An interesting book about a future Earth split into three major factions during a time when some of the factions discover faster than light travel (and don’t tell the other factions). A little uneven in bits and also one of those novels where there are three very separate storylines--one on Venus, one on a new planet, one on Earth--and one of them (imo) is more compelling than the other two. I liked the characters, sometimes found the story confusing to follow, will definitely read the sequel.
This was a good take on the “What does it mean to be human in a world full of smart AIs?” but maybe not as good as Machinehood, but includes multiverses! One of the main lessons all these books have is “There will be so much misery” and the whole last part of this book dwells in it, a lot. So if that’s not your jam, avoid this book Liked the book, could have done with less suffering. Also the first in a series and kind of ends with a TO BE CONTINUED which....
This is a collection of humorous stories which Moor has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe. They’re strange, compelling and not like any other stories I’ve read before. There’s a neat combination of wordplay, personal-feeling exposition and pathos that makes you want to keep reading. But at the same time, some of this feels like it was more designed (as it was) to be acted out and not read on a page. And with an intro by Stewart Lee!
A really well-done book about a near-future where AIs are regulated, humans are in a never-ending war to be able to “compete” with machines in the free market, the gig/attention economy is most of everything, and some people (and machines) fight back. Some interesting ways to think about what it means to be human, and what it means to be non-violent in a world where billionaires (called “funders” in this context) wield too much power and care too little. A very international book which also looks at how badly, even in an AI-laden future, resources and opportunity are distributed.
A short book of short fiction, much of it centered on weird little aspects of language. These stories all had a very gentle feel even as they covered some topics (relationships, break-ups, loss, bad people) which were not at all easy. Williams seems to delight in wordplay which is fun to read and makes sense in the short story format, might be aggravating in a longer book, even as I wished this one was longer.
A book from one of my favorite genres “Older woman with a particular set of skills investigates murders with unlikely friends in the UK” You’d think it would be hard to find more of them but it seems like they are everywhere. The lead woman in this case is an independent woman who lives in the Thames in a very big house which she inherited from her aunt. People in town know who she is because she rides her bike around wearing a cape. She writes crossword puzzles for a job, a job she doesn’t seem to need. Her neighbor is killed, possibly murdered, and she jumps in when the police don’t seem to be. This was an enjoyable read and a satisfying mystery.
A great collection of some of Eisner’s earlier work covering, somewhat autobiographically, the life and times surrounding a tenement block in New York City as the population (and the good times) ebb and flow. There’s a lot of pathos but also a lot of extremely good storytelling and illustration. Very grim, very good.
Another book, same topic as the one I read just before it. These books can be a little samey but that is sort of what I like about them. Scalzi builds on the central conceit in a lot of interesting but ultimately different ways. Also this one takes place with Covid as having been a thing, and also billionaires are a despised class and I am here for it.
This was a quick fun read, second in the Dispatcher series by Scalzi about a guy who legally murders people in a future where 999/1000 people who are murdered wake up, alive, in their own bed seconds later. Some interesting societal ripples come from this especially where crime is concerned. This one, now that we know the central point in this fictional universe, gets to dig more into how various dispatchers may do things a little off the books and the consequences of that.