Oryx and Crake is an amazing treasure of a novel. I've had the book on my shelf for quite some time and never gave it a second glance (it was given toOryx and Crake is an amazing treasure of a novel. I've had the book on my shelf for quite some time and never gave it a second glance (it was given to me by my friend who is not entirely good at reading.) Anyway, some friends at work were having a book club meeting and I decided to read the book. One of the best choices I've ever made..
Oryx and Crake is a post apocalyptic novel based on Earth, around the ever changing life of Jimmy/Snowman. That sounds so very boring, but it's get so much more sciencey fictioney, even though Atwood said it was more of an "adventure romance" (I would prefer not to call it that). We are introduced first off to Snowman, living on a warm, quite tropical, food depleted beach. Snowman has a scraggly beard and smells horrible, so I assume he's been living on this beach for a little while already. There appears to be some natives which he calls the Crakers, and they come in every possible human skin color and come and pester him on occasion.
Flashback occur frequently in this novel and they describe Snowman's past life. This is our introduction to Jimmy, which was what he was named before everyone on the Earth died. Our first introduction to Jimmy is him 7 years old or so, living in a compound with his brilliant scientist father and Sharon his over-bearing, vengeful, cigarette smoking mother.As Jimmy grows older, the situation between his parents gets steadily worse. Mention of Jimmy's father spending to much time at work and around a certain young, boobful lab tech named Rhonda. The company Jimmy's father (and mother used to) work for is called OrganInc and they are currently developing ways to grow human organs inside of pigs. They live in the compound, a place built by the company and ones like, where an entire life can be lived. School, malls, clubs, shopping markets, everything exists in this compound so someone doesn't have to leave it and go to the Pleeblands for everything. The Pleeblands contain the normal people, people who aren't so lucky to have animal-engineering-scientist parents who live inside the compounds their entire lives. You can of course leave the compound once you get clearance, but the Pleeblands are being depleting of resource fast and disease is almost a given. So basically, the rich people are okay while the poor to middle class people become more and more uncivilized, while the earth is pushed to it's limits for supporting the population.
There is one more important character that is worth mentioning without giving to much away. His name is Crake (surprise surprise he's in the title) and Jimmy and him meet each other in their 9th year of highschool. His real name is Glen, but he gets the name Crake from one of the video games him and Jimmy frequently play throughout their highschool lives to pass the time. Crake is a genious, and though him and Jimmy have a pretty tight relationship, Jimmy always assumes Crake is hiding something from him.
Overall, the book is pretty much amazing. You root for Jimmy to become something more then he is, and I pretty much fell in love with Crake's cold cool demeanor. The characters are very unique, unlike any characters I've ever read in another book. I easily rate this book 10/10. I think EVERYONE should read it. It has something for everybody. The writing is intelligent, the names of all the scientific companies coming up with different forms of fake food are so creative I never even realized most of them were saying something else until the end. Can't WAIT to read the next one....more
Time's Eye, dual written by Arthur C. Clarke (whom's work I'm familiar with) and Stephen Baxter (no idea who he even is). Unlike Arthur's more famousTime's Eye, dual written by Arthur C. Clarke (whom's work I'm familiar with) and Stephen Baxter (no idea who he even is). Unlike Arthur's more famous works, a space anomaly takes place right on Earth and leaves numerous differentiating groups of hand-picked humans destined to try to pick up the pieces. Space-time has literally been ripped apart on Earth, leaving the planet in shambles. It appears that the Earth has become a giant puzzle with different people, eras and land masses all thrown together in one big jumble. The armies of Alexander, Genghis Kong, the 1800's colonial British along with modern US and UK marines are brought together. The anomaly isn't random either. Giant eyes litter the landscape, at seemingly, and sometimes rather calculated intervals all over the Earth. The remaining people on Earth are left with more and more questions as they travel amongst diminished or all-together missing cultural and religious sites. Is there a greater, higher power behind all of this? If so, what is their purpose? Is this the work of God? The list of questions isn't answered, only added too.
