ByteNoise

Infinite Loop

OK, I'll state right now that I'm no good at reviewing novels. This will contain spoilers, and for all I know, it may even miss the point. Even the few novels I do read are usually science fiction, not romance, so I won't make any comparisons to other romance novels. The reason I feel compelled to write about Infinite Loop despite not being very qualified to do so is that it is clearly a small run print. It would be a shame for it to never be discovered by a wider audience.

Infinite Loop is a romantic lesbian novel. The blurb on the back of the book describes it as "more than an erotic road novel," but even that statement seems to over-emphasise the erotic parts of the story.

What made me notice the book in the first place was that it was about a geek girl. The protagonist, Regan O'Riley, appears to be at least somewhat based on the book's author, Meghan O'Brien. I consider this a good thing, as it's about time that a geeky character was actually in a story written by a geek. Regan doesn't grow out of being a geek to become a "normal" person like the geeky characters in too many Hollywood movies. She programs computers, wears Thinkgeek t-shirts, watches films like The Princess Bride and beats guys at video games.

The conversation Regan and Mel have about how midi-chlorians ruined the Force as an analogy for realising your own potential in the Star Wars prequels is as good as any dialogue written by Kevin Smith. Just in case you still weren't convinced of the geek authenticity, the book even gets its title from the protagonist's own use of a programming error as an analogy for how people too easily get stuck in the same daily routine for the rest of their lives.

Unlike a lot of romantic stories, the conflicts in this novel don't arise from the protagonist's problem attaining love. Instead, she falls in love and keeps it quite easily, and together, Regan and her lover conquer their fears and their pasts, to build a happier future together. They're always there to help each other, and together, they can overcome anything.

There's a scene in this novel that had me rooting for Regan just as much as the comparable one in the film Hackers made me cringe: some sexist guys are hogging an arcade game, and she ends up challenging them. This is from her point of view, though, and when those boys insinuate women can't play arcade games properly, and the story flashes back to how kids picked on Regan in school, it really got me emotionally invested in her playing the game.

The story is also about Regan's new-found lover, Mel. It's terrifying to watch her confront the father who disowned her, and the scene where she's reunited with her estranged brother had me on the verge of tears for several pages.

Sure, there's quite a few novels and films that present lesbians in a positive light, but this one presents a geek lesbian as someone who's happy that way. I just hope more fiction will be written by, and about, geek girls.

Of course, the erotic parts aren't bad either.