“When two or more of their lighthuggers met, they would compare and update their respective nomenclature tables. If the first ship had assigned names to a group of worlds and their associated geographical features, and the second ship had no current entries for those bodies, it was usual for the second ship to amend its database with the new names. They might be flagged as provisional, unless a third ship confirmed that they were still unallocated.”
A meandering, long and unexpected finish for the Revelation Space series. The characters from the last chapter are still followed by the Inhibitors, the civilization hunters and destroyers, but a mysterious, disappearing planet could give key answers.
Towering at almost 700 pages, this hard scifi book still comes with intriguing and though-provoking ideas, such as moving cathedrals, Gothic spaceships, religious viruses and many more. However, the changes seem more of style than substance, at least compared with the previous books.
It was an entertaining book and, despite its length and a falling flat ending, the writing, editing, vocabulary remained great.
“Crome smiles. “Do you really think I am so shortsighted?” he asks. “The Guild of Engineers plans further ahead than you suspect. London will never stop moving. Movement is life. When we have devoured the last wandering city and demolished the last static settlement we will begin digging. We will build great engines, powered by the heat of the earth’s core, and steer our planet from its orbit. We will devour Mars, Venus, and the asteroids. We shall devour the sun itself, and then sail on across the gulf of space. A million years from now our city will still be traveling, no longer hunting towns to eat, but whole new worlds!”
In a steampunk world, where cities are wandering the land using huge wheels and tracks, a boy becomes witness to the start of a new era. The focus of the book is the city of London, moving now on tracks over the land, swallowing smaller towns and looking for dominance in the new Municipal Darwinism.
Thrown from London and thought dead, victim of fateful event, Tom, Third Class Apprentice to the Guild of Historians, is the protagonist of the story. His adventure brings him to air towns, baloons, pirate suburbs, anti-tractionists, who believe cities should not move, and encounters even cyborgs.
The story is creative, superbly written and the world created is truly a wonder. A film was released in 2018 following the book.
The book seems dedicated to young readers: the protagonist is a boy, many things that occur to him are due to simple luck and the story has many just-in-time moments. However, the intrigue is captivating and there is noir background to the adventure.
A great book to read, particularly for your readers.
You are walking along the shores of a lake,’ Sindermann said. ‘A boy is drowning. Do you let him drown because he was foolish enough to fall into the water before he had learned to swim? Or do you fish him out, and teach him how to swim?’ Loken shrugged. ‘The latter.’ ‘What if he fights you off as you attempt to save him, because he is afraid of you? Because he doesn’t want to learn how to swim?’ ‘I save him anyway.
It’s the 31st century and the martial society of humanity, the Imperium of Man, is expanding in the galaxy. The story follows the military feats of the “Luna Wolves” Legion of Space Marines. Their leader is Horus Lupercal, recently appointed Warmaster, general chief of Imperial military forces. Horus is one of the Primarchs, genetically engineered lieutenants of the Emperor. We find about his actions through the eyes of Captain Garviel Loken, leader of the Luna Wolves’ 10th Company.
The book sets the stage for the Chaos’ plot to destroy the mysterious founder and leader of the Imperium, the Emperor of Man. This story is followed in the next 49 books of the famous series.
This is the beginning of the famous Warhammer 40,000 military scifi, a dystopian future galaxy-spanning war. Books, board games, figurines, video games, comics were all developed in this fascinating environment.
The plot itself is absolutely fantastic, building the base for a great military saga. There are obvious inspirations from Starship Troopers of Robert A. Heinlein. The recent Red Rising saga seems to take some inspiration from the Warhammer universe as well.
However, the military heavy element of the book might be hard to digest for many. The book has many plot strands, characters, sub-plots. However, the writing is fluid, the universe makes sense in itself, and the moral and ethical questions that are asked are mind blowing.
Overall, a great book for the fans of the military scifi and a must read for all passionate about the Warhammer universe .
When the lights go out one night, no one panics. Not yet. The lights always come back on soon, don’t they? Surely it’s a glitch, a storm, a malfunction. But something seems strange about this night. Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electrical grids collapse. There is no power, anywhere. A former hacker and activist, Piero investigates a possible cause of the disaster. The authorities don’t believe him, and he soon becomes a prime suspect himself. With the United States now also at risk, Piero goes on the run with Lauren Shannon, a young American CNN reporter based in Paris, desperate to uncover who is behind the attacks. After all, the power doesn’t just keep the lights on―it keeps us alive.
The book is a dystopian thriller starting from a cyber attack on the EU electricity grid. The protagonist, an Italian IT specialist, tries to solve the crisis by finding how the system was affected and going to authorities. The pace of the book is fast, by quickly changing the locations.
The premise of the book is jaw-dropping: a EU-wide electricity blackout. The Austrian author carefully researched the subject and the potential outcomes of such a crisis. The book is full of excellent logical consequences of such an event.
However, the quality of the writing itself is not great. The translation from German is not perfect and there is too much said and too little shown. There are also some plot holes, the solution focusing too much on individual characters, while in reality there is more of a team work.
I really enjoyed the book, despite its drawbacks. A great analysis showing the vulnerabilities of a vital system, our electricity.
That’s what Society does–spread the blame so there is no villain, so it’s futile to even begin to find a villain, to find justice. It’s just machinery. Processes.
Rose petals of a thousand shades fall from the trees as Golds fight beneath them. They’re all red in the end.
