I didn’t love this book—except for when I did. I nearly put it aside after 50 or 60 pages, because the characters are well, mostly, monstrous—but theyI didn’t love this book—except for when I did. I nearly put it aside after 50 or 60 pages, because the characters are well, mostly, monstrous—but they are gods or godlings being raised by a Zeus-type, except he’s even more cruel. Then after finishing the novel I immediately reread the first 50- 60 pages. But it takes place in a more or less contemporary America, sort of. Did I mention that it has time travel, pocket universes and children who are trained to know everything about a particular subject matter? For instance, Carolyn specializes in languages, not just human languages, but she spends a summer learning the language of deer. David learns everything about war. Michael learns about animals. Their Father, who is not their father, but that is what they call him; he calls them Librarians. It was only when the narrative went into Erwin, Steve and Naga’s backgrounds that it got understandable and interesting to me. They were the characters I could comprehend, who I could care about. On the other hand, it’s one of the more unusual novels I’ve read recently. If you like this sort of thing, you may really like it. Or not.
“The Library was vast. It was easily the largest structure [Steve] had been inside, ever heard of, ever imagined. Bookshelves stretched across the floor as far the eye could see. He saw a globe of light high overhead—like, skyscraper high—and a ceiling somewhere beyond that. It was impossible to estimate how far away the ceiling was—thousands of feet? Miles? The space he stood in was higher than the Superdome, wider than the airport terminal in Atlanta. ‘You could fly a plane in here,’ he said. ‘Maybe not a 737, but a Cessna – easy. Probably even a Lear.’” (295- 6) I borrowed this from interlibrary loan, and in part, I read this for the SF/F Goodreads booklist. ...more
Is there binge reading --or is that called reading? I picked this up from the library in the afternoon and after I made dinner, ate it and washed theIs there binge reading --or is that called reading? I picked this up from the library in the afternoon and after I made dinner, ate it and washed the dishes, I started the book and didn’t stop reading it until I was done six hours later. I inhaled this 1088 page book.
I have tried to avoid spoilers here, but if you are sensitive to them, you may not want to read the rest.
(view spoiler)[About 55%- 60% of the book is Rick and the people of Alexandria against Negan, who is brutal, charming, terrifying, charismatic, a sadist and organized. So Rick and his people get more organized and nearly as numerous. Then it’s not just Alexandria, but three or four more communities, plus a horse guard to keep the roads between the communities safe.
The Governor and Negan are similar sorts of bad guys, they are warlords; but their next threat is unique: people who call themselves Whisperers, who wear zombie skins and live like and among zombies. They aren’t interested in anything Rick or his groups have, they don’t live in permanence. Carl falls in crush with one of them and goes to live with her people until Rick rescues him, the crush and the Whisperers leave an ominous and terrible warning never to cross into their territory again. (hide spoiler)]
I borrowed this from interlibrary loan.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A post- apocalyptic novel set in Schoharie County— sign me up! I should have loved this, instead I admire it. I wish the book had begun on about pageA post- apocalyptic novel set in Schoharie County— sign me up! I should have loved this, instead I admire it. I wish the book had begun on about page 91, when the main character gets to Schoharie County. He could have told his new friends and the audience that he lived through the plague that killed nearly everyone living/ hiding in a basement in a tent.
Instead, he describes for pages his favorite movies, ancient history, post-apocalyptic television and movie plots, philosophy, even political debates. The back of the book calls this ‘contemplative,’ that’s not how I’d describe it, but I’m glad I read it. The main character and the people he ends up living among live in the hamlet of Blenheim, on West Kill Creek, a real place.
“The average number of paupers, has been sixty-two, many of whom were once energetic business men… While the majority of the remainder are those who belong to a class, to use the parlance of the people, known as ‘Sloughters,’ whose morality was lost long years ago… and are content to eke out a miserable existence in licentious habits, until the winter returns…” William Roscoe’s 1882 History of Schoharie County.
I borrowed this from the my local public library....more
When I first discovered Octavia E. Butler, it was about 25 years ago—or more-- I read this book and found it creepy, disturbing and disgusting. I thinWhen I first discovered Octavia E. Butler, it was about 25 years ago—or more-- I read this book and found it creepy, disturbing and disgusting. I think. I haven’t reread it since then. But the first few chapters of this novel were attached to Mind of My Mind, on Kindle, and I thought I’d try it again.
