This Is How You Lose the Time War

This is a Sci-Fi book, but I think it could also be classified in the recent trend of books talking about Sci-Fi for readers not necessarily accustomed to this domain (I think about the recent french book “L’anomalie” but also a tweet from Noah Smith).

The story is about two women, belonging to different allegiances. One, called Blue, belongs to the Garden, a futuristic society that exploited the power of Nature. The other, called Red, belongs to the Agency, a futuristic society with tons of silicon high-tech.

They aren’t really women, their descriptions are fuzzy, but we could say one is a woman-plant, and the other a woman-robot. The whole book is about how two impossible ennemies, that fight across many worlds and timelines, exchange letters. Not the kind of letters you and me write. They seldom write with ink and paper, rather with foods, chemical in the air, smell, etc.

While the story is interesting (example at the end of the review), the forte of this book is the writing. It’s a poem, written with beautiful words and sentences. I’m not going to lie, as a non-native english speaker, it’s quite challenging and I had to often google the words.

As an example for the nice ideas elaborated in this book: in one of the timeline, everybody print their food that they downloaded the blueprint on internet. To avoid printing food that was tainted with poison by some foes, every food blueprint is cryptographically signed to ensure that —yeah I downloaded the right blueprint, unalterated. What if someone could mess with the global system that sign those blueprints? –It would lead to interesting times, as the chinese saying goes.

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