#1.5 of the Old Man's War. A transcript of a Q&A session with John Perry as he completes a PR tour for the Colonial Defense Forces. He is on the H...more#1.5 of the Old Man's War. A transcript of a Q&A session with John Perry as he completes a PR tour for the Colonial Defense Forces. He is on the Huckleberry Colony fielding questions from colonists. Scalzi, as always, does a stellar job squeezing in philosophical, ethical, moral questions about war and the human race...."Making peace is often a simple thing, but simple isn't the same thing as easy."
My personal favorite? "The one real advantage that humans have is that on a pound-for-pound basis, we're meaner. (laughter) Now, I said that to get a laugh, so I'm glad I got one. But when it gets right down to it, it's also usually true. I imagine it's kept our species alive more than once."
If you haven't read the series, you should think about it, even if you're not a sci-fi kind of reader. I'm not, but I am loving this. And - heads up - this series is being made into a television series right now....nice to read the books first.(less)
Everyone should read this classic Bradbury short story. Why? So you know the origin of the term "The Butterfly Effect," of course. Bradbury is amazing...moreEveryone should read this classic Bradbury short story. Why? So you know the origin of the term "The Butterfly Effect," of course. Bradbury is amazing. Even if sci-fi isn't your normal fare, you can give up 15 minutes of your life to read this classic tale.(less)
Absolutely fantastic dystopian sci-fi! For those of you who are tired of really bad self-published books that aren't even worth the .99 price tag, go...moreAbsolutely fantastic dystopian sci-fi! For those of you who are tired of really bad self-published books that aren't even worth the .99 price tag, go and download this right now. This is the kind of writing that we hope for when we open a new book. Set in a future post-apocalyptic world where the few remaining humans live in vast underground silos, the author drops tantalizing hints of what-the-hell-happened with a fast paced plot and characters you actually care about. Want to read a self-pub book that sets the standard? Start reading this one today....and then come back and tell me how right I was about this novel, lol!(less)
This is the third 2013 Hugo Award shortlist novel that I've read leading up to the awards and the best of the three by far ("2312" was so horrid I cou...moreThis is the third 2013 Hugo Award shortlist novel that I've read leading up to the awards and the best of the three by far ("2312" was so horrid I couldn't finish it and "Throne of the Crescent Moon" was meh at best). I should also probably mention that SciFi is not my normal genre, so I'm not well-versed. I just know what I like and what I don't.
John Scalzi clearly had FUN writing this novel and it shows...I laughed myself silly throughout. Now I'm going to be very, very careful not to spoil anything here and that requires that I only give you the following:
Redshirts takes us to the year 2456, aboard the spaceship Intrepid where strange things are happening. Far too many people meet with 'accidents' both aboard the ship itself and on their numerous away-missions. It's inexplicable until our protagonist, Andrew Dahl, comes up with an explanation. A bat-poop crazy explanation.
Okay, that's as far as I can go without spoiling it for you, even though that's only the first 1/4 of the novel. Anything else would ruin the fun for you. The rest of the novel will twist your brain in a crazy set of calisthenics, but it's the most fun a person can have reading a sci-fi novel.
First book of the year that I was simply unable to finish. If it hadn't been a library book, in fact, I would have literally tossed it in the garbage....moreFirst book of the year that I was simply unable to finish. If it hadn't been a library book, in fact, I would have literally tossed it in the garbage. I know this is likely to offend fans of Kim Stanley Robinson who is, by all accounts, one of the better science fiction authors out there. But this novel proved insurmountable for me.
While at first I was intrigued as the author introduces us to life on Mercury in the year 2312, the pages quickly turned into an information-dump where $10 words were substituted for perfectly good and understandable common words. I shouldn't have to run to a dictionary or spend hours on the internet looking up things such as the pseudoiterative.
Somewhere in this info-dump is supposed to be a love story. Our protagonists (a hermaphrodite from Mercury and a frog-type-person from one of the moons of Jupiter), however, are so bland and lost in the confusion that they never generate any kind of sympathy (or even recognition).
While Robinson throws in a clever page or two every once in a while (building your own travelling terrarium out of an astroid as a How-To book), there simply isn't enough of that to keep us going. Vacillating between bored and irritated, I gave up 250 pages in. Sorry.(less)
Joe Haldeman is the undisputed king of the science fiction genre. Or so I've been told. I don't ever read any science fiction, so I'm pretty illiterat...moreJoe Haldeman is the undisputed king of the science fiction genre. Or so I've been told. I don't ever read any science fiction, so I'm pretty illiterate in that regard. But I felt a gaping hole in my reading these days and thought that I should give science fiction a try. The Forever War came highly recommended (major award winner here, folks) as a good entry point for me.
The storyline revolves around a conscripted U.S. soldier who in the not so distant future (or at least it was distant when the book was written....for today's readers, that "futuristic" time period was a few years ago, so for those of us just now reading this novel, it's more like an alternate history....clear as mud?) who is sent out to war with a rival galactic enemy, the Taureans. Our intrepid hero finds himself sent all over the galaxy and, due to the use of what we would call a worm hole, finds himself aged considerably less than those who don't regularly travel through space. The reader goes through several battles with our hero, written with a lot of testosterone and military tactical-speak, and gets to grapple with the moral implications of both war and a future Earth that makes most dystopian fiction look like child's play.
Okay, so what did I think of it all? I went through phases with this novel. During the tactical military missions, my eyes tended to glaze over (as they always do with this kind of stuff....no matter what genre it's in). But the portions that dealt with Haldeman's imagined future for Earth I couldn't put down.
Of course, noting the time period in which this novel was originally written, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the parallels Haldeman was drawing to the Vietnam War. He uses a big old club at the end of the book to make darned sure you GET IT. But overall, I enjoyed the story. While it didn't turn me into a die-hard science fiction fan, it certainly left me open to more suggestions for the genre.(less)
Okay, I give up.....this was a "did not finish" for me....I gave up completely around 60% through. This was a time-travel novel in which a modern day...moreOkay, I give up.....this was a "did not finish" for me....I gave up completely around 60% through. This was a time-travel novel in which a modern day historian travels back in time to England under Henry VII in order to find out what happened to the Princes in the Tower. He gets there through a magic portal in Wales (I think). When he arrives, he finds out that Henry VII's conniving mother, Margaret Beaufort, already knows about and has extensively used the portal. I won't tell you what she uses it for, since that would spoil things for you if you ever give this one a go.
Okay, why I couldn't finish....it just never grabbed my attention or my imagination. I wasn't buying a single part of it and couldn't get invested in either the time-traveling protagonist (who was just an arrogant ass, in my opinion) nor the historical figures involved.
Maybe you'll have better luck. I read this on Kindle...it was a cheap download (less than $2, I think).(less)