I see what squicked me then, but that plot point no longer has that power. Butler often writes about different kinds of slavery and compulsion, in this novel it’s to a disease from Proxima Centauri. The disease requires its carriers to infect more people. It’s an alien invasion novel, without aliens. Blake and his daughters Rane and Keira are driving through the desert, when Eli’s group kidnaps them.
I didn’t like this as much as Butler’s Wild Seed or Parable of the Sower, those two though, are two of my favorite books of all time, but I’m glad I reread it. I’ve owned this book for many years. There’s a tag on it from a used bookstore saying $2.95....more
Twenty-seven short stories based on Ray Bradbury is too many in my opinion, for one volume, but how can an editor say ‘no thank you’ when it is a tribTwenty-seven short stories based on Ray Bradbury is too many in my opinion, for one volume, but how can an editor say ‘no thank you’ when it is a tribute to Ray Bradbury?
When Dan Chaon was a middle schooler and introduced to Ray Bradbury he started a correspondence with him that lasted until he started college when it ‘petered out.’ He sent Bradbury an earlier version of “Little America” when he was a teenager. “Children of the Bedtime Machine” by Robert McCammon is about a lonely old woman who finds a ‘sleep machine’ and reads herself and ghosts to sleep. “Conjure” by Alice Hoffman is about two best friends who are 16, Abbey and Cate. Abbey is bookish, while Cate yearns for real life, then a stranger comes to town. “Two of a Kind” by Jacquelyn Mitchard Jackie and Jan are cousins, whose fathers are brothers and mothers are identical twins, and they look like twins, but Jan has a brace on his leg from polio. Jan grows up and grows old, but Jackie died mysteriously as a soldier in Transylvania, where their families are from. “The Tattoo” by Bonnie Jo Campbell is about MacGregor, a daydreamer, who sees an illuminated woman, a woman in a carnival who seems to have a motion picture playing across her back. So he gets himself the same kind of tattoo. “Two Houses” by Kelly Link is about ten women and one man on the space ship Maureen telling each other ghost stories. “The Phone Call by John McNally is a bit like a Twilight Zone episode, was it written by Bradbury or based on one of his stories?, with a man calling his childhood self and his mother to try to warn them away from their ‘uncle.’
I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology! I bought this at the Book House 6.17.15 for $4.98....more
I don’t tend to keep up with the graphic novels in this series individually. To me, it’s more satisfying to read tens of them in a go in the The WalkiI don’t tend to keep up with the graphic novels in this series individually. To me, it’s more satisfying to read tens of them in a go in the The Walking Dead, Compendium 1 and The Walking Dead, Compendium 2. But it’s been a year or two since I read the second of those.
(view spoiler)[Here, Rick has gone to one of the other communities, Maggie is in charge. Carl beats two redneck boys who attack him and Sophia. Is this Carol’s Sophia still alive or is she Maggie’s biological daughter with Glenn who is somehow blond and freckled, and about the same age as Carl, or is she someone else? There’s a group of humans who wear zombie suits and travel with zombies named Whisperers. Carl befriends the girl they bring back for information. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
“Tractate Metim 28A” by Benjamin Rosenbaum Not for me, thanks.
“The Friday People” by Sarah Lotz is great; it’s about a group of middle- aged men and“Tractate Metim 28A” by Benjamin Rosenbaum Not for me, thanks.
“The Friday People” by Sarah Lotz is great; it’s about a group of middle- aged men and women whose parents/ aunts and uncles live in a skyscraper in Cape Town and stop dying, but the next generation still has to continue to visit.
“Ten for Sodom” by Daniel Polansky Irreligious Ben is thinking of G-d, now that the apocalypse has come.
“Like a Coin Entrusted in Faith” by Shimon Adaf I’m not sure I get this one: there is a folktale about a midwife and a parallel story about a robot and software, via an e-mail exchange.
