Posts Tagged With: cyberpunk

book review | The Courier by Gerald Brandt | San Angeles 1

the courier gerald brandt book reviewAuthor: Gerald Brandt
Title: The Courier
Series: San Angeles 1
Genre: Cyberpunk; Dystopia
Pages: 293
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Whoever allowed Gerald Brandt to ruin his perfectly great book “The Courier” by passing a romance of 16 year old and a 21 year old needs to be reevaluated.

About the Book: Corporations own everything. From the water, to the sky, to your privacy. But people, including those very same corporations, rivals, have found ways to deliver messages anyway. Here come couriers, such as our 16 year old Kris. Who got dealt a bad card, and sent out to deliver a message many bad, very bad people want…

My Opinion: The story is otherwise great. Dystopian world, just on the verge of proper space travel and colonization or whatever that plotline was. With a very interesting perspective. But then someone decided to hook the 16 year old girl who gets groped by every dude that comes too close, with a 21 year old. Nothing grander than a kiss happened, and still I don’t understand why she had to be a teenager? Or why wasn’t he then too? I’m sorry, this is outright nasty.

A great new type of run-stop-run-stop kind of story. But it gets a 2 out of 5, age is not just a number, this isn’t good romance idea.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Crime, Books: Dystopian, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, crews, gangs, etc, cyberpunk, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Daemon by Daniel Suarez | Daemon 1

daniel suarez daemon book review coverAuthor: Daniel Suarez
Title: Daemon
Series: Daemon 1
Genre: Cyberpunk; Thriller
Pages: 632
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Daemon” by Daniel Suarez would’ve otherwise been an amazing book. But there’s so much empty sidetracks that I ended up swinging between “love this book” and “hate this book“.

About the Book: In an evolution affected by tech it seems the next step is to take the Human out of the equation. A single truly brilliant evil mind is all it took to get web-entagled world onto its knees as a new video game spread through reality, with new rules to learn, and fast, if one wants to survive.

My Opinion: A great story that’ll illustrate you why there was a need of Blackwall in Cyberpunk 2077, or what would happen if all those angry kids from GTA or WOW would get to be their characters in real life. But then, parts of it, the parts that were most commonly used to introduce us to characters and make us feel anything for them, felt like they were from another book, another genre. The YA genre where protagonist bad boy could never tell the girl about that scar, for he is such a monster, with such a deep dark past… In other words “I will never trust you because of the trauma I had that I will now describe you in detail, so that even though I will never tell you my name, you can likely track down such an event anyway“.

As you can see I got a little bit irritated. As it’s a duology, I don’t know, maybe I’ll give the next book a shot too, just to see if it gets better now that the part about characters is sort of over. But at the same time, there were new angles that I have no desire to read about. 3 out of 5 for now.

Categories: 3-5, AI, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson

perfect state brandon sanderson book coverAuthor: Brandon Sanderson
Title: Perfect State
Series: –
Genre: Cyberpunk; Sci-Fi
Pages: 87
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

A friend asked for some recommendations in cyberpunk genre and while searching through what I’ve read and what I haven’t, I’ve unexpectedly discovered Brandon Sanderson has a very short little story in the said topic. “Perfect State“, a strange one.

About the Book: A perfect world to become a hero in and then rule it as a sole god-emperor, just to be summoned like a commoner to, what, procreate? Kairominas is reluctant. Not just because someone has power even above him. It’s the forbidden knowledge. The knowledge that outside his kingdom’s construct walls he might just be one of many, an ordinary, powerless man…

My Opinion: This is a tale of overpopulated planet trying to give everyone a chance to be whatever they wish to be, to reach the peak of their lives. And what happens when you pull these best of the best into one place where they’re less than good. Not the best I’ve read by Sanderson, but it was so short that it’s still worth it. Wouldn’t mind a sequel either, to be honest, for the way it ended was intriguing, and the worldbuilding, as little as there was, was superb.

Masterful writing, unique story, 90s cyberpunk anime vibes, a firm 4 out of 5.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter

Jon Richter Auxiliary London 2039Author: Jon Richter
Title: Auxiliary: London 2039
Series: –
Genre: Cyberpunk; Detective; Horror
Pages: 224
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads | Amazon | TCK

Let me tell you of one of the best cyberpunk genre books I’ve read this year. Like many others, I’ve spent this year awaiting Cyberpunk 2077 somewhere in the back of my head, with very high highs when release date got close and slight irritation, quickly turning to fervor to consume something else of this genre, when it got postponed again. And I am very grateful to the most patient company I ever worked with, TCK, for offering me “Auxiliary: London 2039” by Jon Richter, for this was exactly what I needed

About the Book: London, near future. Everything’s taken care of or is controlled by an AI in short known as TIM. All you need to do is put on the specs, and TIM will make sure you’re on the right track to everything. In this future humans don’t really need to work, they get a basic income, and most jobs can be done by robots. Much like robots making robots. In this future it is illegal for humans to drive, for TIM is just more efficient and safe. And, in this future, a hysterical man calls the police, claiming his robotic arm has crushed his love’s head.

TIM is a godlike omnipotent presence, it is unhackable. For if someone could hack god… This is where the classic, depression and alcoholism impaired, but very good at his job, noir vibes galore detective in a long coat, Carl Dremmler, walks in. There are many parties in this awful cabal who want case solved fast and quiet. And even more who’d be mighty glad to see this cybernetic empire – crumble.

My Opinion: Cyberpunk is often a difficult genre to consume, follow, understand, and it tends to scare people away. This here book, the only con I have would be the very detailed and long descriptions. The rest was everything I could’ve possibly wanted and more. Like a cold grimy web in which the protagonist and you, the reader, struggle, just to get a glimpse of hope, sunlight, and then realize the grimy stuff is machine oil, and the light is someone setting fire to it. It’s a very dark story in a form of a detective, with several evil plots intertwined. Familiar sights, even familiar people, fitted together so good I can only mourn this is not a series. From sobering fear as killer robots scale the walls, to dead bodies still connected to the AltWorld, VR, to mindfuck that altworld really is and how it works, to a crushing ending that I didn’t except for a minute, even when I saw the pages dwindle to nothing.

If you’re not a fan of hefty and difficult CP genre books, but enjoy good gory horror, this is a great book. 5 out of 5, and I still regret it’s just one, standalone book.

Jon Richter Auxiliary London 2039 book review

Categories: 5-5, AI, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, Detective Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Woken Furies by Richard K. Morgan | Altered Carbon 3

altered carbon takeshi kovacs richard k morgan woken furies cyberpunk literatureAuthor: Richard K. Morgan
Title: Woken Furies
Series: Takeshi Kovacs 3
Genre: Cyberpunk; Sci-Fi
Pages: 464
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Long books are rarely exciting cover to cover. Often they’re full of subplots that add nothing to the main idea. Or long voyages with unnecessary things happening, often poorly masquerading as development of sorts: world building, character development, character building. All while it’s so much empty words and sentences that if cut out of the book would take nothing away from the good story hidden in it. In fact, it might just very well help, making the book more approachable, unlike a wall of words, especially those that aren’t exactly necessary. Much like this text you so patiently read, disguised as an example, but really, pointless. So. I’ve finished the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy, the Altered Carbon trilogy with Richard K. Morgan’s book “Woken Furies“. And it was in equal parts good and bad.

About the Book: Harlan’s World. A land of unpredictable oceans and deadly skies filled with Orbitals – Martian technology that shoots down anything more complex in tech than a helicopter that dares rise above the clouds below. It’s called Angel Fire thus. And if that’s not enough danger for you, what land there is on this awful planet is ruled by the First Families, Yakuza, Corporations, new age perverted old religions that are ready to remind you what sinner you are, and so on. And on this native planet Takeshi begins his final voyage, and his final battle.

My Opinion: Depending on your perspective as you pick up this book, and possibly even your mood, it will either be the best thing you’ve ever read: cyberpunk genre with noir vibe to it, action-packed, hard to predict, full of sex, flying bullets, and crime; or the worst thing you’ve ever read: with lots of text that leads no where, mediocre written characters, sense of superiority in everyone you meet, fake bodies with too old minds in them that spew this axe body spray flavored pseudo-philosophy at you, and so on.

I’m glad I’ve read this trilogy. So while this book gets a 3 out of 5, the whole of it is worth 4 out of 5 for sure. Was worth the trip, no matter how long, dull, and splattered with T it sometimes got.

