THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION is a slim book, but a fascinating read. I loved the creative ways the resistance came up with to communicate with each other right under the AI’s nose, not to mention the technology involved in the spaceship itself.
THE CURIOUS SFF READER recommends the book.
THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION is set in Watts’s Sunflower cycle which is a series composed of several shorter works. I haven’t read any of them before reading this novella and I’m pretty sure you don’t have to either to understand it. It probably gives a bit more insight into this world but Freeze-Frame works perfectly fine as a standalone story.
Being a novella, this work is quite short, however it doesn’t mean that it isn’t packed with fascinating ideas and concepts. The worldbuilding is very detailed which is pretty impressive considering the length. I read this book in July and I still vividly remember a couple of scenes such as the moment Sunday sees Chimp dancing, how she banters with it and her descriptions of the ship. The atmosphere of this story is quite peculiar since the members of the crew have mixed feelings toward Chimp and their mission and how pointless their travel appears to be. Most of them feel lost as they haven’t had news from Earth in millions of years: humanity could be extinct and they wouldn’t know it. They are without a place to go back to and they have to keep on building gates to make space travel easier when they don’t know if anyone will be able to ever use them.
THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION is quite different from The Rifters trilogy but it’s a masterpiece in its own right. It’s complex, detailed, impactful and much more stronger than a lot of novels. I would recommend it to any science fiction lover, even those you don’t usually like novellas because it’s so accomplished that it doesn’t feel like one at all (not to say novellas are bad by any means, they just feel a bit too short sometimes). I definitely want more stories set in this world so I will check out some of the other stories set in this universe for sure!
Australian author David Stevens in an interview at BREACH mentions Peter Watts and Daryl Gregory..
What books are beside your bed right now?
Too many! Now that I have a long commute again each day, I am getting through a lot. I have just read and really enjoyed THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION by Peter Watts (Blindsight was a favourite of mine, perhaps I should add it to the list of excellent vampire books); Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky (with an unexpected appearance of my old work place, the International Criminal Court); and Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory.
For more info on THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover and design by Elizabeth Story