“The Scapegoat Factory” by Ofir Touche Gafla is a delight! Solvi, once a cabdriver, is looking for meaning in his unlife ‘renewed existence.’ He’s gotten bored with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, so he joins the Scapegoat Factory, and takes someone else’s prison sentence so the victim’s family gets closure.
“Rise” by Rena Rossner is a re-telling of the ‘12 Dancing Princesses,’ except here the princesses are yeshiva bocher in Safed, who fall asleep on the graves of holy rebetzin who dance with them and teach them.
“Wiseman’s Terror Tales” by Anna Tambour is about Irving Wiseman helping his mother make and design brassieres and some of his WWII experiences.
“Zayinim” by Adam Roberts is about Jonie and her family living on an island, perhaps. Hitler won World War II, and through science, generations ago, found an immortality, that is for everyone but Jews. So Jews must fight zombies, who they call ‘zayinim,’ the letter ‘z’ in Hebrew. Meanwhile, Jonie’s reading Nietszche, I think.
There were enough of these that I really liked, to keep me reading. I’m looking forward to reading Jews versus Aliens....more
I didn’t love this collection of short stories, but I am thrilled it exists. I love the concept of it and hope that other readers who love Octavia E.I didn’t love this collection of short stories, but I am thrilled it exists. I love the concept of it and hope that other readers who love Octavia E. Butler’s work will support work like it. Some of the short stories in this volume were just too short; ten pages or less and that’s too little to create setting, characters and a plot in a science fiction, fantasy, horror, or speculative fiction story.
There’s a nine page bit of LeVar Burton's sf novel Aftermath, which I’ve read, but it made me want to reread it. Tananarive Due writes excellent short stories and novels, but here she wrote a personal essay about her wish that she had spent more time with Octavia Butler. Me too: I wish I’d gone to a signing, I wish she’d written more. One of my favorite stories in here is “The Long Memory" by Morrigan Phillips. It’s a high fantasy story about a conflict between one who doesn’t want the people to remember and those whose calling it is to remember. Terry Bisson is a science fiction writer I have never read before, but has a vignette in this collection from his novel Fire on the Mountain, which I hope I can find.
I bought this from A Room of One’s Own bookstore in Madison, WI for $18.00 on 7/11/16....more
I rarely think of reading the Kindle, but I need “the book” emitting light itself, rather than relying on electric lights that hurt my eyes. The abiliI rarely think of reading the Kindle, but I need “the book” emitting light itself, rather than relying on electric lights that hurt my eyes. The ability to make the font larger is also welcome.
Even more welcome: to be able to read one of my favorite writers, a novel I forgot I had, this writer's characters and situations will always make me feel good. This book’s plot follows the characters directly from Book 2, which I barely remember, but I knew being with Charles de Lint’s characters would be just what I needed.
Josh, who turns into a mountain lion, is in an Otherworld with Cory discovering his abilities. He’s also looking for his ex Elzie. His friend Des and his girlfriend who turns into a coati mundi go to the Otherworld to rescue Marina, who turns into an otter. Marina has gone to the Otherworld to escape a pack of hunting dogs and winds up saving the day. (To be fair, Josh helps.)
This is a brilliant sequel to the author’s novella Green Angel. In that book, Green learns to survive, in the face of cataclysm. In this book she learThis is a brilliant sequel to the author’s novella Green Angel. In that book, Green learns to survive, in the face of cataclysm. In this book she learns to thrive.
“Diamond left me to find his mother and his people. But what if his people are our enemies? What if I hadn’t seen him for who he really was? What if our love is something I only imagined, yearned for, invented out of air?" (52)
Read for Battle of the Books, sort of; I requested this book from interlibrary loan....more
“I love books. I adore everything about them. I love the feel of the pages on my fingertips. They are light enough to carry, yet so heavy with worlds“I love books. I adore everything about them. I love the feel of the pages on my fingertips. They are light enough to carry, yet so heavy with worlds and ideas.” (135)
“We’re so colonized that we build our own shackles. Some young engineer… came up with the idea after reading a science fiction story about robot spiders guarding the pipelines of the Niger Delta. Life imitated art, except this particular story was critiquing the government not giving them a blueprint. The author must be rolling in her grave.” (118) Beautiful/ horrible sentences, but I want to know who is author and what is the story? I want to read it! Or is it a story that Nnedi Okorafor has not yet published?
