While reading this awesome little short, I couldn't help but be reminded of Cinder. In a mere sixty pages, Megan Hart managed to do what Marissa MeyerWhile reading this awesome little short, I couldn't help but be reminded of Cinder. In a mere sixty pages, Megan Hart managed to do what Marissa Meyer couldn't in nearly four hundred; create a believable future world, with future politics and cyborgs. Dirty cyborgs, even. Woo hoo! By pure coincidence (really!) earlier today I was listening to Episode 718 of the podcast Mysterious Universe, which included a discussion on "sexbots" in the second half of the show. For those of you who are interested in sexbots, you can read all about current technology in this article called "Forever Alone 2.0"
At any rate, back to Megan Hart and Seeing Stars. This woman rocks. Once again, she takes an improbable scenario and creates a believable and hot story, with fairly realistic characters. This is a fab little story. ...more
If you love the original Star Trek in all of it's William Shatner/Captain Kirk glory, then there is no question you will love this board book as well.If you love the original Star Trek in all of it's William Shatner/Captain Kirk glory, then there is no question you will love this board book as well. Even if you are not a fan of the original (and beyond awesome) series, there is a decent possibility that you will get some amusement out of this.
Chances are the hubby will point out the fact that I just wasted my money. But did I? Did I really?
This sort of happiness, you just can't put a price on it.
This is only my second short by Jeff Ambrose, but I am noticing a pattern ~ the writing is good, the story engaging, but when it comes to the ending,This is only my second short by Jeff Ambrose, but I am noticing a pattern ~ the writing is good, the story engaging, but when it comes to the ending, I feel a little let down. Somehow, when it gets to the big reveal/twist/climax I expect more and am slightly disappointed by what is there. Nonetheless, I have quite enjoyed his shorts and look forward to reading his longer novels once I get myself an e-reader. So three stars it is. Read this one for free online here....more
Interesting ideas on aging and an overpopulated society. Although I enjoyed both the story and the writing, when it was over I wasn't really sold on tInteresting ideas on aging and an overpopulated society. Although I enjoyed both the story and the writing, when it was over I wasn't really sold on the futuristic world author Jeff Ambrose created. Yes, this is a short, so I don't expect extensive world building. But somehow it still seemed lacking. Read for free online here....more
Blame it on summer action movie blockbusters. Or the X-files. Or Tom Cruise even. Whatever the reason, alien invasion and total destruction are no lonBlame it on summer action movie blockbusters. Or the X-files. Or Tom Cruise even. Whatever the reason, alien invasion and total destruction are no longer as groundbreaking today as they were in 1898 when The War of the Worlds was originally published. Although I am astonished at the ideas and alien technology H.G.Wells invented, the writing style of this story left me slightly bored. It was mostly tell, not show. This is a story which may be worth revisiting in the future, in actual printed form. The narrator of this audio version never managed to catch my attention. Oftentimes I found my mind wandering, but the reading was so dry that I didn’t want to go back and listen a second time to what I had missed. ...more
Not so much of a short story as it is a tease. An interesting and original set up that will hopefully turn into a full length novel. More about Vadix Not so much of a short story as it is a tease. An interesting and original set up that will hopefully turn into a full length novel. More about Vadix and his world, please Phoebe =)...more
In this collection, Isaac Asimov presented nine short stories about robots and humans. I won’t pretend to be well read enough in science fiction to fuIn this collection, Isaac Asimov presented nine short stories about robots and humans. I won’t pretend to be well read enough in science fiction to fully appreciate all of the nuances and ideas offered in these nine stories. Along those lines, it might not have been the wisest choice to listen to this audio book while driving too and from work; many times traffic issues or work problems would creep into my mind and demand my attention. That being said, I enjoyed this collection but felt that something was lost on me.
Does anyone remember the Depeche Mode song, Master and Servant ? It pretty much sums up I, Robot. All of the stories presented in this collection involved a robot with artificial intelligence who somehow behaves in an unexpected and undesired way. The course of action is for us humans to figure out a way to outsmart the robot and get it back into proper working order. I’ve seen this book described as a series of logic problems, and of course as a philosophical discourse on humanity, morality and technology. Yes, all those descriptions apply. While listening to these stories though, I couldn’t help but wonder at the ego of science and technology at the time these were written. That is, Asimov imagined humans creating robots with artificial intelligence to do our bidding without us having to oversee their every move. Over and over I was struck by the scientists who created a robot with a “brain” but were dismayed and surprised when said robot began thinking for itself, rather than blindly following orders. In Asimov’s time, was the goal really to dominate so thoroughly? Then again, I am viewing these stories from the point of view of a person who lives with technology so advanced it doesn’t require a robotic overseer. Asimov was clearly imaging a way to get work done more efficiently, rather than making the work itself more efficient.
But maybe I’m just talking out of my ass here ;) Again, as much as I enjoy sci-fi, I never feel adequate to really discuss it. I,Robot was enjoyable, thought-provoking and I highly recommend it. For those of you wondering about the movie, they have virtually nothing in common. ...more
Mortal Engines is a wonderfully odd, action packed, steampunk YA book that I never would have picked up if it weren’t for a recommendation from AshleyMortal Engines is a wonderfully odd, action packed, steampunk YA book that I never would have picked up if it weren’t for a recommendation from Ashley. It was a strange one for me to read and an even stranger one to review. This story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the societal norm is for towns and cities to be vertical and mobile. They acquire resources, art and workers by overpowering, or “eating” as they put it, smaller towns. Then there are the “anti-tractionists” who live in stationary (ordinary to you and me) towns. These anti-tractionists must go to great lengths to hide and protect their towns from the “Municipal Darwinism” of their “town eat town world.”
