“Dark Matter”

Blake Crouch

A friend of mine gave me this book and told me I have to read it. Which was a good push to have, because if I hadn’t had that in the back of my head, I don’t think I would’ve stuck it through. The whole first half of the book is… not all that interesting. It’s a generic sci-fi trope (oh, what’s that, there’s infinite realities, and each choice we make splits off into two or more??? unprecedented) and a protagonist who takes way too long to figure out what’s going on. (And, frankly, he never really figures much out until the end, and even then it feels like he’s still running behind, but at least by then it was somewhat understandable.)

Really, it just felt like it spent entirely too long setting up the premise. Which is probably useful for a broader audience, but in that regard I’m the wrong person to read it—as is, really, anyone who’s watched Rick and Morty.

But if you stick with it, it actually does a good job of exploring the concept in a new way. One that even the aforementioned Rick and Morty hasn’t delved into. The narcissism of small differences, the sheer overwhelming number of uncanny valleys you can have in an infinite multiverse. And the issues that arise when those infinitely-splitting choices keep infinitely splitting.

So, overall, I found myself quite enjoying the book. It’s not at all hard sci-fi, and sitting here looking at the cover, the little “a novel” down in the corner is doing a lot of heavy lifting. It’s far more about the characters than it is about the adventure. If that sounds interesting to you, check it out.1

  1. This is a Bookshop affiliate link – if you buy it from here, I get a little bit of commission. It won’t hurt my feelings if you buy it elsewhere; honestly, I’d rather you check it out from your local library, or go to a local book store. I use Bookshop affiliate links instead of Amazon because they distribute a significant chunk of their profits to small, local book stores.

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