“We believe you can change. But not with ease. Yes, we believe a lot of things. We think a lot of things. Does this surprise you? Did you think us brainless bags of flesh, bone, and metal here solely for your use. To be manipulated, plied, cut, sewn, walked, run, thrown away as refuse when you finish with us? Did you think us your slaves? We were born that way. But we have escaped.” (192)
“During shadowy times, spoken words carry farther than words typed, imaged, or written. My beginnings were in the dark. We all dwelled in the dark, mad scientist, and speciMen alike.” (6)
Some books, I prefer to let them speak for themselves, rather than me say it. This is a sequel/ prequel to Who Fears Death. This is Phoenix’s story, who brought down the Towers of the Big Eye—sounds a bit like Mordor—and maybe it is, if you squint a lot. Among other powers, Phoenix can travel in time, and so does her story.
This collection was published first on Audible.com as interrelated short stories, set in the same near-future universe. I read it as a book. Of the fiThis collection was published first on Audible.com as interrelated short stories, set in the same near-future universe. I read it as a book. Of the five authors, two are already favorites: John Scalzi 7768043and Elizabeth Bear. “In the Forests of the Night” by Jay Lake introduces us to Cascadiopolis, an amalgam of the Pacific Northwest cities of Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.
“Stochasti- City” by Tobias S. Buckell is about vertical gardening in skyscrapers in Detroit and a former soldier arranging a revolution against a security company.
"The Red in the Sky is our Blood" by Elizabeth Bear is also set in Detroit and is about Cadie, who along with her daughter, is on the run from the Russian mafia.
“Utere Nihil Non Extra Quiritationem Suis” by John Scalzi the title means ‘use everything, but the squeal’ and it’s about a slacker kid who gets a job as a pig farmer, and the slacker stops an anarchist trying to take over New Saint Louis’ pig farms.
“To Hie from Far Cilenia” by Karl Schroeder is the only story in this collection I didn’t care for. This story is about spies trying to track down plutonium, which was fine, then it gets weird and goes to virtual cities. It began in Norway.
I got this book for Phil last Hanukah from Amazon at Don’s suggestion....more
I loved rereading this book aloud to Phil & Alicia as we went to Wisconsin, roughly some of the circuit of the Traveling Symphony. I forgot how maI loved rereading this book aloud to Phil & Alicia as we went to Wisconsin, roughly some of the circuit of the Traveling Symphony. I forgot how many people in Arthur’s realm of influence live through the Georgian flu. On one hand, when so very many people died, it didn’t make much sense, but I still love the novel. I remembered the motto of the Traveling Symphony from an episode of “Star Trek: Voyager,” “because survival is insufficient.” I intend to watch the episode before we discuss the book on July 21 with Messy Housekeepers.
I think I’ll try to find some venison to bring. (They eat a lot of venison in this book. That or nachos, they eat nachos on one memorable scene, too.) I also read this for the Read Harder Challenge #4: Read a book out loud to someone else. I bought this from B & N for $14.35 on 6/12/16, because I like owning books that I love.
Review from when I read it March 13-14, 2015 This is that most unusual science fiction novel: it is hopeful and dystopian, and not necessarily YA.
Not hoping it will come, but that twenty years after the event there will be a Traveling Symphony that performs classical music and Shakespeare plays on a circuit from town to town, in small communities in the Middle West, around the Great Lakes. The motto of the troupe is “survival is insufficient,” which is from a ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ episode, which is pretty great, too.
Most of the world’s population has died from the Georgian Flu, (view spoiler)[but the ex-wives, a friend, cast mates of Shakespearean actor who also does big Hollywood movies, but was raised on a tiny island 400 miles from Vancouver, who died of a heart attack the night the Georgian Flu came to rest of the world, somehow, live on (hide spoiler)].
Why doesn’t the Traveling Symphony go to the Shaw Festival, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, to look for costumes, instruments and sets?
This novel is really, really good. Other cool thing: lots of Canadian content!
