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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home (Season 8, #1)
As a big Buffy and Joss Whedon fan, I really, really wanted to love this and expected to be giving it five stars, but I was somewhat disappointed. Fir...more
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Apr 20, 2008
A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought, #1)
The first third of this book is some of the best science-fiction I have ever read: good writing, fast pace, some breathtaking action, excellent balanc...more
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Sep 30, 2007
The New Penguin History of The World
Good lord, I finally finished this book! I think there were at least two periods where I put this one down and did not pick it up again for six months...more
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Oct 10, 2007
The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)
Definitely my favorite of the trilogy. The story was gripping throughout, Pullman's imagination was working at its highest pitch, and he balanced char...more
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Aug 26, 2008
Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1)
Really enjoyed this at first - it was a fast-paced, smart, well-written cyberpunky/hardboiled murder mystery built around a body-swapping conceit: in...more
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Mar 27, 2014
Neverness (A Requiem for Homo Sapiens, #0)
I picked this up because I read several comparisons to Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, and there are similarities - dense, evocative prose; rich, tex...more
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Jan 04, 2012
The Einstein Intersection
Delany's off-kilter semi-poetic examination of myth and its uses, using Orpheus as the main pattern, set in a post-apocalyptic (view spoiler)...more
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Jan 28, 2014
The Martian
3 and 1/2 stars.

Disaster strikes on a near-future Mars mission and one of the crew of six is left behind, presumed (for very good reasons) dead. But h...more
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Mar 29, 2014
Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1)
Best science fiction novel I've read in quite awhile, just barely edging out Wool in that category. Fascinating narrator, an artificial intelligence t...more
Nov 15, 2013
Oct 27, 2013
Dragonflight (Pern, #1)
I probably would not have picked this up if it wasn't this month's Sword & Laser bookclub pick, and since I became aware of this book as a Young A...more
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Apr 07, 2013
James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon
Alice B. Sheldon led a fascinating life - taken by her parents on African safaris when a young child, became a frustrated painter and published art cr...more
Jan 15, 2011
Aug 29, 2010
Galactic Pot-Healer
PKD books are never filled with sunshine and bunnies, but this one has one of the most depressing beginnings of any I've read so far. The protagonist...more
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Jan 04, 2008
The Demolished Man
A pulpy energy drives this science-fiction noir through writing that is sometimes clunky, sometimes excellent (check out Jenny Colvin's review for a q...more
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Sep 18, 2013
In the Night Garden (The Orphan's Tales, #1)
The first time I tried to read this, some years ago, I was intrigued by its structure of stories nested in stories nested in stories, and loved Valent...more
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Jul 22, 2008
The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional World
Simply one of the best and most detailed/well-thought-out alternate worlds ever presented in print. From the computer simulation (oh, how I wanted to...more
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May 21, 2007
Didion continues to be my favorite non-fiction author. The precision of her language matches the precision of her analysis, whether she's describing o...more
Dec 11, 2011
Dec 06, 2011
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
If you're not familiar with Randall Munroe's webcomic xkcd, please check it out now, making sure to experience the amazing interactive click and drag...more
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Sep 09, 2014
The Crystal Cave (Arthurian Saga, #1)
Viewing the tale of King Arthur through Merlin's eyes is intriguing to me, and Mary Stewart does an excellent job of fleshing out the wizard as someon...more
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Feb 04, 2014
Chance and necessity: an essay on the national philosophy of modern biology
Molecular biologist and Nobel-winner Monod takes a look at the philosophical significance of evolution and the genetic code. At the core of the book i...more
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Apr 30, 2008
VALIS (VALIS Trilogy, #1)
OK, not as superb as I remembered, but still quite brilliant. This novel is largely autobiographical, dealing with with an experience Dick had in the...more
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May 21, 2007
The Ultimate Guide To Science Fiction: An A Z Of Sf Books
Capsule reviews and rankings of over three thousand science fiction titles, each given a rating from zero to four stars. Very fun to browse. Pringle o...more
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Aug 29, 2010
Stories of Your Life and Others
Mostly excellent collection of science-fiction (with a bit of fantasy) stories. Ted Chiang has amazing ideas in every one of these stories, and when t...more
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Feb 25, 2010
The Art of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Watercolor Impressions
Yeesh - the title's misspelled in this Amazon/Goodreads listing - "Nausicaa of the...." not "Nausicaf".

I've grown disenchanted with much of anime, but...more
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May 07, 2008
Didion's previous non-fiction often revealed her sense that a malevolent absurdity pervades all things. So visiting civil-war-ravaged El Salvador in t...more
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Jan 12, 2010
Data Flow: Visualising Information in Graphic Design
I wanted to rate this book higher, because so much of it is fascinating and beautiful -- it's a collection of excellent examples of the intersection o...more
Mar 27, 2011
Mar 27, 2011
Dr. Bloodmoney
Traumatic turmoil in Philip K. Dick books is usually internal/mental/psychological, so it was surprising and impressive how visceral and effective his...more
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Dec 18, 2007
Franny and Zooey
This was on my 'favorite books' shelf, but it had been so long since I read it I had forgotten almost everything about it. But this re-read affirmed i...more
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May 23, 2007
Angel: After the Fall, Volume 1
Though I didn't love the art (often the drawings of main characters don't look enough like their real-life counterparts), this was a stronger 'next se...more
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Nov 25, 2008
1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die

I really wanted to like this book more. It's glossy, nicely put together, fun to flip through, generally well-written, and most entries are accomp...more
Jul 29, 2011
Jul 29, 2011
RE: Play: Game Design and Game Culture
A collection of posts from video game developers and academics from a online conference in 1999, discussing various aspects of digital game design, on...more
Jun 16, 2011
Jun 16, 2011
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