The last half of 2018 was such a hellhole for me personally that I kind of just stopped posting reviews and one that I missed out on getting to review was the excellent first book in the Murderbot series. I’m not surprised at how popular the series is here as they seems like the perfect Cannonball Read kind of books. Plus, they’re novellas so it’s really easy to tear through them quickly. —> Spoilers below for previous books! <— Artificial Condition (Murderbot #2) – 5 stars ART said, What does it want? To kill all the humans, I answered. I […]
Though I adore me some sci-fi, I’ve muddled through so many mediocre novels that I tend to wait for awards season to come around. Last year this aerodynamic novella won everything (Hugo, Nebula, Alex, Locus) so here we are. Since the title contains the whole premise, it’s no spoiler to say that Murderbot—a hacked security construct—is our narrator. It is self-aware, competent, and thoroughly bored guarding a scientific expedition on a remote planet. (Luckily, it has hacked its systems so that it can watch future YouTube during downtime.) For a cyborg Murderbot has plenty of personality and lots of opinions—which […]
The title of this review is a quote from the novel to explain the place, our narrator, arrives in a form of political imprisonment where exiles are back in time to a middling university in the late 1950s. It also perfectly defines the novel itself. This is does not even have a lot of potential, but it does have a few small interesting ideas. For one, it’s interesting that the narrator seems to be addressing her contemporary context as an audience instead of us. But that’s about where it ends. It’s dreadfully weak-tea of a novel and the language she […]
This book has many of the things I love: Steampunk, electricity, Spring-heeled Jack, werewolves, a mystery, time-travel affecting the present, and the implication of liminal space. It also has a glowing recommendation from Michael Moorcock on the back. Note to self: Do not buy any other book Michael Moorcock likes.
Fun fact, Robinette is not part of her last name and while it sits in the middle of her name it isn’t technically a middle name either. She is Mary Robinette, and that is how she prefers to be called. Both Mary and Robinette are in honor of her grandmothers. It is not uncommon to find her books misshelved due to this misunderstanding. The Fated Sky is the second book in the Lady Astronaut duolgy that started with The Calculating Stars. The alternate timeline Kowal created has humanity rushing to space, to create off planet colonies as temperatures rise on Earth due […]
Recently on twitter, John Scalzi shared a one-star review of one of his books he found. In the review, the writer was upset that Scalzi wrote easily readable sci-fi “romps”. Like me, Scalzi had a hard time finding why writing something that could be described as a romp would be bad. Romps are usually fun, right? Anyway, all of this is to say that Scalzi’s second foray into the world he established in Lock-in is fun, slick and dare I say another romp. Head On, like the first book in this series, takes place in a world where a flu-like […]
This book is so wildly out of my wheelhouse that I don’t really feel qualified to assess it. I’ve almost never read science fiction and rarely read short story collections, and I’m sure I’ve never read a book that was both. There were some stories I loved and some I hated (luckily, the longer novella at the end hit a solid “liked a lot” on that scale), but without a doubt I now have tremendous respect for Le Guin as a writer. It’s astonishing to me that you can take such potent, human concepts as sexuality, adolescence, religion, duty, […]
What if Kirk, Spock, and the others were cats? Well, you would have this picture book. Scotty, for instance, is of course a Scottish Fold. Park does wonderful illustrations from Classic Trek. There is, for instance, scenes from both “The Trouble with Tribbles”, and “Mirror, Mirror” – which is important because I love those episodes. And yeah, there is the Spock in heat thing. The book is short, but ideal for the devoted cat lover who is also a Trekkie.