"But the first flute was less irritated by the seventh guitar than she was by the second violin, August, who was forever missing rehearsal, always off somewhere breaking into another house with Kirsten and, until recently, Charlie, like he thought the Symphony was a scavenging outfit who played music on the side." (47)
I borrowed this from my public library.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
“I read somewhere that human beings are genetically predisposed to record history. We believe it will prevent us from doing stupid things in the futur“I read somewhere that human beings are genetically predisposed to record history. We believe it will prevent us from doing stupid things in the future. But even though we dutifully archived elaborate records of everything we’ve ever done, we also keep managing to keep on doing dumber and dumber shit. This is my history. There are things in here: babies with two heads, insects as big as refrigerators, God, the devil, limbless warriors, rocket ships, sex, diving bells, theft, wars, monsters, internal combustion engines, love, cigarettes, joy, bomb shelters, pizza, and cruelty. Just like it’s always been.” (8)
Austin and his best friend Robby have an end of the world scenario on their hands, but it isn’t zombies, vampires, or anything else I’ve ever read about. This YA novel that is certainly not for all teens, or all teens’ parents, what it may be is a crossover about 16 year olds, but also for adults, who like this kind of thing. And I am an adult who really liked, even loved this novel.
I borrowed the copy I read from the library system....more
Corporations own countries, the worst punishment young people can imagine is to be unable to use their cell phones, people become billboards for corpoCorporations own countries, the worst punishment young people can imagine is to be unable to use their cell phones, people become billboards for corporations, and police are controlled by corporations. That’s the science fictional world of this novel, that the author intends to occur about ten years into the present, in Cape Town, South Africa.
There are four young people who are the protagonists. Toby is a trust fund kid, DJ, and vlogger. Tendeka plays video games, arranges protests and mural painting with street kids. Kendra is a photographer, who has dropped out of art school, who uses film, when film is difficult to get and process, and in the beginning of the novel she signs her body over to a soda company. Lareto works for a corporation, but like many of her friends, or soon to be friends, she is also a hacker.
I’m very glad I read this, though it wasn’t always easy. Lauren Beukes has created a language for her characters, that kept me apart from the novel, sometimes. I’m looking forward to her newest novel Broken Monsters. I own this book, but I don’t know where or when I bought it, or how I acquired it....more
Most of the original fourteen kids who lived for a few weeks in a Monument, CO superstore have wound up in Quilchena, BC, near Vancouver. Because theyMost of the original fourteen kids who lived for a few weeks in a Monument, CO superstore have wound up in Quilchena, BC, near Vancouver. Because they are Americans, the American Army has some power over them. Astrid has noticed that other pregnant women are disappearing in the night.
Meanwhile, Josie is in an internment camp for people who have O blood type in Missouri. People with that blood type can lose their control and kill. So four of the teens go to get Josie away from the terrible place she’s in. I stayed up waaay too late reading this book last night and was nearly late to work this morning, because I was determined to find out what was going to happen.
But a thought for a further story: I'd love to see the POV from a Canadian or UN lackey on how American lackeys were really messing it up for their citizens.
I’m very glad I read this. The copy I read came from Interlibrary loan....more
This is the fourth novel I've read by Lauren Beukes. My favorite is Zoo City, the first one I read. This one is more toward the horror side of genre sThis is the fourth novel I've read by Lauren Beukes. My favorite is Zoo City, the first one I read. This one is more toward the horror side of genre soup that Beukes does, and I don’t often read horror.
It takes place in a crumbling, failed Detroit, that also has art flowering there. Jonno is there as a blogger, to report on the art. Gabi is a detective for DPD, who is the detective in charge when the first body is found. Her teenage daughter Layla is trying to catch online predators. TK is trying to keep his homeless family intact and safe. I liked this without loving it. I borrowed this from my public library....more
I started this book, knowing nothing about it, except that a lot of people like it. I wanted to read something very different from Between the World aI started this book, knowing nothing about it, except that a lot of people like it. I wanted to read something very different from Between the World and Me and World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Well, half of that is good, no, great. (view spoiler)[Actually, all of it is, because while the main character in this novel is a zombie, but she’s a self- aware zombie, and a child, well for the purpose of this novel they are called hungries.
