With Covid-19 impacting everything this spring and summer I have decided to read a bit more than usual. I always loved to read but now I am churning through a book a week, sometimes slower, sometimes faster.
Here are some of the books I have read recently and my comments/feedback.
Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky
(Sequel to Children of time)
Currently Reading.. Humanity and the spiders unite and track down a previously terraformed planet that has recently
started to send out radio signals. What new life emerged there?
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Very interesting insights into the evolution of live and what-ifs.
Basic story is mankind has reached to another star to terraform life. They have engineered a virus to accelerate evolution and want to seed a planet with monkeys to grew a new humanity. Things go wrong and the virus impacts the non-vertebrates and life emerges, just different than expected.
The author does a great job envisioning life/languages and societies of spiders if they became exponentially smarter.
The first 3 books in the “Bobverse” series. In the late 90s “Bob” agreed to freeze his head to be restored some point in the future. Bob is an engineer and a sci-fi junkie.
He is restored as a computer, and is heading up spacecraft to the stars.
There are warring faction on Earth he has to deal with in addition to how to create other spaceships and reach other worlds. As he clones his program he finds each clone gains a slightly different personality than “himself” and has different ultimate goals. Can he find other life? Can he resolve the fighting humans and help colonize other worlds?
This series was fun and I am looking forward to the next 2 books in the series to be finished written.
Books 2 and 3 of the Dragonwatch series, which is set in the Fablehaven world.
Even though geared towards YA audiences I like Brandon Mull’s writing style. I have read much of his work and have enjoyed the new series. He still is world building and introducing new elements to his heavily “jailed” world of fantastical creatures and how they interact with the humans.
Three Bill Williamson Stories by
Harry Turtledove is always a favorite of mine. He is excellent at creating worlds like ours but with minor changes/enhancements. In this series of short stories he imagines what if Big foot is real. And after they
are found they are accepted as parts of society. These follow Bill Williamson, the governor of a new state
that replaces norther CA. The interesting fact is that Bill is a Big Foot.
Many short stories, each has a good write up on the reasoning behind them. Good read if you like alternate history and/or Harry Turtledove.
Orson Scott Card
Short story prequel to Mither Mages. This follows the life of a rural boy that does not know he is able to speak and interact with stones. However he grew up in a society that prays to the Water gods.
Orson Scott Card
Magic comes to the LA area. Good quick read about a boy born of magic and how he sees inside of peoples dreams and can make
their dreams come true, but in the worst ways.
Lost and Found
Orson Scott Card
Think of super heroes and their powers, now take something absurdly small and these are micro powers. Ezekiel Blast has a micro power.. He can find items that others have lost. They call out to him, once he picks them up he can know the owner of the item. Everyone body just assumes he stole them, but it is so much more than that. How to find friends when he is a known thief around school? He finds out that others have these micro-powers. How to use them?
Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds
Excellent story of a man with “split personalities”.. But not really. He becomes an expert just by reading about it, However his expertise becomes a person in his head that only he can interact with. Wants to learn a new language, he reads one book on the language and “hires” a new lingual expert who lives in his brain. This is 3 short stories that builds on his condition and how he makes use of these extra people in his life.
I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream
Very strange short story book. The first story is about a god like computer keeping a few humans alive just to torment. Strange and disturbing yet intriguing.
The Many-Colored Land
People from the future are sent back into time as punishment or to get away from life. They expect to find dinosaurs and instead are greeted by aliens. This story explains how society unfolds as these former prisoners become new prisoners at the hands of an unexpected alien presence.