Posts Tagged With: science fiction

Craig Alanson – Paradise | Expeditionary Force 3

+5Expeditionary Force, so far, is a great sci-fi ride that never fails to amuse. Thus, by book three, “Paradise” by Craig Alanson (Expeditionary Force 3; ASIN B01M27RSKA; 447p.; Goodreads) I can truly recommend it to anyone who likes good humor that steps on no toes, and maybe likes sci-fi too. That, I feel, is not mandatory tho.

Skippy the Magnificent, the glorious sassy ass of an artificial intelligence created by an ancient, now long gone alien race, and Joe Bishop, continue their questing among the stars in search for answers, and, really, anything that could help Skippy find his own folk, and maybe help protect Earth doing so. While they’re at it, Joe, with Skippy’s help, does his best to try and help humans left on an alien planned they dubbed Paradise, which is now more of a jail if not a death trap.

In the meantime, humans on the said Paradise are just trying to survive. They’re planting the crops and raising animals, seed stock they were given back in the day, when things were still going pretty well, and no one suspected it’s the first and last shipment. They’re trying to avoid conflicts too, which is very difficult, since humans already split in two camps: those who still support the warring alien race that got them into this mess; and those who understand the truth. On top of it, not even the locals wish to help them, in fear it’ll be taken as opposing the overlords. Peace is, after all, a very fragile thing.

The book is a little dragged, I admit, and the whole make-a-plan and break-a-plan got repetitive, since after a third such break you’re already conditioned to expect it not go accordingly. But the banter, and even the making of those plans, were amusing to read and/or listen to. I can give it a solid 4 out of 5, and be sure, I’ll grab the fourth one sometime soon.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Funny!, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Craig Alanson – SpecOps | Expeditionary Force 2

30342581For whatever reason I find it mighty hard to review sci-fi. You’d think it’s not that different, but it feels like it is. I’ve read “SpecOps” by Craig Alanson (Expeditionary Force 2; ASIN B01GJ6XSW0; 480p.; Goodreads) maybe a month ago, yet here I just sat with it, unable to review. And it was good, it was funny, so why was it so difficult?

Joe Bishop is off on a voyage with the brilliant mastermind AI, created by an ancient civilization, to explore the space a little. Skippy, the AI, agreed to help humans after they were captured, recruited, enslaved, and hunted in exchange for a chance that they, Joe specifically, will help him find out what happened to those like him, his creators, and whatever artifacts they had left. So they saved the humans, saved the world, and… After humans had a little argument over who should get how much credit for what, to whom does the alien spaceship Joe returned in belong, and who should control Skippy, and what should Skippy, for that matter, do – they’re out! Ah, space. So beautiful, and full of evil aliens who kinda want their ship back. Or whoever is in it.

It’s a slow paced story, if as funny as the previous one. Joe is really growing on Skippy the Magnificent, and Joe is learning a lot on the way. For instance, this AI feels himself to be a person, and does not appreciate people not treating him like one. Also, when he calls himself the “magnificent”, he might just not be exaggerating, for not many could rebuild a space ship out of stardust and hope.

I wish they would’ve explored the planet they visited – more. I also wish there was a little more action in this book, for I felt lacking. but other than that, it was just as great as the last one. Not to be an ass myself, I’ll give it 5 out of 5.

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

N.K. Jemisin – The Fifth Season [1]

fifthseasonI took this book for all the wrong reasons, yet loved it to bits never the less. “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth 1; ISBN 0316229296; 468p.; Goodreads) is a colossal fantasy book, falling under the general genre of sci-fi too. The world is nothing like I ever read before, and the threat to it is even more so. There’s just nothing I can compare it to. And I promise, it feels like pure high-fantasy, so if you don’t like sci-fi, don’t even think of it as of such.

Father Earth is angry with all those crawling little things at the top. No one is sure why, but the anger is constantly there, on ever shifting, trembling, constant seismic activities undergoing surface. Any quake can start a new Season, and humans can only pray they have enough to outlast it, until sun comes out the ash-filled skies, lava cools, and volcanoes choke their last. It is because of this constant threat that people hate, and fear the breed of people called Orogenes. For even a babe in a cradle can quench a tremor, tapping into it as easily, as it breathes. And just as well, that babe can grow, get angry, and set off something that’ll kill them all. And that’s not the only odd race of beings here.

