The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is the somewhat unwieldy title to an absolutely delightful story of a tightly-knit group of space-farers tasked with tunneling through space, setting up wormholes that allow for interplanetary travel. It’s set in the distant future (obviously), where humanity has made Earth uninhabitable and are scattered across the cosmos. They’ve joined a collective of alien races called the Galactic Commons. That’s pretty much it, in a nutshell. The broad elements here will be familiar to anyone who’s been in contact with the genre before, whether that contact be through Star Trek, Firefly, or […]
This book is due back at the library today, so this review is written in a bit of a rush. This is one of my infrequent forays into science fiction. I really enjoyed it and may have to explore further. I read that this is a “space opera” a term I am unfamiliar with, but it makes sense in that Ancillary Justice is a big story with heroines and villains. Ancillary Justice is set in an intergalactic empire of humanoids known as the Raadchai. The Raadchai have spent millennia conquering human civilizations through a combination of brutality and annexation. Their […]
It’s not that Research isn’t aware of the ethical implications of its line of inquiry. It’s just that they really don’t care.
This is probably half me, half the book. Not in the mood for this right now, also it wasn’t great. There’s nothing objectionable about it. I just did not care. Not the outcome I was hoping for, especially since I’ve liked all the rest of the books so far in the new Star Wars canon. I suppose this was going to happen eventually, statistically speaking. Ah, well. No harm done. Moving on with my life. I don’t recommend this book for anyone who isn’t more than a casual Star Wars fan. Casuals, move along. All right, the rest of you, […]
If you’ve read any reviews of this book, what I’m about to say is probably something you’ve heard before: This is one of the best film novelizations I’ve ever read, if not the best. Oy, that sounds really hyperbolic, and to be fair, it’s really not a high bar to clear. People aren’t going around screaming for the next great novelization. They just aren’t. Also, the novelization for The Force Awakens was quite terrible, so psychologically speaking, pretty much if this one had been halfway decent I was going to enjoy it a lot, just as a contrast in opposite experiences. But […]
“That’s the problem with things you can’t do twice,” Naomi said. “You can’t ever know how it would have gone if it had been the other way.” “No. But you can say that if you don’t do something different it’ll happen again, and again, and again, over and over until something changes the game.” “Like the protomolecule?” “It didn’t change anything,” Holden said. “Here we are, still doing all the same things we did before. We’ve got a bigger battleground. Some of the sides have shifted around. But it’s all the same crap we’ve been doing since that first guy sharpened […]
So, look. Typically in my reviews I go the very remedial route of talking about broad themes from the book, how well the characters and/or worldbuilding were developed, and I comment on the pacing and overall competence of the plot. If I am very lucky, something will stand out that either makes me want to rant, or go on a gushing squeefest, and I can write a better than milquetoast review. When you get to the sixth book in a consistently excellent series, there isn’t much squee left to be gushed. Or gush left to be squeed. By this point, […]
Polar City Blues by Katharine Kerr (1990) A young derelict who can read minds tries to survive in the slums of the misnamed Polar City. The colonial world is so hot people need personal tents if they go into the open air. When he helps the police “read” a murdered alien ambassador, he places himself and his friends in danger. Cursed with his ESP gifts, he’s a second-rate baseball player, a junkie, and a bum. Fortunately, he’s got an occasional girlfriend, a retired space navy officer with a lot of Polar City contacts. Together they save a stranded alien, battle […]