July 26, 2019
Infinite Detail (Tim Maughan, 2019)
Reminded me a lot of Cory Doctrow novels, in a good way. As a technology collapse pushes the world back to the dark ages, technology also continues to exist and stir memories for some lost in the middle of the chaos.
July 20, 2019
This Is How You Lose the Time War (Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone, 2019)
I can see why people like this flowery, metaphor-filled fantasy full of word-play and clever ideas. But it felt a bit over my head. I don’t feel that often, but on occasion I find a book that wants me to be smarter than I can put the effort into being.
July 16, 2019
Theory of Bastards (Audrey Schulman, 2018)
Boy I’m glad I picked this up despite the apparently intentionally off-putting cover art. It’s a story of a near-future where the technology isn’t the story. It’s about human relationships with much of the action being between Bonobos and other Bonobos, or Bonobos and humans.
July 13, 2019
Fall; Or, Dodge in Hell (Neal Stephenson, 2019)
Yeah, this is a bit of a mess.
Easiest way to explain this loonnng-ass book is that you start out in a fair approximation of a William Gibson novel, but slowly end up in Lord of the Rings. And not really in a good way.
Still giving it three stars because I enjoy Stephenson’s writing style even when he loses the plot like this.
June 21, 2019
Children of Time (Adrian Tchaikovsky, 2015)
This is the kind of Sci-Fi I love. Really out there in terms of concepts. Some brain-stretching ideas, but still enough character development that you care about the people (and such) involved rather than just the ideas.
June 8, 2019
Borderless (Eliot Peper, 2018)
Second in the Analog techno-thriller series. In a not too distant future, ultra-hackers manipulate the world to stop the world from being manipulated.
Or something like that.
June 2, 2019
May 26, 2019
World of Trouble (Ben H Winters, 2014)
Last book of the “Detective at the end of the world” series “The Last Policeman”. The planet will only exist for another two weeks, but there are mysteries that need to be resolved before we reach the end.
Lovely. Wraps the series up beautifully.
May 20, 2019
The Hunting Party (Lucy Foley, 2019)
I think there is a name for this type of murder mystery, but can’t come up with it. A group of people is off somewhere isolated (in this case a hunting cabin in the north of England). A murder happens and everyone becomes a suspect.
It’s a decent example of the genre, whatever it’s called.
May 8, 2019
Delta-v (Daniel Suarez, 2019)
Suarez writes great techno-thrillers but this is not one of his most thrilling. His tech is often based on some real-world concept (drones, DNA editing, etc.) that he wildly extrapolates and then he drops happless victims into the mix.
Here he’s taken more of a “hard SF” approach to things, doing a detailed analysis of how asteroid mining might work. It’s interesting enough, but long on details and (relatively) short on thrills.
April 19, 2019
The Lost Man (Jane Harper, 2019)
Jane Harper is quickly becoming one of my favorite mystery writers. All set in Australia, most in the outback, her stories are sharply written character studies of people lost in a massive, hostile environment. And murder and deceit.
April 7, 2019
March 30, 2019
March 9, 2019
February 17, 2019
Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation (Ken Liu (translator), Anthology, 2016)
SF anthologies are of course hit and miss but I liked a lot of this. The collection includes some commentary on the writers and stories which helps. Chinese SF is great because you get a double dose of oddness – the SF and the culture shock of non-western writing.
February 3, 2019
Countdown City (Ben H Winters, 2013)
Second of three books in the Last Policeman series – a detective novel set in the final days of the earth before we get hit by a giant asteroid.
Some people freak out during the apocalypse, others just keeping doing what they know best.
January 9, 2019
January 1, 2019
Kingdom of the Blind (Louise Penny, 2018)
The 14th Inspector Gamache novel. Still going strong.
I shared a love of these novels with my mom who died a few months ago. I’d pre-ordered this for her to read on her Kindle so I read with extra sadness.
December 27, 2018
Ready Player One (2018, Steven Spielberg)
I kind of liked the book while I was reading it, but I’ve grown less and less fond of it as time’s gone by. The book is problematic in many ways and I was willing to overlook that for the hit of nostalgia. The movie tries to address some of this but ultimately is just as empty a shell as the book. Eye candy yes, but I’m not that interested in eye candy right now.
December 26, 2018
December 25, 2018
December 24, 2018
December 22, 2018
Bird Box (2018, Susan Bier)
People seem to be divided on this one. I enjoy “light horror” like this. It’s not really that scary and deals more with people’s ability to triumph over adversity. The ending is a bit hokey but hey, I’m okay with that. And I really like Sandra Bullock and I’m thankful when she’s in something that isn’t mindless schlock.
December 21, 2018
White Christmas (1954, Michael Curtiz)
It is a long-standing tradition that I watch this lovely holiday music with the girls Christmas Eve. This year we did an early Christmas Eve as my youngest was off to Florida for the holidays, but it was still wonderful.
December 20, 2018
Ghost Stories (2017, Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman)
An entertaining British indie flick. It’s been on my list for about a year and I finally managed to get to it. Not exactly a traditional Christmas tale though. 🙂
December 15, 2018
December 9, 2018
December 8, 2018
Happy As Lazzaro (2018, Alice Rohrwacher)
This made me very happy. Other than the fact it was artsy, I didn’t know anything about this when I watched it, and that made it even better because I had no idea where it was going to go at any given moment.