Also loved Karamazov… read Hugo’s Hunchback and some poetry but haven’t done Les Mis yet… most of my good reading years are pre-children…
I’ve usually got at least two books on the go at any given time. Right now, my situation is:
Workplace book: just finished “Horizons: A Global History of Science” by James Poskett. It was fascinating and I learned a lot. Next on the list is “Demography: A Very Short Introduction” by Sarah Harper.
Home book(s): currently have one in progress (a guide to Passover for Christians) and one I am about to start (haven’t decided yet between re-reading Dune by Frank Herbert or re-reading a F1 book from the mid-2010s). I think I’ve got another one in progress but it’s underneath so many other books by this point that I’ll probably have forgotten that by the time I unearth it.
eBook: partway through re-reading Jimmy Maher’s 1988 volume of The Digital Antiquarian. Starting to want to skip bits, which is usually a good sign to give an ebook a rest for a week or two while doing other things.
I’m slowly working my way through The Stormlight Archive now. I didn’t particularly enjoy the first half of the first book (Kaladin’s abject misery and despair started to feel repetitive) but after that it picked up a lot and I finished Words of Radiance over break. Next up is Edgedancer.
Holy shit! I was scrolling through here out of curiosity and I never expected to find someone who’s read Blindsight too!
Fucking awesome book man. Seriously fucked up but incredibly unique and interesting. Also yeah bc of my PCS I listened to it on audiobook and the narrator’s voice for Saresti is very cool.
Also: if you like Blindsight, consider reading Revelation Space and its sequels. I think it might scratch the same itch for you — Gothic hard science fiction cosmic horror with a lot of elements of transhumanism and strange psychology/neurodiversity. It’s not as interesting as Blindsight in the neurological dimension, but it has a lot else going for it in others. Also, Reynolds (the author of RS) is a major influence on me as a writer.
So, I did try reading this—twice, even—but for some reason I had a really hard time getting into it. It gets recommended a lot, so I feel like I’m having some disconnect somewhere.
I really like Blindsight because it’s the first book I ever read where I felt like I could actually relate to the characters and actually care about them. Almost as a rule, I can’t really understand or connect to book characters, so I usually fixate on the setting instead.
I think what interests me most about the story is its setting where humankind is barely holding onto relevance, as network intelligences (and similar lifeforms) are just running rings around civilizations practically living in comparative slow-motion. I find it deeply fascinating to watch the moves being played by the larger powers in the book.
Echopraxia and Starfish (and Maelstrom, etc) were really great for that, too!
Ah, yeah, that’ll do it. Blindsight’s characters have (shockingly enough) pretty relatable or almost charismatic (?) personalities/issues, whereas RevSpace’s are typically not at all likeable or relatable. It’s all about the setting and how living the lives they do in that setting has molded them into something posthuman.
That said, you might enjoy Chasm City more — it’s a stand alone novel set in the same universe that’s more polished and approachable and also has a bit more going on character-wise. But no matter which Reynolds novel you read, you probably won’t find relatable characters (with the exception of House of Suns).
Also, regarding humanity being nearly obsolite, and much larger intelligences running rings around us in the background, that was an interesting component of the book for me. I’ve yet to find anything precisely like that, except maybe for the Culture series, which has a positive spin on that idea.
Nevertheless I strongly encourage you to give Chasm City a shot and see if it clicks for you better.
They’re high on my reading list!
I’ll absolutely add those to my reading list! Thank you!
I’ve been reading Dawn by Octavia Butler. I’d never read anything by her before. I’d been meaning to, and I finally got around to it. Though I did just get The Fall of Numenor for my birthday, so I might get distracted by that.
The Culture books are interesting, because I wouldn’t say that the setting is all that bleak when considered on the whole, but the stories themselves are very much focused on the darker edges of it. A utopia written by a cynic, I’ve seen it described.
My wife has me reading the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. I’m currently part way through the third book and, well…
I don’t get it.
This is supposedly a very successful franchise with multiple adaptations to other mediums, but it feels really formulaic to me. I’ve only got a pattern of three so far, but I swear he sleeps with someone new every title. And he leaves a body count rivaling some 80s action films. He’s like a disenfranchised American 007.
I’ll keep reading, but not feeling it thus far.
I’m on that Brothers Karamazov. I’ve been on it for like two years and I’m only just reaching the halfway point.
It was originally published serially, so parts of the book are fairly repetitive and other parts are very self contained (particularly “rebellion” and Ivan’s Nightmare). I guess there are abridged versions. I remember it getting very repetitive toward the end with the murder trial.
I’ve been reading Gibson’s short story collection “Burning Chrome.” Trying to get through it in stints on the train before the extremely worn copy I have completely disintegrates (I am losing the fight).
Oh, right. It’s several days later, but I’ve just thought of something — has anyone here read the Airborn series by Canadian writer Kenneth Oppel? It used to be one of my favorite series when I was a kid. I had nearly forgotten about it until recently. It’s not hard sci-fi per se (the official description is Young Adult science fiction), but it perhaps is a bit close, with great worldbuilding. Given that many of the folks on here seem to enjoy reading from the science fiction genre, I thought I could drop it here as a casual recommendation or the such.
As for what it’s about, all I have to say is — balloon-filled airships!
There are three books in the set; it’s a trilogy: Airborn, Skybreaker, and Starclimber. The great clichè that the first book of a series is the best is true here, least for me — I remember loving Airborn the most out of these three books.
Cheers, and happy reading!
Well, such serendipitous timing! I’ve just finished playing Zeppelin Adventure and here you come along with a recommendation for SF with…
This must be a sign from the cosmos to read Kenneth Oppel’s works.
“Jack Reacher” is such a terrible name. It’s short, yet still manages to be an unpronounceable mouthful. You have to sort of force a glottal stop between “Jack” and “Reacher” to prevent it from becoming “Jackreature”. And what kind of surname is “Reacher” anyway? To me, it seems almost to lampshade the fact that it’s trying too hard.
This nearly had me laughing. Nearly.
I think I’d quite like a series of books about a guy called Jack Creature
Haha, please do, and tell me what you think if you do!
Oh my gosh, I’ve never met a single other person who’s read these. I was obsessed with Oppel’s silverwing bat books and then went nuts when the Airborn series dropped. I loved the mechanical intricacy of them, I bet they’re still a good intro to genre literature.
@juuves I read the Airborn series around middle school…I don’t remember much about them but I do remember liking them. I am Canadian (same province as Kenneth Oppel, actually) and his books were pushed pretty hard at the time.
I also remember that when my brother refused to learn to read, my dad read Silverwing to him to try and pull him in.