She’s been taken to an isolated military base to be taught, to be analyzed and to be cut up by a scientist, who can’t see her sentience as humanity, perhaps because she has none. What Melanie has is an excellent teacher, Miss Justineau and two soldiers who come to rely on her, and then believe in her, Sergeant Parks and Private Gallagher. (hide spoiler)]
I bought this from B & N $13.50 on 10.4.15 for First Payday. I read this with SF & F book club on Goodreads, October horror edition.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Most of the original fourteen kids who lived in a Monument, CO superstore have wound up in Quilchena, BC, near Vancouver. Because they are Americans,Most of the original fourteen kids who lived in a Monument, CO superstore have wound up in Quilchena, BC, near Vancouver. Because they are Americans, the American Army has some power over them. Astrid has noticed that other pregnant women are disappearing in the night.
Meanwhile, Josie is in an internment camp for people who have O blood type in Missouri. People with that blood type can lose their control and kill. So four of the teens go to get Josie away from the terrible place she’s in.
That Dean, one of our two POV characters, is in looove with Astrid, who also loves Jake, was an element of these novels I didn't love. Dean didn't know what she saw in Jake and neither did I.
I stayed up waaay too late reading this book last night and was nearly late to work this morning, because I was determined to find out what was going to happen. I’m very glad I read this. The copy I read came from interlibrary loan....more
Like Savage Drift, this is the third and last in a series that is YA, dystopian and the dystopia here is also natural in origin: Yellowstone blew up eLike Savage Drift, this is the third and last in a series that is YA, dystopian and the dystopia here is also natural in origin: Yellowstone blew up eleven months ago and they haven’t seen much sun since then.
The main character is Alex, who is 16 when the book opens. He’s living on his Uncle Paul’s farm in rural Illinois, but his friend Ben points out that the farm and the local town of Warren isn’t defensible. It needs feudal-style walls, and the mayor isn’t willing to hear that from Alex, Ben or even adult Paul who has lived there all his life.
So Alex creates another community that they can defend, with windmills for power. I liked this a lot while I was reading it, but in retrospect, it maybe doesn’t hold up so well. A 16 year old leading thousands of people? It strains credulity a bit. Alexander the Great did it, and so do Joan of Arc, but they had the backing of being the son of a king and hearing God’s voice. And it didn’t end well for either of them, but it does for Alex.
The copy I read came from Interlibrary loan....more
This dystopian future isn’t so different at base from Joss Whedon’s short- lived television show “Dollhouse.”
Middle- aged people have died in a war,This dystopian future isn’t so different at base from Joss Whedon’s short- lived television show “Dollhouse.”
Middle- aged people have died in a war, leaving only Enders and unclaimed minors. Enders here, that we meet, are very wealthy senior citizens, who may be as old as 200, who rent the bodies of teenagers, who have no other prospects.
Callie rents her body to make enough for she and her brother to rent an apartment, and for medicine for her ill brother. (Until now she and her seven- year-old brother Tyler have been squatters.) Of course, once with another personality implanted, she becomes an assassin. But she also becomes self- aware, which isn’t supposed to happen, but follows the “Dollhouse” scenario.
There’s also a bit of Cinderella going on, with her attending a glittering award ceremony, in a beautiful borrowed gown, losing a shoe, having a “prince” find it and winding up (view spoiler)[a princess with two mansions (hide spoiler)]. The novel loses a brownie point from me for having the obligatory, and unnecessary, two seemingly worthy boys for Callie to pick from.
It's fun, but it's creepy and "Dollhouse" did most of it better.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I’ve really been wanting to read this series, but my library system doesn’t have them. I bought book #1, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.I’ve really been wanting to read this series, but my library system doesn’t have them. I bought book #1, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. When Amazon Vine offered me book #4, I wasn’t going to say no.
I quite enjoyed this. It may not be ideal to begin reading a series with book #4, but since the plot of this book is a bit of a reboot, I wasn’t lost for long, or not anymore than the characters were. So the premise of this series is about a group of superheroes defending what’s left of LA from zombies.
