I love John Scalzi, though I haven't read many books by him. That is, I love him as a person. I follow him on twitter and read his blog, and pretty muI love John Scalzi, though I haven't read many books by him. That is, I love him as a person. I follow him on twitter and read his blog, and pretty much love everything he has posted. Therefore, I feel guilty I haven't read more books by him, though I own a far number of them. By my count, Fuzzy Nation is my third book of his I've actually read.
I really need to kick myself in the ass for not reading more of him because so far, I have loved every one of his books I've read.
This was a bit different in that it was an audiobook. I remember picking this up when it was a daily deal over at Audible many years ago, and then forgetting about it. I've recently realized that audiobooks are perfect for car rides, even if it's a relatively short one.
I was a bit wary of Wil Wheaton as the narrator since in the sample I listened to, I found his voice a bit grating. This soon passed as his narration was pretty damn spot-on with the sarcastic asshole nature of Jack's character. I loved him as a narrator.
I had never read Little Fuzzy so came into this book pretty much a blank slate, and after reading Fuzzy Nation, will have to hunt down a copy of Piper's original novel. Because I really really liked this. The biological/evolutionary bits, the political ramifications, the legal wrangling. All of it. Jack Holloway was an asshole but you can't help rooting for him. And the book was funny. ...more
There really need to be more super intelligent books that aren't scared to bring out the engineering, math, and other sciency things, and be snarky asThere really need to be more super intelligent books that aren't scared to bring out the engineering, math, and other sciency things, and be snarky as hell while doing it.
I loved this book. This is a book that made me laugh hysterically late at night with some well-timed and unexpected juvenile humor. (My peacefully slumbering cats all gave me death glares in response.) I was truly invested in Mark Ratney and all the other characters.
I will admit to being a tad bit skeptical on whether the book could carry itself on the basis of Watney's pretty standard "I did X and Y today, and Z happened" log-entries, but then in chapter 6, we leave Watney and get taken to NASA. Which was pretty damn brilliant because then you as the reader are given perfect information while watching both parties (Watney and NASA) try doing the best they can with imperfect information. It added another level of plot and suspense in the book. And then the rest of Watney's crew are brought in. The rambling log entries just highlight how alone Watney is on Mars.
This is a pretty multi-layered book. And it's a pretty subversive book. It took me a while to realize that all the characters are described by only their name and their jobs. There is zero (note, zero) word space given to how they looked. You can infer based on names that Martinez was probably Hispanic, and that Venkat Kapoor was probably of Indian descent. But that's it. And I loved that the women characters were their jobs first and their gender was essentially an afterthought. The reader finds out Commander Lewis is a woman on page 1 because Ratney says he's part of "her" crew. And that's that; no more words needed. It's no big deal because IT'S NO BIG DEAL. Ditto with Johannsen, Annie Montrose, and Mindy Park.
Given Weir's lack of physical descriptions, I'm pretty disappointed in the overwhelmingly white casting choices in the movie. It would have been so easy to cast a more diverse cast. (Though Danny Glover as Rich Purnell will be amazing. I'm sure of it.)
But enough about the movie; back to the book.
I had an amazingly hard time putting this book down. I desperately needed to know what happened next and I was genuinely worried about the characters. Would Mark be rescued? Would the Hermes crew survive? I read the last bit of the book on the edge of my seat.
(view spoiler)[My one complaint is that the book ends almost as soon as the Hermes crew rescue Watney. But there is no guarantee that they make it back to Earth in one piece. They essentially have another ten months in space before reaching Earth again, and you know the Hermes' systems are starting to malfunction. I guess the reader can assume they do make it and they land okay and no one accidentally blew up the ship and life support did not fail along the way. But still, I really wanted a scene of them back on Terra Firma just so I didn't have to assume. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
There is so much I love about this book. But mainly, Menolly and Robinton. I love Master Robinton, and this was the book that made me fall in love witThere is so much I love about this book. But mainly, Menolly and Robinton. I love Master Robinton, and this was the book that made me fall in love with him....more