Book Review: Will Destroy the Galaxy for Cash by Yahtzee Croshaw

The sequel to the supremely funny Will Save the Galaxy for Food leaves a lot to be desired.  It still features more of the same humor, but the worldbuilding has dissipated in favor of action, and the gradual discovery of new, quirky features of this fictional universe was replaced by a non-linear plot that feels all the more linear.  Sure, there is still the feeling of nostalgia and longing for the good old days, and the one-liners are still funny, but this title does not reach the qualities of its predecessor.

Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment

On the Importance of Beds in Science Fiction

Humans spend about a third of their lives sleeping.  Quality of our sleep may vary, but we are creatures of comfort, and prefer a good sleep over a bad one.  This may sound self-evident, but apparently, it’s not always so.  While some science fiction movies and TV shows allow their protagonists to sleep well, others don’t.  This has a great impact on the overall feel of the story.  I believe that the quality of beds in science fiction stories is of greater importance than the quality of spaceships, range of blaster rifles or inventiveness in alien costumes.  Sleep overrules them all.

Continue reading

Posted in Opinions | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book review: The Forge of God by Greg Bear

The Forge of God is one of the most depressing science fiction books I’ve ever read.  It is apocalyptic in a way a Hollywood movie could never replicate: even though the story takes place on a global scale, the very deep and personal insights into how individuals are dealing with the crisis threatened to tear my heart out.  The plot may not always make sense, but the individual stories of the protagonists sound very believable.  And often very depressing.

Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Book review: A Perfect Machine by Brett Savory

A Prefect Machine is sometimes described as a science fiction story.  It is not.  While it may have some sci-fi elements, it’s an amalgamation of young adult fiction, mystery, urban fantasy and cosmic horror.  It creates many more questions than it answers, and as a science fiction reader I felt unfulfilled when I finished it, despite having some of the best visuals I’ve read in a while.

Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book review: Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

Third in the Wayfarers series, Record of a Spaceborn Few retains the charm of its two predecessors.  Just like the previous book, it is only loosely connected to either of the two older novels, and just as the previous titles, it offers a refreshing new perspective and style.  The book’s subject matter and how the author handles it strikes me as a little more somber, which may be the main reason I didn’t like it as much as the other books in the series.  Still, Record of a Spaceborn Few is a very solid piece of fiction, and a worthy addition to the Wayfarers series.

Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book review: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Magic is real.  Time travel is real.  And there’s a military-operated startup that has the technology to make both happen.  But what if they were too successful?  Will those with the passion for the technology still run the show, or will they be replaced by bureaucrats with an ego far larger than their accountability?  And will said bureaucrats bring about the end of the world as they mess with the timeline?  This delightful book, which combines subtle and endearing humor with Stephenson’s signature in-depth exploration of a new premise, has the answers to all these questions.

Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Modern Classic: A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

It’s very rare to find a sequel to an already superb book, which maintains the quality in some respects and actually increases it in others.  The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet was an excellent, endearing book with great worldbuilding and character development.  A Closed and Common Orbit surpasses its predecessor.  It offers a very pleasant, upbeat prose that flows even more easily than in the first book, as well as excellent character development.  It lacks in action, but that’s exactly what I expected in this book, so I wasn’t disappointed.  Orbit is a hot chocolate drink in your cozy chair during a cold night, not a few pints of beer at your local pub.

Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews, Hugos | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Modern Classic: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Most of science fiction I’ve read in the recent years tended to gravitate towards the gritty, dark or depressing.  The stories were either cautionary tales about the dangers of technology, or about using technology for all kinds of unpleasant tasks, which often involved violence.  The Long Way is nothing like that.  It is a delightfully cozy adventure with superb worldbuilding and character development, where action is minimal, but the universe so interesting that I couldn’t stop reading.  It’s been a true pleasure to escape the science fiction I usually read and engage with a group of truly charming protagonists and their ship.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Book review: Planetside by Michael Mammay

Planetside is a mixed bag.  On one hand, Mammay has a refreshingly new spin at the prevailing military science fiction tropes, but on the other I found the writing and the characters a little jarring.  This was a worthy and interesting read, but I wasn’t as excited about the book as I would have expected to be, given the reviews I’ve read before purchasing the book.  Still, fans of procedural crime drama may find Planetside to their liking.

Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book review: The Consuming Fire (Interdependency 2) by John Scalzi

The second book of the Interdependency series is quite a surprise.  It doesn’t fit the usual role of a second part of a trilogy, where the plot thickens, the crisis (or a number of them) is established and the main characters are left in cliffhanger positions for the inevitable happy ending of the third book.  Instead, The Consuming Fire maintains Scalzi’s signature easy-going flow, with little to worry about, plenty of entertainment and thinly veiled political satire.  In other words, it’s a great, light read.

Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment