Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Books Books Books

It has been way too long since I wrote anything about the books I've been reading and, to be honest, there are some that I barely even remember so I'm going to go through these briefly, starting with the most recent one I finished.

Generally, I do not much like post apocalypse novels but for some reason Amazon keeps recommending them to me and darn it some of them are actually pretty good. Excellent, in fact - like The Silent Earth Trilogy by Mark R. Healy. It begins sometime after a Nuclear Winter. All life on Earth has been wiped out and all that's left are "synthetics," what most of us think of as androids. Strangely though, these synthetics are exactly like humans. They have emotions and feel pain, both physical and emotional, just like humans. The only difference is that if they get damaged they don't heal, they have to be repaired but on post apocalyptic Earth there are no repair facilities. (And of course they don't eat or drink which is the main reason I would never want to be an android. Ice cream is too important to me.)

The synthetics have formed various factions. One faction hunts down other synthetics and kills them for spare parts. Another is trying to form a new civilization. The main character is one of two synthetics who are trying to restore life using frozen embryos and seeds. This is, as I have already said, an excellent book - compelling story and great characterization. I can't really consider a book "good" unless it has characters I care about and other characters to fear and/or hate. This has both as well as a great story with plenty of action. I highly recommend this book to all science fiction fans.

I suppose you could call Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time post apocalyptic also but the whole story takes place on a ship and an alien planet so I think of it as more of a space opera. A few thousand humans have left a dying Earth and headed for a previously terraformed planet. When they get there they find the planet is already home to a rapidly evolving civilization. The story takes place over a period of hundreds of years as the characters wake up from cold-sleep, go back into cold-sleep, and wake up again several times. This is another excellent story and as unique as anything I've read. If you're arachnophobic you might want to skip this one though.

I finally read Oliver Twist. Around the time I was ten years old the movie, Oliver, was a really big deal and everyone thought Mark Lester was the most adorable kid ever but I never got to see it so the book was completely unspoiled for me. I'm a huge Dickens fan so of course I enjoyed it. I did get a bit impatient with Oliver always being in some kind of danger but mostly it was a fun ride.

Sadly, I do not have a perfect memory or even an especially good one. Good enough - average, I guess you could say, but there's only so much disc space available so inevitably some things are going to get lost. I remember very little about Gemini by Ray Jay Perrault. I do recall that I thought it was interesting and different, though I can't say excellent. I may read it again sometime.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie is sort of an odd book and really hard for me to explain. I've been thinking, well, really for weeks, about how to describe it, what to say. I'll just say I liked it and I plan to read the other two books in the trilogy. If you want to know more you can go read about it on Amazon

I am afraid that there is nothing I can say about Babylon's Ashes, the sixth novel in James S.A. Corey's Expanse series, that wouldn't spoil the earlier books so I'll just say it's good - really good. Some things happened in it that were kind of disappointing to me and overall I didn't like it as well as some of the earlier books but still, it was very good and of course I will continue reading this series.

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