The book is slow for the first couple chapters, adding the boring details necessary to progress the story properly, building character, etc. The last 100 pages are the best part. Smooth injunction in the last couple chapters into what I'm assuming the 2nd book will be about. Both authors do a very good job making the next book look extremely interesting. We know that Bisesa, is going to get her way, but what happens afterwards is totally up in the air and to the imagination of the reader. Definitely going to read the next book. The authors also do a very good job splicing in physics, and other explanations involving the cosmos. I don't understand them half the time, but when I do, I feel smarter and they really are a motivation to read more work by either Baxter or Clarke. The integration of differing famous figures of history together on one Earth is creative. Especially when you throw in people from the year 2037 who obviously know the outcomes of many of these historical figures lives. Character development is prominent in the main character and a couple others, but I hope it progresses deeper in the 2nd book. You can't tell apart the author's writing, maybe they just write extremely similar? Either way extremely cohesive work. Worth reading, I recommend this for Space Odyssey fans or people looking for a strange, spacey twist on history....more
Picked this book up at a random book sale because of the cool cover and title. Isn't a bad book, once you get into it. I've never heard of read of anyPicked this book up at a random book sale because of the cool cover and title. Isn't a bad book, once you get into it. I've never heard of read of anything by this author before, and I might again, but I'm definitely not jumping at the chance.
This book is about the discovery of a very well hidden race of intelligent life that almost comes to an end because of Imperial Earth. They are called the Mixed Men and are the offspring of Dellian Superhumans and human beings.
History: These Superhumans came to exist because of space travel. The deconstruction and re-construction of the humans who partook in space travel eventually made them be rebuilt better and stronger than humans who didn't partake. So essentially the transportation process of space travel made them into Superhumans. They then had various offspring with humans and created the Mixed Men. Earth was of course terrified of the Superhumans and the Mixed Men for their physical and mental capabilities and started a genocide against them. They fled their homeland and created a series of colonies in the Large Magellanic Cloud or what they like to call the colonies of the Fifty Suns. The societies of Mixed Men and Superhumans are kept relatively seperate. The Superhumans and The Mixed Men occupy a series of planets within the same cloud, but the Mixed Men's planets are relatively more well hidden from sight. The only people that know where these planets are are people of the Mixed Men race. All of the above events have taken place over a time of 10 000 years.
Imperial Earth's mighty warship, Star Cluster, has been on voyage across space for a very long time. The captain of the ship, the Right and Honourable Gloria Laurr has almost been forced to give up search for the Mixed Men and Dellian races, a race she promised to find on her long journey. Until she stumbles across signs of their living in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Fast forward to a planet located within the Fifty Suns, Captain Maltby, a man of Mixed Men origin working under the Dellians. He is forced to try to make his two races get along with themselves if they are ever going to overcome Imperial Earth. Lady Laurr however, is prepared to push her ship and crew to the very limits to make the colonies of the Fifty Suns submit to the Great Galactic Union, a union that almost every race has been forced to be ruled over by, or suffer her wrath. Things take a turn for a worse when Lady Laurr and Captain Maltby fall unwillingly in love with each other, something neither bargained for.
The books sci-fi factors aren't boring to say the least. There are many interesting aspects of the book, those of which include the new technologies that Imperial Earth and the Fifty Suns colonies have created. Creativity points for the history. I like the location as well, the Large Magellanic being a real phenomenon existing in our universe that is indeed like a star machine containing billions upon billions of suns. It's the writing that isn't all that great, or the dialogue. Very hard to follow what they are saying in the book. Also, I wasn't really quite sure why the Dellians and the Mixed Men were fighting amongst themselves so intensely. Considering one is the offspring of the other, you would think they would appreciate each other a little more. Nonetheless, not a bad read. I like the parts where Captain Maltby and Lady Laurr are forced to engage, and the end of the book is quite the cliffhanger. For an easy read if your bored and happen to stumble upon the book, sure, read it. But if you have more important stuff in front of you.. by all means, wait. Not worth putting everything aside for. But the ideas are very cool. Had potential, I'll give it that....more
Such an expertly written book. You can tell Crichton has a background in medicine from some of the terminology he uses, the knowledge of biology is unSuch an expertly written book. You can tell Crichton has a background in medicine from some of the terminology he uses, the knowledge of biology is uncanny! Definitely makes the book unique in context to any others I have read. The cover and use of the galaxy name Andromeda in the book draws Sci-fi readers towards it definitely. I know this for a fact because I wouldn't of even gotten the book if it didn't have the cool cover of the earth and numbers matrix style and the space title.