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Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Broken Angels by Richard K. Morgan | Takeshi Kovacs 2

broken angels richard k morgan altered carbon takeshi kovacsAuthor: Richard K. Morgan
Title: Broken Angels
Series: Takeshi Kovacs 2
Genre: Sci-Fi; Cyberpunk
Pages: 366
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

With second book in Richard K. Morgan trilogy Takeshi Kovacs (Altered Carbon), called “Broken Angels“, we move away from the story told in the series, so it can be safely read at any time, I think.

About the Book: In a far away planet there’s a martian spaceship discovered. Everyone would be curious to see it. Some would even love to own it. Especially once it turns out that the spacecraft is a warship. In the war-ravaged territories this ship could mean the tipping point. And so, naturally, Takeshi Kovacs, in a new sleeve, now a soldier for hire, goes onto expedition to see that ship, and possibly help obtain rights to it for one or another bidder. His envoy intuition and training didn’t prepare him for the amount of myths, fears, superstitions, mysteries, and questions that entangle the damned thing…

My Opinion: More than the whole first half of the book is tedious and slow work. In fact, so slow, I almost missed a few important details due to zoning out. But once it picks up, it shoots and bolts and flies. Martian spaceship, seemingly abandoned, unclear why though. Strange sense of premonition and danger always in the air. And a wake-up call for all of the humanity – what if Martians ran from someone else, some other big bad aliens? It would’ve been a great book were it not for the trudge through strange philosophies,  mediocre attempts to seem edgy, and a weird fixation on male hormones. With poems about it, no joke.

If you’re willing to put in a little work, the book is good. A 3 out of 5 from me, for I could’ve done just fine without the dicksaber competitions and ego booster dialogues of “oh yeah, well…

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Zero History by William Gibson | Blue Ant 3

zero history blue ant william gibson cyberpunk literatureAuthor: William Gibson
Title: Zero History
Series: Blue Ant
Genre: Thriller; Cyberpunk
Pages: 404
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Finished Blue Ant trilogy by William Gibson, with the book “Zero History“. Cyberpunk was never an easy genre to indulge in, but this… I’m not sure if I just didn’t get it or was it really just this.

About the Book: Heroes, their stories, their talents, are hovering towards one another across the story, pulled in by the gravitational field of one Hubertus Bigend, owner of the mysterious Blue Ant. The secretive man is giddy with anticipation – it seems there’s a worthy rival somewhere out there, and he must know who they are. So Bigend gathers his best minions, ones he could somehow buy for this anyway, and sends them off into the world to find this person. But how does one find someone prepared for what Blue Ant has to offer?…

My Opinion: Dialogues remain atrocious across all the books. One character is spilling a tirade of words, information. Another, in attempts to imitate a dialogue, asks a single-word question. So tirade that could’ve been one presentation of information currently at hand gets split up into these little pebbles tossed at you with annoying force of “what? who? huh??”.  Most of the book revolves around each character’s inner workings, but it feels like someone’s building you a person’s mold out of wet straw – holds no substance, seems menial, and is this really the best damn talent this billionaire could find and buy? How does this or that come in hand? Plot, the true plot, is passed on in sparing drops, with the rest tossed to you in one big splash at the end. The book is difficult. Plot requires work, you must pay a lot of attention, more than you normally would, and then, at the end of it, after all the work you put in merely reading a book… I just don’t feel like it was worth the effort.

I don’t know, really. 2 out of 5 from me. Maybe I didn’t get it, maybe ADHD did me in this time, but it felt like underpaid work.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Spook Country by William Gibson | Blue Ant 2

william gibson spook country blue ant cyberpunkAuthor: William Gibson
Title: Spook Country
Series: Blue Ant 2
Genre: Cyberpunk; Fiction
Pages: 371
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

I’ve read “Spook Country” by William Gibson, his second book in the cyberpunk trilogy called Blue Ant. And, to be honest, I don’t know how I feel about it.

About the Book: Former rock star, now journalist, is hired by a nonexistent magazine to investigate an eccentric artist with peculiar virtual reality art. But not really for the art. The artist knows someone who knows something about the mythical shipping container that is being tossed around like a hot potato and whose existence is being covered by someone powerful enough to buy off both law and criminals.

My Opinion: The story follows three protagonists. One of their purpose I didn’t manage to figure. Just a junkie being dragged around by some strange guy claiming to be law. Then there’s the VR art, described in such meticulous detail, and reappearing like an unwanted rag underfoot. Everyone’s going somewhere, doing the opposite of what would be logical, and dining out in restaurants. All while occasionally overthinking some silly little detail. By the end we finally get the grand finale, where plot quickens and rushes past, but it’s a long way to it.

Reading the plot feels like watching a movie with a gauze on your eyes that got some random holes in it. You sort of get it. And occasionally you even prop your head in such a way that you get a glimpse of what’s really going on there. Whether this obscuring was on purpose or not, it felt like a chore. A 2 out of 5 for this one.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan | Takeshi Kovacs 1

altered carbon takeshi kovacs richard k morganAuthor: Richard K. Morgan
Title: Altered Carbon
Series: Takeshi Kovacs 1
Genre: Sci-Fi; Cyberpunk
Pages: 526
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’ve watched both Altered Carbon seasons and that animated movie. Liked it all, so decided maybe I should read the books too. So here we are, with “Altered Carbon“, first book in Takeshi Kovacs series by Richard K. Morgan. And it was pretty damn good.

About the Book: Takeshi Kovacs is apparently the last Envoy – a soldier trained to absorb culture, adjust on any planet, in any body, prepared for any battle, any challenge. Back then, fighting for humanity, their name instilled fear. Now… Now they’re more often remembered as a legend of sorts. And those who do remember what they really are, likely would only care for the last one of them to use those abilities for their own gains. Such is the fate of Takeshi, awoken from slumber after being killed, put in a new, rented body, and set off to solve a murder of the man who hired him. Such is the twenty first century. A relatively immortal man can hire a multiple times dead soldier to find him his killer…

My Opinion: Series and book tell more or less the same story, so keep that in mind when/if considering which to do first. The book itself is truly interesting, full of well described details that give this sense of culture shock on Earth that Takeshi isn’t feeling per say, but it’s alien even to the reader, in a sense. There’s sounds, lights, tech of all kinds, dangerous alleys filled with people ready to hack your mind as well as cut your “sleeve” for some cash. All the fights were way more interesting to read through too, and it was interesting to see Takeshi weighting the price of life: anyone with money can survive a death or few, but who has the money? And then there’s this whole tangled web of who killed whom and why.

The book is definitely worth reading if you liked the series and are willing to take it up knowing the story, more or less. I give a very firm 4 out of 5, taking a point for some string dead-ends, so to speak.

Categories: 4-5, 5-5, AI, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep?

7082This is, on mere technicality, a re-read. I was very little when I first put my hands on “Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner 1; ISBN 0345404475; 244p.; Goodreads), and recall it best in relation to other non-related sci-fi books on bounty hunters, profession I highly wanted to participate in back then. Yet the reading now was delicious. Funny how sci-fi has such a special spot in my heart, and yet I read so little of it.

Rick Decard is a bounty hunter with a license to kill, if you please. His job is to test suspicious individuals and, if they can’t pass the test, kill them, any means necessary, excluding human endangerment. Otherwise his mission would sort of lose the purpose. For he kills androids who pose as humans, androids who escaped Mars, usually, after killing humans there, and who are getting just too good to track down. There is only one test they always fail. Androids, unlike real humans, are too logical to have proper empathy. They can be trained to respond, but there’s only that much you can wiggle your way out of. Yet Rick’s job is no easier due to this. No empathy, for starters means they’ll kill people if they have to, even if “have to” is a mere distraction.

So the hunt begins. Decard follows in the tracks of androids his colleague has fallen to. Falsely gaining confidence after the first kill, he soon finds himself in far more trouble, than he ever thought possible. Worse, slowly but surely he is uncovering a far deeper rooted plan to survive that androids have cast in a web across his city, if not planet. They infiltrated places they had no rights to be in, right under their noses, every day at their ears. And newer models make even him question the morality of his work, hell, even his own humanity becomes questionable… Because, what if memories are false too?

I really like the characters in this book. Decard is not the only protagonist, but I excluded the other one purposefully. I also really love how androids have this delusion of what a head hunter for androids is: this unstoppable machine they’ll fall to if they as much as lock eyes with. If you like cyberpunk – you must read this. It’s a very easy to read and follow book, and I’ll gladly give it a 5 out of 5. And if anyone’s wondering about those sequels – someone else wrote it, I don’t feel like reading them right now.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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