Where this story didn’t quite work for me was in the telling of it. Phillip Reeves created an amazing world with complex issues and wonderfully flawed characters. Yet the story is told from an omniscient point of view which, combined with the non-stop action, large number of characters and very little internal monologue, left me feeling somewhat distant from the story. Instead of a novel worthy of immersing myself in, Mortal Engines made me long to watch it in a mini-series. Perhaps actors could bring more life to the characters than what Reeves has written? I liked the people he presented, but he only reveals what they are thinking or doing at the exact moment. He never really gives us a chance to know them. And as a result, despite the incredible detail obviously given to this book, the characters tend to fall a little flat. The writing style reminds me of that which is reserved for younger YA, yet Reeves offers difficult topics and this book takes quite a few dark turns that may not be appropriate for younger readers.
As I said, this is difficult to review. I loved the book, but wanted a little more depth out of it. Even so, I for sure recommend this for lovers of post-apocalyptic YA, or just any YA fan who needs a break from all of the drama and the angst. Although this is a series, Mortal Engines is easily a standalone book. If you don’t like it, there aren’t any nasty cliff hangers waiting to suck you even further into the series. Really, my review doesn’t do this story any justice. Read Ashley’s review (which I linked above) then go read this book =) I rated this 3 stars, but really 3.5 or even 3.75 ~ yeah, that's nitpicking! The only thing stopping me from rating Mortal Engines 4 stars or higher is the emotional disconect I felt. Oterwise, it's an awesome book! ...more
This wasn't a bad story. Parts of it were quite enthralling and the mystery kept me captivated for awhile. The problem is that from the synopsis A LonThis wasn't a bad story. Parts of it were quite enthralling and the mystery kept me captivated for awhile. The problem is that from the synopsis A Long, Long Sleep appears to be sci-fi or possibly even dystopian. However, after completing this novel, it is clear that it really wants to be a romance novel and at best can be labeled sorta sci-fi.
The story begins with sixteen year old Rose emerging from a sixty-two year "stass." Essentially a stass is a way of stopping your body functions without causing death. People use it to travel extremely long distances in space (so when you get to a distant planet you are the same age you were when you left, instead of say two-hundred and seventy-five) or to preserve a person with a terminal illness until a cure can be found. (Who else remembers the episode of The Simpsons where Mr. Burns is in suspended animation and Smithers says something along the lines of Mr.Burns will be brought back to life as soon as a team of scientists in his employ figure out the cure to thirty-two stab wounds to the back? LOL)
The thing is, no one knew Rose was in stass or even missing until she was accidentally discovered by a dreamy teenage boy. (And not with a kiss! He was trying some mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which is sooo not sexy!) So this is where the mystery begins. Why was Rose in stass for so long? Or at all even? Will she adjust to a future time? Future culture? Will she be deemed fit to inherit her now dead parents multi-trillion dollar empire?
This alone would have made a great story. But this is YA, so it has the requisite lurve overshadowing everything else. Rose isn't the best protagonist either. She is a little dreamy and out of touch. The story is told in the first person and this girl isn't too observant of life around her so we don't get a sense of her space, her foster parents, her school or even the time or city and country she lives in. We just know who she used to love. And who she is starting to love. There are some interesting dysfunctional family flashbacks and a strange terminator style bad guy. But otherwise, this is all YA romance.
I can't help feeling a little let down by A Long, Long Sleep. Had Anna Sheehan spent more time developing and writing about Rose's life before the lengthy stass and the world she woke up to, this would have been so very much better. There are a lot of cool ideas introduced in this novel. However, as I said Rose is fairly uninvolved and unobservant. So we are stuck with her love-struck thoughts and a few "futuristic" details like hovercars and bendy iPad type things. Meh. People who like mysteries and for whom scanty world building is okay will probably enjoy this. But if you are looking for a satisfying science fiction or dystopian, it would be best to pass this one up.
YA Megan would have loved this book. Adult Megan is over ambiguous endings and wants a story with a little more meat to it. Regardless, this was wellYA Megan would have loved this book. Adult Megan is over ambiguous endings and wants a story with a little more meat to it. Regardless, this was well written, captivating and thought provoking. I am giving it 3 stars for the sake of my younger self (who, actually would have totally given it 5 stars) That is to say, nothing wrong with The Giver.... but it isn't really my kind of story ~ anymore ;)...more
Even though this was 256 pages, it still read like a short story or novella for me. I wish Dick would have given more depth to the relationships, indiEven though this was 256 pages, it still read like a short story or novella for me. I wish Dick would have given more depth to the relationships, individual stories, etc. Although this book is set in the future, it is clearly a product of the late 60's. For example we read of operators connecting phone calls, public pay phones (actually, public pay video phones, cause this is the future, lol) and carbon copies of information. Stuff like that made me appreciate Star Trek even more, since they actually made up new ways of travel, communication, etc. Anyway...
I've never seen Blade Runner so can't really compare it to that. And although I like sci-fi I am not especially well read in it, so I don't know that I would give the most informed review. But I can say that I enjoyed this story. Usually, my pet peeve with sci-fi is that authors spend so much time creating a new world that the story somehow gets lost in the process. But that is not the case. As many people have pointed out, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? does have it's flaws. Even so, it is an engaging read and I enjoyed it :) ...more