Damaya was one of the orogenes given away to Guardians, assassins who can turn their power against them, if need be, and thus, by humans, considered the lesser evil, even if they aren’t. But Damaya trained, learned, and not being of seemingly any special skill, was put to pair with a ten-ringer Alabaster. Her chaotic accidental power, born out of no where, to his well bred potential. It’s just that they don’t like each other much, and yet not only are they required to try for a baby, but get on with an assignment too. One that changed their lives forever, and the rest of the world’s too.

This was a superb book I cannot even begin describing. If I thought that Final Empire / Mistborn was great, then this is more. The characters are so very interesting, with their own personalities, that don’t just fill in for others. There’s easy acceptance of trans character being who they are, and a little tiny love triangle where Damaya and Alebaster fell for the same guy. But it went well, that guy liked them both anyway. There’s beings that walk through stone like it’s water, and mountains, well, obelisks, that follow people around, inching with their colossal size towards them. It’s all so very amazing. 5 out of 5, really.

Categories: 5-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Frank Herbert – Dune Messiah [Dune 2]

dune2Right, well, Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert (Dune 2; ISBN 0441172695; 331p.; Goodreads) felt far longer than it actually was. Odd how the peak of the story came to be at the end of the previous book, and now – everything spiraled down. Truth be told, if there’s nothing to pick it all up in book 3, I’ll abandon the Saga, glad I’ve read the first book.

Muad’dib has power beyond measure. He’s in sole control of Spice mining, and everyone needs it, everyone wants it. Drowning in visions induced by air saturated with this very spice, Muad’dib is dreaming of the simpler days. With no empires to rule, no legions to control. With no intrigues, politics, and those nasty fate lines he can see so clearly now. One wrong step is all it takes for it all to fall. The face changing assassins. His dead mother’s sect in hunt of, what, his genes? Stolen worm to be taken to another planet in attempts to take away the monopolis from Muad’dib. The most trusted friend once dead, now alive again, dubbed Hate by smiling faces. Just one step, and…

The Dune is changing. There’s now plenty of water for everyone, but not everyone is happy about it. Worms went deeper, further away into the desert, for they fear all this moisture. And people too feel there’s something wrong in this lavish…

 

As you can probably tell already from the hard-to-read writings of mine, I didn’t like this book much. I can give it 3 out of 5, no more. For there were indeed plenty of very good parts, but they reminded me more of gold veins in marble. You follow this thin line, twisting, breaking, turning. The rest was filled with that superbly common topic of those on top dreaming to be simple men. It was mighty boring to read of a person with, what, super-awareness? Someone who can remember what her ancestors might have known, dreaming to “just be loved”.

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

Andy Weir – The Martian

18007564  I am the type of person who just feels all sorts of wrong when I have to see a movie before I’ve read the book, even thought I do know it’s different media: spoilers galore, and I prefer book doing it, not the movie. But with work and reading responsibilities, I had little hopes for this book, even though something was pulling me towards it. Luckily, our book club lit a green light, and Andy Weir book “The Martian” (ISBN 0804139024; 369p.; Goodreads) miraculously became a go. So here we are, and I am mad excited.

Mark Watney was part of a six member crew meant to spend some time on Mars, get some samples, celebrate Thanks Giving day, and pack up home to Earth. Everything was prepared, and they even got a slight treat: actual live potatoes for their celebration, not some dry-freeze astronaut crap. But you can’t foresee all, even if you’re a grand like NASA, you’re still dealing with Mars, a desolate planet with no life or resources to provide you with. So when the great hell of massive winds, dust, and sand hits: crew aborts the mission and retreats towards the safety of the ship leading home. It’d not be all that bad, if the ship (or the MAV) wasn’t under a risk of tipping over: even with Mars atmosphere or lack of it, they’re in no position to straighten it up, so this is it, leave now, or leave never. Mark, on the other hand, has a plan, which he quickly tries to rely to his commander, how to keep the damn thing standing. One moment he’s there, spilling optimistic words to her speakers, the next he is gone, signal and all. And after a few precious and risky minutes of search the world believed Mark dead.