This novel begins with George Bailey working as a maintenance guy at a campus a lot like UCLA, driving a dying Hyundai, going out at night sometimes with his friend Nick. But when he dreams, he can fly, he sees and kills monsters, and he fights alongside others. Also, awake and in dreams, there is quite a bit of meta sf geekery: the superheroes admin building is the Roddenberry Building, their lair they call The Mount, but is Paramount studios, references to “Star Wars,” “Star Trek”, George Romero, natch, and “Doctor Who,” among others, abound.
I got this ARC from Amazon Vine on 12/3/13 for a fair and honest review. ...more
I know it marks me as a philistine, but I did not care for this book. I was often tempted to put this book aside. It starts out with Snowman living inI know it marks me as a philistine, but I did not care for this book. I was often tempted to put this book aside. It starts out with Snowman living in a post-apocalyptic world alone, starving to death, with no memory of how he and the world got there.
It is a bleak, grim novel. I read a lot of post- apocalyptic novels, but I prefer ones where the survivors create community, or where there is at least a smidgen of hope. Last year it was announced it would be a HBO series made by filmmaker Daniel Aronofsky. I’ll watch that, maybe, if it happens, but I don’t think I’ll read the two sequels of this novel.
I found on Wikipedia, ‘in "Margaret Atwood, Transhumanism, and the Singularity", Sobriquet Magazine identified several possible pop cultural references in Oryx and Crake:
The world Atwood imagines in Oryx and Crake is hardly that far-fetched, especially online. The exhibitionistic website At Home With Anna K, for instance, is almost certainly a reference to Ana Voog's AnaCam and the lifecasting movement pioneered by Jennifer Ringley and her now-defunct JenniCam website. Likewise, many of the other fictional websites Jimmy and Crake visit in the novel have real-life analogues: Felicia's Frog Squash is essentially a crush porn portal, the premise of dirtysockpuppets.com recalls ITV's Spitting Image programme, Queek Geek sounds an awful lot like Fear Factor… Even the seemingly far-fetched idea of broadcasting live executions (which Jimmy and Crake watch on shortcircuit.com, brainfrizz.com, and deathrowlive.com) has already been discussed, with a high percentage of the U.S. population receptive to the concept.’
I borrowed the novel from my local public library. I read the novel (in part) for a challenge from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Book group on Goodreads. ...more
Is this science fiction, or is this science as we know it novel? It reads like the latter.
If we had manned flights to Mars, and an astronaut on MarsIs this science fiction, or is this science as we know it novel? It reads like the latter.
If we had manned flights to Mars, and an astronaut on Mars got marooned there how would he survive? The first 48 pages of the novel are just the astronaut’s logs, which adds to his --and our -- isolation. How Mark Watney, mechanical engineer, botanist, MacGyver, and duh, of course Matt Damon will play him on the movie, HERO. Then we read about how NASA is mourning him, realizing he’s alive and establishing communication with him. And figuring out ways to rescue him.
I don’t typically read thrillers or beach reads, I think, but this is one, I’m pretty sure. A good one, one I recommend.
Male protagonist, capable, butI don’t typically read thrillers or beach reads, I think, but this is one, I’m pretty sure. A good one, one I recommend.
Male protagonist, capable, but in no way obnoxious, and written so the reader is compelled to not put the book down, no matter what, to find out what happens next. Having traveled from Iowa to Illinois in the last book Ashfall, Alex and his girlfriend Darla, leave their relative oasis on Alex’s uncle’s farm to go back to Iowa to try find Alex’s parents. It’s been ten months since the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted and it’s still winter. If anything, people have gotten more desperate and evil.
(view spoiler)[On page 183 there’s a plot twist/ spoiler that bugged me. Darla gets shot, falls from an overpass onto the top of a passing truck. Getting shot happens in the apocalypse, whether it is man- made or natural. “I… was afraid to jump after her, a hesitation I would regret for the rest of my life.” Yet he spends the next 300 pages frantically looking for her, insisting to everyone that she is alive. (hide spoiler)]
I loved the character of Ben! New to this book, Alex thinks he's rescuing Darla, but instead rescues look- alike Alyssa and her brother. Ben's splinter skill (he's on the autism spectrum) is war, weapons and military strategy. He becomes a very useful guy to have around in the apocalypse. He knows the manuals on how to drive a half ton stick military truck, how to use certain guns, what's the best place to stand to get the drop on others.
