podaný - aj susedia, aj ich charaktery - a ako sa menia - a ten, kto bol na začiatku nepríjemný, bude nepríjemný aj na konci, to áno, ale iným spôsobom. Dedin [...]

    15. A tiny mountain village in loosely fictionalized 2020 Asia is the test site for Air, the internet beamed right into your brain. Chung Mae is a proper wife and a fashionista – the test and her collapsing world make her become a whole hell of a lot more.Marvelous. This is how a mcguffin story ought to work – Air doesn’t make the story happen, the story happens to it. But then again that’s Mae all over. She is this intense, homegrown, bootstrapped, amazing kind of savvy, sharp enough to cut [...]

    16. I really did try to finish this book but eventually gave in around the halfway mark. It wasn't that I found it particularly horrendous, more that life is too short, there is other stuff I want to read and I wasn't particularly enjoying it.I got annoyed how the heroine (who was at first very likeable) was ALWAYS right and much cleverer than all the other characters, who were repeatedly portrayed as ridiculously stupid in comparison. And everything bad that could've happened to her did - so much s [...]

    17. Mesmerising from the first page, an exquisitely drawn exploration of the impact of techonology on an isolated rural community, and how these "un-technological" villagers change the very nature of communication across the world using the same technology that almost destroyed them. A story of transformation, of unpredictable consequences of change, of the nature of communication, but especially of how solutions to present problems may not always be found in the halls of the powerful and privileged [...]

    18. Set in the near future in what appears to be Kazakstan, Mae lives in a village which is the last place to be connected to the net. The next step is air which allows people to connect to the web straight to the brain, but there has to be a test of the new technology, a test which creates problems as well as oppotunities.Takes a little while to get started but the characters range from loveable, to quirky, to strange etc.

    19. An excellent exploration of how we think of less-developed countries and of where the Internet might go - and also an intriguing plot with believable characters. We're in "Karzistan" in 2020, and a backward village is about to get "Air", the wireless computerless network. One woman sees that everything will change, and tries to get the village ready. But something isn't quite right

    20. The cover copy reads like the entrance to some futuristic cyberpunk horror show but the story stars a middle-aged Asian woman who can't read yet still tangles with the government and eventually climaxes with a natural disaster. And despite everyone getting access to a form of the Internet, no one really talks about the very spine of the World Wide Web, namely adult entertainment and cats (and those dark, dark corners where such things are intermingled). What gives?Ryman is an author whose name I [...]

    21. I brought 'Air' on a whim at a Borders' closing down sale. I saw the cover, liked the art and procured it for the less than a McDonald's value meal. I also brought it because I wanted to 'expand my reading horizons' by consuming something other than my standard fare of male heroic violence. I don't believe that I wasted my time; I just think that this book is not written for me. I believe it is written by a very serious person for other very serious people who want to think about things in a ver [...]

    22. As William Gibson said, "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." I travel a lot, and I see the evidence of this everywhere I go; I once sat in an Aboriginal village council meeting in rural India where discussions on the necessity of clean running water were interrupted by the village leader's ringtone.Air is the story of that point when the future will be evenly distributed, and the one village on Earth that's the least ready to welcome it. The novel does somethin [...]

    23. Air takes place in the near future, in a poor village high in the remote mountains of a fictional central Asian republic. Just as the village gets its first joint TV and internet connection, a global test takes place for a new technology that allows every human being on the planet to access the web directly without the interface of a computer or machinery or any kind. Publicity for the test – only heard in the village at second hand from the nearest town – says that this technology, Air, wil [...]

    24. One of those books that took me a long time to read because I didn't want it to end. The protagonist is a delight--uneducated but always open to learning, judgmental but also quick to love and forgive, incisive about everyone around (and inside) her, and always and unrepentantly herself.So often I ignore maps at the beginnings of books, but this one catches the eye; it's not a map of a world or a country or a city, but a single village, with a couple dozen houses (each named) and a handful of st [...]

    25. Another Tiptree Award winner for my book club. This is the story of what happens when the last city on Earth to get online is suddenly given a brief test for Air - a quantum information interface that effectively gives you internet access in your head. The main character, Mae Chung, is with a woman who is killed by the test, and ends up not only with a live and very enhanced version of Air still in her head, but also with the personality and the memories of the dead woman.The action takes place [...]

    26. Příběh z blízké budoucnosti, ze světa takříkajíc "online". Pomocí nové technologie jsou zapojovány do celosvětové sítě přímo lidské mozky, nejsou tak už zapotřebí žádná další zařízení, Ale jako každá nová technologie, i tahle má své mouchy.V zapadlé středoasijské vesničce místní vesničané pěstují rýži jako jejich předkové a okolní moderní svět je příliš nezajímá. Příchod Airnetu je pro ně něco na úrovni návštěvy mimozemšťanů (ne [...]

    27. I'm really impressed with how Ryman can push a premise to its logical conclusion. This is really what science fiction is meant to do; THIS is the literature of ideas!And this is also the literature that proves you can write an interesting book about an unlikeable character. Chang Wei is superior & vain, & despite that I kept reading. I kept reading largely because the technology was so weird, & the abuse--really, the abuse--of it by frankly everyone with access to it (yes, including [...]

    28. This was a difficult book to review. The characters, especially the dialogue, are wooden and sometimes unconvincing, while the mechanism of the subplot was utterly ridiculous. I struggled through this at times because of these two factors. Yet at the end, this was a illuminating sci-fi story that focuses on a broad impact of change. It is story that focuses on the cultural, social, economic, and personal upheavals brought by technological change, and that this technological change is neither goo [...]

    29. There's a lot to enjoy in Air - it's a near future scifi with a lot of really well done personal elements. The characters are well-rounded, complex, and believable. The thing that bumped it from a "wow" down to a "well." for me, though, was the pregnancy inflicted on the main character. To say it was unusual is an understatement, and in a book so grounded in the real, dirty, physical lives of the protagonists in a tiny village in Karzistan, it felt really out of place. It was a metaphor, a clue [...]

    30. It was a surprisingly good and addictive reading.A wonderful meeting, even with their disasters, between technology and tradition, and between the past, present and future, through an interesting and strong protagonist who flees to the default (thankfully! It's a woman, is not white, middle-aged and illiterate.) and the village where she lives. It has some of my favorite literary reflections of all times - the way Geoff Ryman thinks and writes makes us analyze our own lives, embracing what we ha [...]

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