bookafnd Ŝlosita konto

Aliĝis je antaŭ 4 monatoj, 4 semajnoj

i read a lot of science fiction but also a lot of other random stuff. libraries are good. i also like the little free variety of library, used bookstores, & the high seas. he/him

my fake and arbitrary rating system: - 5 stars: good. i recommend it - 4 stars: fine, but not entirely my cup of tea - 3 stars: not good, but with some redeeming qualities that might make it worth reading - 2 stars: bad, with a few redeeming qualities - 1 star: horrible


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Aktiveco de la uzanto

Uzumaki (2013, VIZ Media) 5 steloj

Kurôzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi …

excellent. disturbing

5 steloj

first off I'd strongly advise against reading this (or any of Junji Ito's works, probably) if body horror is a big problem for you. that said, Uzumaki is really good! the art is amazingly done, and the slow escalation from relatively self-contained (and occasionally kind of silly) spiral-based phenomena to... the stuff that happens at the end... is just fantastic.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Hardcover, 2021, Tordotcom) 4 steloj

It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; …

solarpunk road trip?

5 steloj

Becky Chamber's works are rare among science fiction stories because instead of action-adventure plots they're about people talking about what it means to be alive.

The first couple of chapters felt like the plot was jumping around a hell of a lot, because they're really just backstory/preamble for the actual story

It's good that there will be a sequel because I do want to know what both Mosscap and Dex will do next

This Is How You Lose the Time War (Hardcover, 2019, Simon and Schuster) 5 steloj

Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange …

probably not for everyone, but it's very good

5 steloj

it's a magical realist (?) romance in a science fiction Time War setting, an unusual choice, but one that works well, given how strange the consequences of warping causality would be. If you can get ahold of the audio book, it's pretty good, has different readers for Blue and Red.

Middle Ages (2021, Icon Books, Limited) 5 steloj

Popes! (Up to 3 at once!)

5 steloj

it's a friendly, easily digested introduction to medieval history. It's only 176 pages long (& half of those pages are taken up by charming medieval-style cartoons) and covers approximately 1000 years of the history of a continent-sized area, so of course it's sparse on details. Gets away from the Victorian-era mythos that pop culture is rife with.

Dawn (1997, Warner Books) 4 steloj

Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last …


4 steloj

The Oankali have strange and disturbing ideas about consent, which makes this an uncomfortable book to read. (This is, like, intentional, though.)

There's a disregard for singular 'they' as a genderless pronoun, instead 'it' is used to refer to the Ooloi; this doesn't feel as bad as it might because it's apparently the pronoun that the Ooloi chose to use for themselves in English

The biggest problem I have with it technically is that not all that much happens for much of the book? At least the first half is spent with Lilith just learning things about the Oankali. Which is interesting, but pretty slow

Endymion (Paperback, 1996, Bantam Books) 3 steloj

The multiple-award-winning SF master returns to the universe that is his greatest success--the world of …

catholics in space

5 steloj

I read Hyperion and the Fall of Hyperion a few years ago, and was a bit worried that I'd need to have them fresh in my mind going into this one. The events of the previous books are referenced quite a bit, but this book also takes place around 200 years later, so it sort of makes sense for me to only remember the original story in broad strokes.

It has the quality of, appropriately, epic poetry, due to its complicated setting, and very deliberate story beats (which also make it feel a bit like a fairy tale). If I have a criticism of the writing technically it's that sometimes the description felt overly detailed (I do prefer this to books which don't explain what's happening enough).

There's some stuff which felt Questionable. I think I want to read the next (and final) book before making up my mind …

recenzis The Word for World is Forest de Ursula K. Le Guin

The Word for World is Forest (Paperback, 2010, Tor) 4 steloj

Centuries in the future, Terrans have established a logging colony & military base named “New …


5 steloj

it's a fairly short and straightforward story about resistance to colonization, but embedded in it is a kind of complicated discussion about the legitimacy of violence. It seems like it was in part a commentary on the Vietnam War (which is even alluded to at one point).

Don Davidson is one of the more thoroughly unpleasant viewpoint characters I've read; fortunately he is meant to be villainous, & at any rate it's only from his point of view for about a third of the book. His motivation, worldview & actions are disturbing but accurate for a certain sort of man.

Universal Harvester (2017, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Farrar Straus and Giroux) 5 steloj

"The second novel from the author of Wolf in White Van, inspired by his years …

i'll be untangling this one for a while

5 steloj

it's a strange, complicated tale, made more so by the nonlinear fashion in which it is told. it's about family, mothers in particular, but it's also about cars and changing media formats and the subtle horror that lurks beneath the surface of "ordinary" US life. Check out the audiobook if you can and want; John Darnielle is a good reader.

You Look Like a Thing and I Love You (Paperback, 2021, Voracious) 5 steloj

how many giraffes are in this review

5 steloj

i read this, like many people did i suspect, because i like Janelle Shane's AI Weirdness blog. This book does rehash some of the material from the blog as you'd expect, but the focus is more on explaining AI in a non-technical, non-sensational, & friendly manner. Probably the people who would get the most out of it are those whose knowledge of AI begins & ends with how they're portrayed in the news & in fiction.

recenzis Dragonflight de Anne McCaffrey

Dragonflight (Paperback, 1978, Del Rey) 3 steloj

There's one glaring issue I can't get over

3 steloj

The good: it's an interesting world with interesting characters, it's reasonably paced & well written. The audiobook read by Dick Hill is terrific, he's a very good actor.

The neutral: it's kind of an odd idea to justify a high fantasy world with a science fiction premise. (Ursula K. Le Guin also did this with the early Hainish novels, particularly the first one, Rocannon's World.) The SF elements do enter more into the story as the book progresses, leading to a somewhat bizarre, but satisfying conclusion.

The bad: First of all I find it difficult to relate to nobility, which is unfortunate because nearly all the named characters in this story are some variety of noble. The whole plot of the book serves to justify the Dragonmen's rule over the Holds (themselves feudal). It's made obvious that (literal) draconic protection is necessary, but it surely could be achieved without Draconic …

recenzis Piranesi de Susanna Clarke

Piranesi (2020, Bloomsbury Publishing) 5 steloj

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, an …

slow to start, but it does get very good

5 steloj

I found this book a bit slow for the first 50–60 pages, which are spent mostly describing the World without much of any sort of Plot happening. It only really begins to pick up around Part 3, when the mystery inherent to the setting starts to unravel, all through the eyes of a narrator not so much unreliable as naïve and lacking in knowledge, which makes him unable to understand things which are clear to the reader. It's the sort of book where it's worth reading (or at least skimming) the first few parts again to see what you missed the first read through.

The Big Time (Paperback, 2001, Orb Books) 3 steloj

decently written, but bad politics

3 steloj

I'm conflicted about this one. On the one hand I did think it was well enough written, and was fairly engaging & entertaining (being short always helps with these; & I was listening to an audiobook of it, a somewhat novel experience for me, so that may factor in). The setting and characters were interesting and as fleshed out as they needed to be.

But it comes across as deeply reactionary. One of the characters is an actual Nazi, & while he's certainly portrayed as horrible in many respects, he also seems to be meant as at least somewhat sympathetic. Not to mention the pervasive misogyny. Frankly I'd like to see what the Snakes have going on, with their "Unholy Triple Alliance [...] between the Eastern Classical World, Mohammedanized Christianity, and Marxist Communism".