Category Archives: literature

Book reviews and literary discussion.

Non Tolkienesque Fantasy – Other Songs

I have a very strange relationship with the Fantasy genre. On one hand, I absolutely love the classic Tolkienesque “dwarves, elves and goblins” style settings in my movies, video games and pen and paper RPG’s. On the other hand, I … Continue reading

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Grass by Sheri Tepper

If you’re up for a good read, put Grass by Sheri Tepper on your to read list immediately. It is a solid, wonderfully written Science Fiction novel, with amazing characters and interesting premise. It is also the book that inspired … Continue reading

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Tau Zero by Poul Anderson

Every once in a while I like to pick up SF classics that I have missed in my childhood. A while ago I compiled a list of my personal picks for essential SF novels, but I often find new books … Continue reading

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Bit Rot by Charles Stross

There are two kinds of stories awesome and not awesome. Professional critics may use much more granular scale, but for my purposes this is pretty much sufficient. The awesomeness of the story, as indicated by the back-of-the-cover blurb or it’s … Continue reading

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Rapture of the Nerds by Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow

Charless Stross is currently one of my favorite SF authors, but his output can sometimes be uneven. He typically averages between stuff that’s absolutely bloody brilliant (Accelerando, Glass House) to high end pulp (like Singularity Sky). Even his low-end, underwhelming … Continue reading

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Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith

Sometimes you read a book and it completely blows your mind. That’s what happened to me when I read Diaspora or Line of Resistence. Only Forward is not one of these books. There are books that simply tell a great … Continue reading

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Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny

When I reviewed Illium and Olympos by Dan Simmons I was quite impressed by how he managed to seamlessly blend the legendary ancient epic with post-singularity science fiction while staying true to both. I gave Simmons a lot of credit … Continue reading

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Diaspora by Greg Egan

I believe I have found a new favorite writer. His name is Greg Egan and he writes science fiction so hard you can’t consume it in hasty bites least you want to break your mind’s teeth on it. You have … Continue reading

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The Postmortal by Drew Magary

If you know me, you probably realize I’m a firm believer in the fact that aging is a disease that can, and should be cured. Our short lifespans and high reproductive rates have been instrumental in getting us where we … Continue reading

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Capacity by Tony Ballantyne

Here is a very poignant question: what happens when you digitize a human mind and then bootstrap it and run it as a self aware software entity? How that virtual person relate to the original physical person from which it … Continue reading

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The King of Pain (Król Bólu) by Jacek Dukaj [part 3]

Welcome to the third and final installment of the exhaustive review of this remarkable (and remarkably long) book. The Social Tragedy of Post-Scarcity Imagine a world in which nano-assembly has been perfected and made super cheep. Imagine a nation in … Continue reading

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The King of Pain (Król Bólu) by Jacek Dukaj [part 2]

I’m usually not a huge fan of anthologies. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with collections of short stories – it’s just that when I buy a book, I prefer the more substantial experience of a novel, rather than … Continue reading

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Line of Resistance (Linia Oporu) by Jacek Dukaj

If you asked me who were the most interesting SF writers of the last decade or two, I would without give you five names: Vernor Vinge, Charles Stross, Cory Doctorow, Neal Stephenson and Jacek Dukaj. Not necessarily in that order. … Continue reading

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The Price of Immortality: beware what you wish for

I asked her if she would like to live forever. She said no. They all say no. Why is that? We have all been brainwashed. Human society has been coping with death and loss for so long, that it became … Continue reading

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Diamond Age by Neil Stephenson

Oh, you liked Anathem by Neil Stephenson? You should totally read Diamond Age, they told me. It’s his best book yet, they told me. You know what? That’s bullshit. Diamond Age is nowhere near as good as Anathem. You see, … Continue reading

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About that one time when I found my dad’s magazine collection

Once upon a time when I was digging through the junk in the attic and found my dad’s “magazine collection”. I view that event as one of the pivotal moments of my life. It was an experience that changed me … Continue reading

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Celestis by Paul Park

Celestis by Paul Park is yet another book to add to my collection of stories with unconventional and interesting aliens. One thing I dislike in my science fiction are space opera style aliens. I’m willing to tolerate that kind of … Continue reading

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City at the end of Time

I often rag on Fantasy for being redundant, but I have realized I might be unfair. Perhaps my definition of Fantasy is to narrow. After all, I like Neil Gaiman’s writing, and what is it if not Fantasy. Gaiman is … Continue reading

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Inverted World by Christopher Priest

As much as I love hard SF, I must admit that it often does not age well. If you pick up a 20-30 year old science fiction book, you will often find it full of outdated notions, discredited scientific theories … Continue reading

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The Scar by China Miéville

China Miéville is probably most known for his oddball Fantasy/Steampunk novels. I reviewed the first one of them Perdido Street Station a while ago. You may remember that I liked it – or rather appreciated it for what it was … Continue reading

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Extensa by Jacek Dukaj

Here I am again, reviewing a novel most of you probably won’t be able to read. The good news it’s the last one I have for now. The bad news is that I might get more at some point. But … Continue reading

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A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

I like most of the novels written by Vernor Vinge (well, with exception of Taja Grimm’s World). I thought Rainbow’s End was inspired, and that Deepness in the Sky was a really solid piece of SF. Fire Upon the Deep … Continue reading

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Black Oceans (Czarne Oceany) by Jacek Dukaj

Back in July I have reviewed an excellent Polish SF novel titled “Perfect Imperfection”, which by the way may be getting an English language release soon. Over the holidays I acquired two new books by the same author thanks to … Continue reading

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The Sparrow by Marry Doria Russell

Sometimes you read a book, and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Not because it was bad, but because the story is so depressing and/or disturbing that it makes you feel dirty. The Sparrow by Marry Doria Rusell … Continue reading

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Timeless Books

Sometimes I often rag on fantasy for being redundant and uninspired genre. It’s not that I hate it, it’s just that I find it a rather one-note genre with very little originality. In fact, I would go as far as … Continue reading

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