It’s a quiet, intriguing book, sci-fi but not really sci-fi, a book about the meaning of being a woman (view spoiler)[(to the men she picks up, the main character is literally little more than a pair of beautiful breasts) (hide spoiler)], and being human—especially, the arbitrary boundaries we use to distinguish ourselves from animals so that we can feel superior and eat them without conscience:
In the end, though, Vodsels couldnt do any of the things that really defined a human being. They couldnt siuwil, they couldn't mesnishtil, they had no concept of slan. In their brutishness, they'd never evolved to use hunshur; their communities were so rudimentary that hississins did not exist; nor did these creatures seem to see any need for chail, or even chailsinn.
With all that said, it’s not a book that preaches. It reveals itself slowly, lets you draw your own conclusions. It’s beautifully written, and I think probably my favourite of all his books that I’ve read.
A friend who loved this book hated the film; I enjoyed both, although really all they share is an idea and a conceit. A literal adaptation of the book would likely be unfilmable; I think they chose well in their adaptation....more
Pat Mills is the (co-)creator of many of the comics and characters I read through my teens and early twenties, notably Charley's War, Volume 1: 2 JunePat Mills is the (co-)creator of many of the comics and characters I read through my teens and early twenties, notably Charley's War, Volume 1: 2 June – 1 August 1916 and Marshal Law: Fear and Loathing, and an instrumental figure in British comics. These are his recollections of the many ups and downs of 2000AD, the long-running sci-fi anthology, and he doesn’t hold back on telling his side of the story. He has strong opinions, and he doesn’t care who knows it!
There are many illuminating stories, and many axes to grind. But all the way through you know he’s only angry because he cares about telling good stories and making sure that creators get the credit—and cash—they’re due. This is 40 years worth of stories in a single book, and there are frequent digressions along the way; in my opinion, it might have benefited from tighter editing. But it’s a very compelling read, I got through it in just a few days; and if you’ve grown up with 2000AD, as I have, this is pretty much an essential—if partial—history. ...more
Brilliant and frustrating. Really clear, concise explorations of current and near-future technologies and their potential consequences—both good and bBrilliant and frustrating. Really clear, concise explorations of current and near-future technologies and their potential consequences—both good and bad—let down by occasional bloody-minded negativity. I really liked parts of this book, and was intensely frustrated by other parts of it.
The chapter on mobile/smartphones is almost worth the price of the book on its own, and he’s particularly strong when talking about cryptocurrency, the blockchain, and the internet of things. But other chapters clunk badly; in augmented reality he sees a nation of zombies addicted to the constant stimulus of a digital layer on the world, not considering that people might, you know, just not use AR glasses _all_ the time. And the chapter on artificial intelligence was the biggest let down of all; beautiful, poetic descriptions of the possibilities of enhanced human creativity, followed by ‘but none of it matters because super-intelligent computers will make us obsolete’.
If you work in, or are interested by, the fields of emerging technologies, I highly recommend this book. But I wish I could recommend it unreservedly.
Wonderful book that mixes history with fantasy. Set on the night of the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie, this deals with death and the unfinishWonderful book that mixes history with fantasy. Set on the night of the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie, this deals with death and the unfinished businesses of life, told from the perspective of historical accounts and the stories of, for want of a better word, ghosts. It’s sad and funny and very human, and written in a short, punchy, engaging style that meant I raced through it in a few days....more
Very gripping true tale of the hunt for a missing girl that turned into a double murder enquiry. Written by the lead detective, (view spoiler)[who latVery gripping true tale of the hunt for a missing girl that turned into a double murder enquiry. Written by the lead detective, (view spoiler)[who later had to leave the force for making decisions in the case that came back to cause problems in the prosecution, (hide spoiler)] this provides great insights into police procedure while remaining a very compelling story. Occasionally clunky text doesn’t spoil a book that I tore through in a few days. This is perhaps a 4.5 star rather than 5, as I don’t think it’s a book I’ll remember forever, but it was a great read....more
Unrelentingly grim. Although clearly and evocatively written, it’s a very hard read. Hard to find words to sum it up… can’t really say I enjoyed or liUnrelentingly grim. Although clearly and evocatively written, it’s a very hard read. Hard to find words to sum it up… can’t really say I enjoyed or liked it; admired, perhaps? But likely will never read again....more