Reviewer Smiles Upon VINDICATION OF MAN

In which your humble author is compared to Bacon. Not Francis Bacon, pork bacon.

I’m always hesitant to review John C. Wright’s works. It’s like… trying to review bacon. What do you say about bacon? That it’s delicious? Everyone knows that, except vegans and vegetarians and a few crazies, but the competency of vegans and vegetarians to render judgement on a food is suspect until they decide to suck it up and stop trying to reproduce delicious meat (Tofurkey, etc.) with processed sticks. That it’s best crispy, but even soft bacon is like the bread of heaven?

So yeah. What do you say about John C. Wright’s books? They’re fantastic? Everyone knows that, except for leftist whackos who let their politics obscure all sense of fairness and wonder.

That he’s at his best when he’s dealing with the secrets of creation, but even when he’s not at his best (I mean, no one’s perfect.) his books are still more fun than most other writers?

If you’ve been reading Wright’s Count to the Eschaton books (starting with Count to a Trillion), you’ll know what to expect from The Vindication of Man. Not to say that it’s predictable or formulaic; better to say that we’re comfortable with the rhythm of the series now. If you haven’t been reading it, you should. They’re not quite the perfection that his Golden Age trilogy was, but they’re great anyways.

For those who haven’t been keeping up, the series starts a few hundred years hence, but the narrative starts consuming larger and larger chunks of time as it progresses. (The Vindication of Man includes a “conversation” that takes place over 2,000 years.) It follows two men, Menelaus Montrose and Ximen del Azarchel, as they attempt to guide humanity into a form that can survive contact with the inhuman rulers of the galaxy, whose “emissaries” are coming to enslave the human race. Menelaus, a post-apocalyptic, Texan gunslinger-lawyer seeks to make humanity into something that can turn back the incoming invaders; Ximen, aka Blackie, seeks to make mankind into a race of servants that will be useful to the invaders. Both are vying for the love of Princess Rania, who has taken off in a starship to the self-aware star cluster M3, the nearest governing body of the alien intelligences, in order to prove humanity’s standing as a starfaring race and freeing us from the threat of slavery. It’s a round trip scheduled to 70,000ish years. Plenty of time for combat and machinations as two more-or-less posthumans face off via cliometrics (what Asimov called psychohistory) and pistol duels.

It is, in short, the most John C. Wright story that ever John C. Wright wrote.

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