But here he is, our crazy botanist. Waking up in this wasteland of a planet, a hole in his suit, shut accidentally with his own blood, alone, and with no way to communicate anyone of his survival. Next NASA mission to Mars is years away, and Mars, as pointed before, has nothing to offer. Unless Mark figures how to use what people already littered the face of this red planet with. Hey, at the very least he has water reclaimer that will keep him as hydrated as they come, and a hab full of nice clean air for as long as it might take. It’s only half as bad, right?

Imagine if Wade Wilson was a few times smarter, sane, and worked with NASA rather than be a merc. Mark Watney is easily one of my all time favorite characters. His will to survive, his jokes, his whole take on “well, I can sit here and cry, or I can get up and fix it instead” is just beyond me. Take a guy who when asked for a picture as proof of survival and well being sends Earth a thumbs-up and a sign saying “ayyyyy”. That’s him, this guy, against whole Mars. Luckily there’s not many Martians to screw with him.

So let me keep it as short as I can, and I can do little about it, for I’m still in the mode of “this was beyond good”, with nights spent out to read another chapter, another log, another page. 5 out of 5, on my fav list, and Thank You, Andy Weir. You gave me a book that kept me awake, rather than help me sleep, and I’ve no regrets.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Treasures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

William Gibson – Neuromancer [Sprawl 1#]

Neuromancer_1  Cyberpunk genre was always to my liking, from the first time I encountered it. But only in the past few years I gave it a little more research. Down below I’ll add a video by one of my favorite YouTubers, one I shared before already. It explains what Cyberpunk is and why it fits people like me so well. All that said, I think no one was much surprised in the book club, when for my turn I chose one of the most influential (and among the first ever too) cyberpunk genre books, first in the trilogy of the Sprawl: “Neuromancer” by William Gibson (ISBN 04415695995; 271p., Goodreads).

Case is what they call a Cowboy. A “new type” of hackers who are able to jack in directly into the cyberspace (with tools, of course, much like those of Matrix or even Ghost in the Shell), where they’re irreplaceable. And it’s not that Case was any more talented than the next guy, but he loved his job and was passionate about it, thus maybe a little more worthy than the next guy, when it comes to choosing a cowboy for a job. Yet he made a mistake he promised himself not to make, ever: he stole from his boss and got his neuro system burned and messed up for it, the bit that allowed access to the matrix, the cyberspace. And not even the darkest, the deepest parts of eternal night city of Sprawl had a cure for him. Thus he killed and stole to survive, all the while dreaming the grid or not sleeping at all.

One night Case finds himself staring at his stars. Are they his fate? The stars he were looking at were cold, and shiny chrome of a shuriken. And maybe he wished upon this star, falling, flying or hanging on an invisible thread. Eitherway, out of the depths of the cyberspace came a native. Came in many forms, shapes and events, but that didn’t matter. The only thing that truly, truly mattered to Case was that he or rather it, had a cure for him. Now the question is: why would an AI of such extreme complexity and abilities, out of all the cowboys available, choose the broken one?

I admit, there were parts I wasn’t able to understand. And there were also parts that were very difficult to read, not sure whether because of the writing style, or my lack in English. Yet. The story is fast-paced, which I always appreciate. It’s ever changing, full of secrets we’re allowed to enjoy when the answers are finally given. Gloom and Doom of a dystopian, and hyperconnected world wasn’t irritating, as it sometimes is, rather just a fact in the background, some sort of a thing happening behind the grid screen of the matrix. I enjoyed it a lot, no matter how slow of a read it was (with all the fast pace of the story) and I will give it a very firm 4 out of 5. I’d give it a 4.5, but I’m not up to split the points. And I do intend to read the other two books too. Just think about it: it took a cyberspace native to fix a human where the human had a connection to the cyberspace. And that last chapter? The signal that AI got? Where from!…

To those who have not read anything of cyberpunk and are not yet sure about it either, here’s one of the book club members, also new to the genre: P.S. I love that book – Neuromancer

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, The Afterlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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