Category: Science Fiction

Sep 10 2018

Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan

So let me begin with a quotation from near the end of the novel (pg 345 of the paperback Titan edition): “If I took away the sensory overlay I could directly know the patterns of so many concepts coming to fruition out here on the North Sea: the physics behind pressure gauges and safety seals, …

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Sep 07 2018

Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries #3) by Martha Wells

Definitely my favorite of the series so far. Murderbot is slowly becoming more comfortable and confident as an autonomous unit interacting with humans, with a purpose that is becoming clearer, as well: to take down the GrayCris corporation whose actions essentially precipitated Murderbot’s discovery and subsequent flight across the galaxy. There’s a greater wistfulness, too, …

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Aug 21 2018

Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Hands down my favorite fantasy novel of 2018 so far. In large part because it isn’t a fantasy novel or, as I described it to Bookclub chat, is really a meaty sci-fi novel in a delicious fantasy shell. It’s smart and witty and heartfelt, and I laughed and cried and gasped in sheer astonishment in …

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Aug 13 2018

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

One of the hard problems of writing far-future science fiction is just how strange humans of that era are likely to appear to present-day readers. Quite apart from the changes that technology and any move of setting from the terrestrial are likely to bring, the ways that societies change over time are likely to render …

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Aug 12 2018

Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow

One of the niftier things that Cory Doctorow does in Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom is to show a basically sympathetic character making a series of bad decisions for reasons that I, as a reader, could understand why he was taking those actions but I wished he wouldn’t and hoped he would figure …

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Aug 12 2018

Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

Sometimes an author is much more interested in a major character than I am. Writing about Raven Stratagem, the second book in the Machineries of Empire series, I already noted that Lee’s interest in writing about Shuos Jedao was starting to exceed my desire to read more about him. Revelations late in the book showed …

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Aug 05 2018

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

In John Sclazi’s first series of science fiction novels, Old Man’s War and its several sequels and companion volumes, the Milky Way near earth (well, near in interstellar terms) teems with life and spacefaring civilizations. Humanity has to make its way in a galactic neighborhood that’s full of life, and nearly as full of war. …

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Aug 04 2018

Axis by Robert Charles Wilson

When the first character a book introduces is a boy named Isaac, and the two adults closest to him in the odd collective where he is growing up are Avram (Dr. Avram Dvali) and Mrs. Rebka, even this heathen knows the book is going to be about encounters with transcendence and possible sacrifices. Axis is …

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Aug 02 2018

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells

I very much enjoy hanging out with the highly introverted Murderbot, and actually found this installment of the series to be a little less slight than its predecessor, as Murderbot hitches a ride with an unmanned ship that turns out to be far more clever and sentient than expected. Murderbot is looking for answers, and …

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Jul 30 2018

Talon of Scorpio (Shadowstorm #3) by G.T. Almasi

I love love love Alix Nico and her hilariously idiosyncratic voice and the crazy alternate universe she lives in (well, I love the rampant violence less, but it’s a nice reminder that our own world could always be worse, so.) She’s witty and damaged and reckless and loyal, and she’s a great person to hang …

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