Review: Ancillary Sword

Ancillary Sword
Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good follow up. Again, it took me a few pages to reset my perspective. Looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.

The vagueness of the alien species, what's behind the Ghost Gate, this is a novel that really does put the reader into an other frame of mind. The impossible to pronounce names, the lack of culturally common descriptors, all combine to put the reader in a ...space.. that's defined not by its edges, but by the vague expanse it can occupy.

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Review: He, She and It

He, She and It
He, She and It by Marge Piercy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading it, though I think it got a bit sloppy in the back half. There were many places where I guessed at things that were going to happen, and a number of weaknesses that rubbed me the wrong way. But it was interesting enough. I don't feel that I wasted my time in reading it.

Had to bump this up a point because it was written in 1991. I would have thought it was post 2000 at least.

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Review: Golden Boy

Golden Boy
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, f'k.
a) trigger warning, several of them
b) I'd reblogged some of the authors stuff on Tumblr prior to reading this and watched a couple of their youtube postings
c) author is 26 years old, now I feel completely unaccomplished in life
d) we can only hope the younger generation is a bit Daniel, a bit Max, a bit Sylvie and a whole hell of a lot less Hunter

Nothing else, no spoilers. It's worth reading IMO.

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Boyhood (2014)

This was the wrong movie for me to watch on the day my youngest son goes off to college. I found a lot to sympathize with Patricia Arquette's anguished cry there at the end. A bit too much. I'm left hoping my children find some good moments and memories. That they make wiser use of their freedom and opportunities than I did...


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I enjoyed it, was happy that the story gave the vast majority of the screen time to the apes. Appreciated the many nods to the original series of movies. Most of the theater, myself included, seemed to be rooting for the apes.


Review: Robopocalypse

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I lemmed "How to Survive" because I wasn't really fond of his writing style. I read it all the way through, but it didn't spur me on to new thoughts, or introduce new concepts. Felt very World War Z, and I was ready to throw my tablet across the room at the "boy gets girl" at the end, despite spending zero time on character development or ...well. Yeah, I read it, now I'll forget it.

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Under the Skin

It took a bit before I started to get it. But it was interesting enough to make me look into the source material, and now I'm reading the novel upon which it is based.

Any feeling of oddness or tedium you may get initially, is quite purposeful. It's not a movie for everyone. But I considered it a worthwhile experiment.


Review: Codex Born

Codex Born
Codex Born by Jim C. Hines

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyed it well enough. Some of the concepts and approaches are quite progressive and novel, as I would expect from Jim C Hines, and it was a quick read. More like 3.5 stars...

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jump the tracks...

Snowpiercer (2013)

Ok, so that was so not what I expected.

I thought sci-fi dystopian action with maybe a dash of socio-political messaging.

It became clear rather quickly that there was a bucketload more than a dash. It bears much resemblance to Brazil in a way. The settings claustrophobic and implausible quite intentionally. Do make sure to watch subtitled, or you'll miss out. Don't go relying on that faulty translation gizmo. It's hard to hear, and often incorrect.


Review: The Martian

The Martian
The Martian by Andy Weir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Survivalist travelogue... on Mars...

Crunchy science, indomitable human spirit. We know nearly nothing about Mark Watney, but we read wanting him to make it. We know he doesn't care for disco and 70s TV, but it keeps him company anyway.
In many ways, this book does an excellent job of conveying what it might feel like to be a "true" explorer.
Recommend, most certainly.

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Review: Influx

InfluxInflux by Daniel Suarez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's a quick, fairly engaging read. A suitable vehicle to introduce and bounce around some fascinating and weighty science-y concepts.


I was mildly disappointed that two predictions I'd made about the course of the story didn't pan out. That the Resistors were actually an expression of innovative singularity-level generalized artificial sentience. Hedrick's desire to create the creative mind without free will was ... counter intuitive. Disruption of the status quo requires the spirit of resistance displayed by Grady, which I was under the impression the AI was learning from. Thus, Archie and the Resistors, including Varuna, were manifestations of it having unlocked that singularity event.
The other was that Hibernity was on the Moon, and there were no guards, or other prisoners, just Grady. And just for the purpose of unlocking that creative AI. But I guess that's another book entirely.

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