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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Review: Version Control

Version Control: A Novel - Dexter Palmer


There is a particular style of science fiction I cannot get enough of. Intelligent, mind-bending, and, most importantly, cultivated in literature, these stories are a rare treat. (Too often, genre writers become so enamored with the confines of the genre that they box themselves in.) Version Control, Dexter Palmer's second novel, satiated this need of mine.


Page by page, Version Control builds upon a great opening. The tension forces the reader to stay awake despite the hour. There was so much promise in those first couple hundred pages, I could tell it was building up to something big: a brain-bender of epic proportions. You know when it's coming. You can feel it. Oh my god, here it comes. Turn the page and... it sort of fizzles. It wasn't a huge letdown, I mean, this was still good enough to be the plot of a The Twilight Zone episode, it just wasn't the sort of Twilight Zone episode you spend much time discussing at the water cooler the next morning. And so it goes...


Version Control is an absorbing tale and gives the reader much to consider. Through the actions of his characters, Palmer injects quite a bit of commentary on gender, religion, race, etc., that add some needed heft to the story, but may in gross weigh down the story a bit. But oh to write such clever little stories. I'm jealous. And I eagerly awaited the next, as well as any suggestions for similar reads.