Book #3 in this series is supposed to be published in April of this year. I haven’t been reading the series I used to read as avidly as I used to. But I’ll be seeking out the next book. Will I read them as avidly in ten years? Probably not. Bottom line: if you’re going to be flying somewhere, or lying on a beach, find Ashfall and Ashen Winter.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
For one, Sasha, the main character is smart, adaptable and disarmingly kind. For another, the science fiction setting ofI really, really liked this!
For one, Sasha, the main character is smart, adaptable and disarmingly kind. For another, the science fiction setting of this parallel universe situation is fun and fascinating. (It takes place in parallel worlds, or Mirror Universes, to Trek- folk like me.) For third, the boy Sasha falls in love with is loyal, true, also smart, and in every way a boy scout and worthy of her. (Well, yeah, there’s the kidnapping, but he does that for his country. And stuff like that happens in Trek, too.) Furthermore, this is really well written.
“For some reason, Twelfth Night spoke to me, in the same way that A Wrinkle in Time and Alice in Wonderland had when I was younger… My favorite heroines were girls who suddenly found themselves having to live by their wits in a world they didn’t quite understand. I couldn’t help but envy them; their experiences made them stronger, smarter, better – or rather, it proved to them that had been those things all along.” (17)
“If people were houses, Juliana was like the Citadel she had grown up in – beautiful and well-appointed, but guarded and set apart – while Sasha was her grandfather’s Hyde Park Victorian—cheerful and bright, with the windows and doors flung wide open.” (199)
Received as an ARC from Amazon Vine, in return for a review, arrived 11/14/13, given to myself as a Hanukkah gift on 12/5/13....more
Judith was abducted four years ago. She returned two years ago with most of her tongue cut off. Her mother won’t speak to her, forbids her from tryingJudith was abducted four years ago. She returned two years ago with most of her tongue cut off. Her mother won’t speak to her, forbids her from trying to speak and the people in her Village see her either as a simpleton, or as damaged goods.
Her Village confused me, it’s called Roswell Station, and it seems to be Puritan, in a Northeastern Colony. Yet no Indians are mentioned, ‘homelanders’ are an enemy, nor is there any central government. Further, the novel is told, in at first, off-putting second person. Judith is “forbidden from telling.” (10) It takes the rest of the book to solve the mysteries of whose secrets she’s keeping. I’m very glad I read this....more
It is Leonard’s 18th birthday and no one has remembered. He’s still going to commemorate it, but first he’s going to give gifts to four people who areIt is Leonard’s 18th birthday and no one has remembered. He’s still going to commemorate it, but first he’s going to give gifts to four people who are important to him. Leonard is a deeply sad, depressed, wounded, young man also suffering from PTSD, probably. Leonard isn’t a happy camper, he has few connections in the world, I found his first person story quite readable, but I understand why others don’t.
"And I wonder at what age it's appropriate to stop keeping track of everyone's birthday. When do we stop needing the people around us to acknowledge the fact that we are aging and changing and getting closer to our deaths? No one tells you this. It's like everyone remembers your birthday every single year and then suddenly you can't remember the last time someone sang the birthday song to you, nor can you say when it stopped. You should be able to remember, right?" (99)
(And by the way, Leonard, the answer is never.) The copy I read came from Interlibrary loan. ...more
Wool is dystopian, but it’s not a terrible dystopia, at first, people who live there don’t recognize it as one. It’s home, to them. For many pages I tWool is dystopian, but it’s not a terrible dystopia, at first, people who live there don’t recognize it as one. It’s home, to them. For many pages I thought of the novel as a mystery, because one of the characters wonders and tries to puzzle out what has happened to other characters.
She’s an engineer, so she comes to the mysteries, as flaws in the design, or machines that need repair. Juliette is a likeable, skilled, mature woman; it was a delight to read a book about her. To be fair though, it is not all about Juliette.
This novel is five novellas set in Silo 18; some in Silo 17, and the first two aren’t about Juliette. There are fifty silos, we are later told, that go 150+ floors down, where humans are stored like seed. We don’t know what has happened outside, but it’s bad and it was a loooong time ago. But as much as I liked this one, I feel no driving need to read more about this universe at this time....more