If you've been looking for that novel that blends hard sf and cyberpunk, this is it. In other words, more cyber, less punk. The prolog is absolutely,If you've been looking for that novel that blends hard sf and cyberpunk, this is it. In other words, more cyber, less punk. The prolog is absolutely, brilliantly gripping. The first chapter will test your geekiness. I passed the test. I think.
This book was written in 1994. I read it in 2014. In some ways, it doesn't feel dated at all. For a tech-heavy book, that's impressive. There are no glaring technological misprognostications. Then again, the general interest in virtual reality seems very much a thing of the mid-90s. The zeitgeist seems to have shifted since then. In that sense, it is dated, but it's aged well.
In this imagined future, people are routinely scanned and simulated in virtual environments. The author does a great job of exploring some of the philosophical issues this premise raises. It's by no means exhaustive; it's more an exploration of questions than an attempt to provide answers, but that's a strength in my opinion.
What makes this so compelling is the way Egan manages to convey both the fascination and the horror of such developments in a believable way, sometimes in serial fashion, sometimes simultaneously....more
I read this for the "Difficult Book Club" at Xavier University of Louisiana. I feel sheepish giving such an obvious masterpiece less than the maximumI read this for the "Difficult Book Club" at Xavier University of Louisiana. I feel sheepish giving such an obvious masterpiece less than the maximum rating — that reflects only my personal deficits, I'm sure. I read it over three and a half months, which is way too long for such a short book. The middle section, "Time Passes," is amongst the greatest things I've ever read, especially the first part of that section.
It is, I think, in the superb interlude called "Time Passes" that Mrs. Woolf reaches the most impressive height of the book, and there one can find a new note in her work, something beyond the ironic sophistication and civilized human values of "Mrs. Dalloway." In this description of the unused house in the Hebrides, entered for ten years only by old and forlorn women caretakers and the wind and the sea air and the light of the lighthouse lamp, she has told the story of all life passing on, of change and destruction and solitude and waste--the story which more than a little embodies the plot action of the rest of the book, but above all the story which has for man the profoundest human values of all, though for ten years the house itself never received a human guest. The great beauty of these eighteen pages of prose carries in it an emotional and ironical undertone that is superior to anything else that the first-class technician, the expert stylist, the deft student of human life in Mrs. Woolf ever has done. Here in prose of extraordinary distinction in our time: here is poetry:
We read this book for our eighth annual Fall Faculty Book Club at Xavier University of Louisiana. At our final meeting, we asked our participating facWe read this book for our eighth annual Fall Faculty Book Club at Xavier University of Louisiana. At our final meeting, we asked our participating faculty to jot down some thoughts. Here is what they wrote.
Though written 20 years ago, this is forcing me to think more critically of place, choices and practices, and the connection to other communities. Responsibility needed.
Earth in Mind profiles the gradual annihilation of the planet caused by no-holds-barred economic progress, reliance on fossil fuels, unrestrained technological advancements, and other harmful forces of modernization whose costs are rarely calculated. It should be required reading for everyone, but especially the power brokers of our global society such as politicians, CEOs, financial analysts, education administrators, and scientific researchers.
Earth in Mind is an appropriate name for this collection of essays on the Earth and education. I'm lucky to have received the kind of ecological citizenship training touted by Orr from my family. I believe that it's not too late to make a united, systematic and sustained effort to educate our children to be biophiles and not biophobes so that they will become advocates for our planet and its inhabitants and pass on the love to future generations.
Excellent book! A must-read about the relationship between economy and ecology! Holistic, wholesome, a reminder of our own connection to Nature!
This book provoked me, worried me and confused me at times. It reinforced ideas but it also required me to rethink my ideals and approach to life.
For me, this book was both a practical and promising guide to how I will live and love in this — the sunset of my life. I loved this book. As a teacher, it will be on my great books list!
Earth in Mind is a great book for inspiring an intentional, genuine focus on environmental issues in higher education. I intended to encourage deeper consideration of the long-term consequences of our lifestyle among my students.
Earth in Mind evokes a feel of urgency to spring to action and take care of Mother Earth.
The author builds the case for incorporating the environment to all disciplines. I think this is a good book for all educators.
This book was a great reminder of our responsibility as higher ed faculty to introduce students to the idea of sustainability. If we don't get students to critically think about these issues then who will?
By her own description, Ann Leckie writes "adventury, colorful, world-buildy kind of very actiony stories," and her first novel is no exception. It isBy her own description, Ann Leckie writes "adventury, colorful, world-buildy kind of very actiony stories," and her first novel is no exception. It is up for all the big SF awards and has already won the Clarke. So, if you are into that kind of thing, you should definitely give it a look. It is fun.
One of the most memorable characteristics of this book is the fact that the narrator refers to everyone as "she," even when it later comes to light that a person is male. It's simple yet striking. The narrator happens to be an AI, but that's not the reason for this seeming confusion. Rather, it's because she comes from a culture that is highly androgynous, a culture that doesn't think much about gender differences, with a language that reflects this.
Now if a humanoid alien came down to Earth and was unable to recognize our class differences or our racial differences, well, that would kind of make sense. But unable to recognize our gender differences? Wow, that's weird.
That's exactly why I read science fiction. I like my literature weird. It puts real life into interesting perspective. ...more