Science Fiction 81: The Terraformers

2023/03/04 Leave a comment

I wholeheartedly recommend The Terraformers, a delightfully bizarre distance-future novel by Annalee Newitz.

Come for the flying sentient moose, stay for the megacorp showdown and social commentary!

That being said, given that it’s a far-future setting with super-tech, there are some… issues.

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Fantasy Round 60: Magical Boarding School

2023/01/28 Leave a comment

I’ve recently read Naomi Novik’s Scholomance novels — A Deadly Education, The Last Graduate, and The Golden Enclaves. They’re an amazingly wild ride. I expected nothing less from the author of the Temeraire series (which I also enjoyed).

They’re also a delightful critique of the Magical Boarding School genre, as well as a great example of a long setup.

I’m going to go out of my way to avoid spoilers, because the series is delightful, but really, you should just go read the whole thing.

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Science Fiction 80: Stealing From The Best

2022/12/17 Leave a comment

I watched Star Trek: Strange New Worlds as it came out earlier this year, and it was delightful. Captain Pike is great, and it’s fun to see a genuinely kind crew going about their explorations of… well, strange new worlds, and whatnot.

It’s also Star Trek, so we’re not going to be overly concerned about scientific accuracy here.

But! There are a few… points… where some issues really stuck out. Two are more about science, and two are more about plot. So, as Captain Pike says, let’s… hit it.

I love this show.
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Science Fiction 79: Kaiju Are Very Big

2022/05/28 2 comments

The Kaiju Preservation Society is a lark. If you want a deep, thoughtful science fiction novel with vibrant descriptions and meandering prose… this is not that. It’s a fast read, with zippy dialog and descriptions that are mere sketches (which left me wanted more visual details on the titular Kaiju). Hilarity ensues constantly. The angry bacon scene, and the one with the binders, were some of my favorites.

Naturally, I have a few nits to pick about the scientific plausibility.

This will contain spoilers. Read the book first!

[Update: Update at about 9:40 AM PDT on 5/28 to fix a math error in my GJ per day to power draw calculations. Oops!]

That mushroom-cloud shape in the second “A” is just as important as the tail in the first one.
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Science Fiction 78: How To Take Over The World

2022/04/24 2 comments

How to Take Over the World: Practical Schemes and Scientific Solutions for the Aspiring Supervillain is a delight, for people who enjoy over-thinking their scientific schemes (and not monologuing). It’s more a book of possible fact than actual fiction, and as such, I only have one comment and one quibble.

The contents of the book are exactly as advertised.
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