The plot of the book is fascinating. The idea of an extraterrestrial organism that can kill off humans in a matter of seconds is not only terrifying but pretty exciting. The books also has you wondering about what secret government organizations are really spending all their time and effort on, even if it is based on fiction. Imagining if some project of theirs like this ever did leak, how they would explain it to us.. just thoughts to ponder.
The terms and made up hypothesis in this book really give it a genuine feel. I was definitely confused until I did further research as to whether or not the book was actually real. It unfourtunately has no real fact in it, other than some characters who were named after real people, which is still a nice little touch.
The references and hypothetical way of looking at the organism though I found were very relatable to science today. For instance, when Leavitt was thinking about ways to look at the organism he thought of a man and a house. One man means almost nothing to the world, but being a part of a bigger picture, a city, he means alot more. He thought maybe the part of the organism they were looking at, was part of a much bigger picture. That maybe it worked as a big city, instead of just a singular cell like in our bodies. I found the moments where thinking like this came through as very interesting and very appliable if you will to studies of foreign organisms today.
This book is a very good representation of exactly how things can go wrong in what looks like to be such neat and controlled situation. You have this state of the art labratory, with all 7 of it's levels, and still, this seemingly tiny foreign object has penetrated every inpenetrable area of it. The explanation of the labratory is extremely detailed, to give you a feel of just how much money and effort was put into this top secret experiment going on. Then, it all crumbles down in a matter of days. The organism thrives in what they thought was the only thing that could destroy it, a nuclear detonation. Not only does it thrive inside of the only thing known to man to kill off every living thing known to us, it disintegrates rubber, which seals all the rooms and controls contamination passing between them. It goes to show how utterly fragile and helpless we really are. We convince ourselves we can protect ourselves against anything; when really the exact opposite it true. We are but a spec in the universe and foolish to think otherwise. We could be wiped out at any moment, extinct just like the dinosaurs. This book, I feel, is a reminder of that....more
**spoiler alert** This book was a thriller indeed. Took me a while to finish it but I finally have and am glad to have the final conclusion on it. Ver**spoiler alert** This book was a thriller indeed. Took me a while to finish it but I finally have and am glad to have the final conclusion on it. Very fast paced and always kept me guessing. I never knew what to think or expect next. Right when I thought I had figured something out, I got surprised again. Excellent story telling. I didn't expect Marek to want to stay behind and I thought that was a nice little twist. He loved those times afterall and devoted his life to learning about them. It was interesting to see in the end how he ended up with Lady Claire and actually ended up finding a castle and having children with her. I'm unsure if Chris and Kate ended up together or not and that's why she's pregnant? But if that's the case and I think it is that's cute too. I enjoy how in depth Crichton gets with his story telling. He actually has a bibliography in the back because he obviously pulled stuff from other sources to construct this book. Not many authors do that and the fact that it's somewhat historically accurate gives it a more "authentic" feel. I also never expected Doniger to act like such a complete asshole at the end. Kate, Marek, Chris and the Profesor had been through so much, put their lives literally in moral danger for 2 days, he couldn't show one ounce of respect for them. He got what he deserved though. It was a good idea that they decided to send him back to the same time that they were just in, so he could see just how horrible a time it really was. I also enjoyed how much each of the main characters grew during the time they spent in Castlegard/La Roque. It's a good example of how much we can be forced to do in a sudden gruesome change of events. Crichton has definitely earned my respect as a great writer, cannot wait to read more of his work....more
Too hard to follow because of the stupid words he uses. Very disappointing. Had tons of potential but threw it all away when he used confusing words tToo hard to follow because of the stupid words he uses. Very disappointing. Had tons of potential but threw it all away when he used confusing words that are too hard to pronounce in your head while reading....more