Golden Son continues the Rising Red saga, with the protagonist, Darrow, now a Gold. Darrow is staring to navigate the difficult politics of being a part of the Society as a Gold, while trying to create a rift within it. He tries to use the fight between ruling families to create a civil war, weakening the Society from within.
The reader comes to know the final pieces of the puzzle, the ruler of the Society and her coterie, and the antagonist, a brilliant schemer.
The book keeps the same excellent level of writing, perfectly paced action, almost impermeable plot, depth of character and top class editing.
There is a slight drop in the quality of the plot, with a few turns of the action that raise browses.
However, the storytelling remains world class, creating one of the best sci-fi sagas in recent literature.
[Features picture: ESA, NASA and L. Calçada (ESO)]
I created the OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world. I didn’t know how to connect with the people there. I was afraid, for all of my life, right up until I knew it was ending. That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.
This is a book with one of the most creative, nerd scifi narratives, exploring the possibilities of virtual reality in a dystopian close future world.
The book follows the story of Wade Watts, a normal teenager fully immersed in a virtual reality called OASIS (a kind of Sims), while the world is slowly decaying around him, economically and politically.
The creator of the OASIS, a multi-billionaire nerd, leaves his entire fortune and ownership of the programme for the player who manages to pass his in-game trials. Obsessed by the 1980s culture, all trials are related to those years, with music, gaming and movie references. Hence, a 1980s renaissance takes place, billions of players being after this prize, an escape from the dying world around them. The protagonist is one of those seekers.
A rival company pours monumental resources with the same purpose of getting the prize and the ownership of this virtual reality. This company slowly develops as the antagonist of the story.
Five years have passed since the creator died and no progress was noticed on the scoreboard towards the prize, a scoreboard available for everyone to see. Until the Wade’s avatar makes the first breakthrough.
The story gradually gains pace. mingled with love, friendship, courage, real life tragedies and perseverance. It is a story that transforms the teenager into a man. It is a kind of a Harry Potter in a dystopian future, but without family references.
The virtual reality, OASIS, looks like a drug, people giving their life and freedom for a world where they can be anything they want to be. The real world is slowly decaying around them, civil duty (like voting) is neglected, allowing some form of slavery to exist. However, the message of the author is that the virtual reality cannot replace the real world: things like a kiss, a touch are unique and cannot to be replicated.
The book is catchy for everyone who played a computer game in their life, so I recommend it as a good reading. I couldn’t put the book down.
In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the police patrol, snooping into people’s windows. The patrols did not matter, however. Only the Thought Police mattered.
The book is a classic and I absolutely recommend reading it. Orwell presents a dystopia, where things aren’t what they should be. It’s a grey world, with thoughtcrimes, destruction of critical thinking and individualism, total surveillance, nomenclature and historical revisionism.
The book pairs with the Brave New World by Huxley, published 2 decades earlier. While the dystopia in the Brave New World is sustained by drugs and distraction, 1984 is a brutal, overwhelming totalitarianism. They are both on the same level of crushing critical thinking and blocking any individual initiative. While they look far apart, they are the same facets of total subjugation, with a privileged few.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, we are heading today to the same level of thoughcrimes described by Orwell and brainwashing mentioned by Huxley. So many on social media make their opinion without looking at the original source and without checking the source.
You can read the book online for free at the following link.
Above them, in ten successive layers of dormitory, the little boys and girls who were still young enough to need an afternoon sleep were as busy as every one else, though they did not know it, listening unconsciously to hypnopædic lessons in hygiene and sociability, in class-consciousness and the toddler’s love-life. Above these again were the playrooms where, the weather having turned to rain, nine hundred older children were amusing themselves with bricks and clay modelling, hunt-the-zipper, and erotic play.Buzz, buzz! the hive was humming, busily, joyfully. Blithe was the singing of the young girls over their test-tubes, the Predestinators whistled as they worked, and in the Decanting Room what glorious jokes were cracked above the empty bottles! But the Director’s face, as he entered the Fertilizing Room with Henry Foster, was grave, wooden with severity.
I read this book as a recommendation from my boss. You can read for free at this link. I was mesmerized, I read the book in just a couple of long nights.
The book was written in 1932, but it seems so contemporaneous, 80 years later. It is a classic, in the same vein as 1984 by George Orwell.
Huxley’s writes about a future dystopia, where genetic engineering, recreational sex, drugs, hypnotic messages and brainwashing create a world were everyone thinks is happy. But this world lacks any deep meaning, no family, religion or art. A system of castes, heavily brainwashed, is ingrained in the texture of society.
The system seems to me very Soviet-like, were science is praised, family and religion is destroyed, but economy can only exists through a system of slavery and elites.
Some can see through the veil, as Bernard, and they are given sanctuary or prison, as you like, in some of the isles. The faults of the society are expressed by the life and dialogue of a men called the Savage, born in a so-called reservation and unwilling to bend to the wrong rules and be brainwashed.
I loved the book because it makes you think, it makes you ask questions. How many people make an opinion by just reading a title of news on Facebook? How many people good in the field, pretend with arrogance knowledge in other fields? How many people go to the original source and skip interpretations? How many people filter the information that comes to them?
In my own field, energy, I see people holding strong views, one way or the other, without knowing too much of how the system works.
It is a book recommended for high school reading in many countries. It makes you think.