• Reading,  Review

    No More Book Reviews

    by At least not here. Well, not one at a time. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the book reviews I’m posting here are more or less just taking up space. If you really want to know what I’m reading or have just read, you can hit me up on Goodreads, or even just wait until the beginning of the year. Why then, you ask? Well, I keep all of my book reviews in a single file for easy access, and have done that for the last couple of years. I’m going to turn these into a pdf (probably) for each year since I started keeping track and…

  • Reading,  Review

    Book Review: The World Inside

    by This is an odd little book, less a novel and more a series of interlinked shorts designed to present a strange thought-experiment society. This is a kind of social SF you don’t often see anymore, but the presentation is very “New Wave” which Silverberg drifted in and out of. (My favourite book of his, Across a Billion Years, doesn’t really qualify. I also haven’t read it in at least a couple of decades, so that favoritism may be coloured by nostalgia.) But it is an odd book, crowded with ideas and sex. Is it about over population? Sexual freedom? Privacy? Post-scarcity? Control? Yes, to all of those. 1000-story buildings…

  • Reading,  Review

    Book Review: The Snow Queen

    by The world and universe being constructed here are interesting. We have clones, an immortality drug, a computer accessible directly by humans who possess the correct gene sequences, faster than light travel, and a galactic empire that fell a thousand years ago taking a lot of secrets with it. But we also have planetary monocultures, a variety of societal attitudes that are clearly from the 1970s and a pace that’s a little on the slow side with the various character lines taking too long to come together for me. The minor characters are actually more fun than the majors. Particularly Tor (and her robot sidekick Pollux) and Jerusha. Actually, Jerusha…

  • Reading,  Review

    Book Review: Seveneves

    by Seveneves is actually two stories. The first is a sort of end of the world, death by raining moon fragments and saving of the human race by going into space kind of tale. Saving is relative, and by dint of a technology not quite indistinguishable from magic. The second picks up 5000 years later, when the human race has recovered, and very nearly speciated in several directions. It’s the second one I really wanted, the exploration of the cultures that resulted from such a difficult beginning. Unfortunately, that was the shorter of the two stories, and a little drier. Not that the first story was bad, but I would…

  • Reading,  Review

    Book Review: Existence

    by I haven’t read much by David Brin in the past decade or so, which is weird. In my 20s, I loved the Uplift books and pretty much everything else of his I could get my hands on, at least until Earth which I needed two attempts to get through, but did enjoy the second. Existence is a different kind of book than the Uplift novels, or really anything else I’ve read of his. The idea of Uplift was mentioned in the book, so maybe it could be counted as an alternate future history to his previous work, but the notion of Uplift wasn’t pursued in this reality beyond initial…

  • Reading,  Review

    Book Review: Cibola Burn

    by Book four in The Expanse series, and the one I’ve enjoyed the least so far. I did still enjoy it, but not as much. This is a different kind of book than we’ve gotten in the series so far, smaller in scope in a lot of ways, but set up for a lot of character development that isn’t realized as well as I would like. For a book that was so focused around Holden and Amos, I should have gotten to know them a lot better, but Amos was totally in a supporting role, and Holden is seen too much through other people’s eyes, mostly a woman who thinks…

  • Reading,  Review

    Book Review: Proxima

    by So there were things I really liked and things I really hated about this book. The science works well, from the physical construction of the new world around Proxima Centauri (Per Ardua, named for the RAF motto Per Ardua Ad Astra, through adversity to the stars), is a well-visualized and well thought out world with an interesting population of alien creatures. Back in the solar system, things work just as well, with a good mixture of extrapolated technology and technology indistinguishable from magic that makes hard SF set a couple of centuries in the future work. And I like several of the characters, two of my favourites (for completely…

  • Reading,  Review

    Book Review: A Daughter of No Nation

    by So considering what happened when I read the novel preceding last year’s Aurora Winner, maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that I didn’t read the book that comes before this one in the series, but I didn’t actually plan it that way, or even think about it. While it’s obvious within a few pages that this is a sequel, you probably don’t need the first book to enjoy this one. It may help with a few little things, but A Daughter of No Nation is fairly self-contained. Fairly. There’s an alternate/parallel/future world that may or may not be Earth. People live there. It’s 90% or so ocean. They call…

  • Reading,  Review

    Book Review: Age of Myth

    by I was a bit worried going in. I quite enjoyed the Ririya Revelations and was worried that Mr. Sullivan is pigeon-holing himself into only writing in a single world with this third series. My other concern was that I was getting another primitive barbarian story with the old “elves are gods” trope as a central facet. The second piece of that is accurate, although the author takes steps to break down that barrier throughout the book. Whether the author has pigeon-holed himself into a single world remains to be seen, but it’s happened before. First, the issues I had. The first third or so of the book is slow,…

  • Reading,  Review

    Book Review: Raising Steam

    by Terry Pratchett left us in early 2015. I’ve been saving the last two Discworld novels for a while, savouring the melancholy knowledge that there would never be any new ones. I was delighted to realize recently that I’ve somehow missed one. Saving that one for another day, I finally allowed myself to read the last Moist von Lipwig novel, in which a number of other favourite characters made brief appearances as well. It does take place partially in Anhk-Morpork, after all. Let me state outright that I very much enjoyed the book. Most of that is to do with the book itself, with a little nostalgia mixed in along…