I Have a Thing for Science Fiction

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Hey folks! Sorry I’ve been MIA – the flu in Australia has been horrible this year, and I’m finally getting back on my feet after being unwell for an unreasonably long time. Note to my US friends – make sure you get your flu shot this year! Apparently it’s heading your way!

I though I’d tell you about some of the amazing science fiction I’ve read over the last couple of months. I’ve always been a sci-fi fan – I remember loving the genre even when I was a kid. Spaceships and robots were way more interesting to me than girls mooching around in gardens and so forth. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was the first adult book I read that really shaped my thinking. Let’s begin:

I know I mentioned this one in passing but want to come back to it. Kameron Hurley’s mind is amazing, and this book is a gigantic mind fuck. There are no male characters in this book. Societies live on big fleshy planetoids which are also ships and their worlds are devolving, so there is constanc battles between the groups. This story follows the main character’s journey as she tries to infiltrate a different ship/planet in order to kill the leader, and the different people and cultures she meets along the way. It is not an easy read, but is completely worth it.

This is another mind fuck of a book. The Kels are being sent into a battle which isn’t looking good for them. So Kel command revives General Jedao. He is known for slaughtering millions of people and for being completely mad, but Kel command revives him every now and then to assist with strategy. The bad news for Captain Kel Cheris is that she has to share her body with him while all this is going on. The world building in this book is amazing, and it throws you into combat with the Kel troops. Another difficult read, but worth it in the end.

This book is so freaking good. I am also completely in love with the cover. The book is set in South Africa in the distant future when everyone has their own robot helper. Our characters are Muzi, who starts the book totally stressed as he’s about to endure a centuries old tradition to become a man (including circumcision). He’s also got a thing for his best friend, who convinces him to try some of the lastest drug which has some interesting effects. Then there’s Nomvula, who has been looking after her traumatised mother for years. Then a new guy turns up in the village and offers to teach her amazing things – he doesn’t disappoint. There is also is Sydney – she’s working a dead end job in a nail salon and she’s a bit bummed because it seems that one of her co-workers has figured out she’s a Demi-goddess, which means she needs to move along. But she can have some fun before she goes, right? What are humans if not play things? Lastly we have Clever 4-1. He’s a service droid who has become sentient. He may also have accidentally set off an android uprising.

This book gave me a cracker of a book hangover so buyer beware.

This is a great piece of Chinese sci fi translated by Kevin Liu, who can do no wrong at the moment. The thing I love about reading sci-fi from different cultures is that you cannot have any expectations of the narrative. The Three Body Problem starts off in the People’s Revolution in 1962, and jumps back and forward between then and nowish.There’s a bit of police noir thrown in for good measure (I think that guy was my favourite character) plus a mind blowing computer game, which seems like more than a computer game. The story takes a little bit to get going and it’s going to demand some concentration, but definitely put this on your TBR.

Murderbot (to humans it’s a SecBot, but it refers to itself as Murderbot) has hacked its governor module, which means its basically free to do what it wants. It’s on contract with some humans, most of whom it quite likes. But it likes watching TV more. It is mostly worried that the humans will figure out that it doesn’t have a governor module and report it. It knows it has slipped up – one of the crew has tried to talk to it about it’s FEELINGS. This story of an introverted robot who just wants to be left alone to watch bad TV (which it definitely has feelings about!) is so endearing. I’m looking forward to the next in the series which is due out in 2018. Also, more amazing cover art amirite?

I’m very new to Scalzi and I’m just loving his stuff.

The Collapsing Empire is the first part of a new series. In this book the action moves back and forth between a planet imaginatively called “the End” – because it’s at the arse end of the Empire – and the middle of the change of Emperor. Cardenia is having a bad time. Her father has just died and she has to take the mantle to be the new Emperor. It should have been her half brother, but he inconveniently got himself killed. Even more inconveniently, someone keeps trying to kill her. Kiva is also having a bad time – she has arrived at End with a load of cargo to find that the planet is having a civil action and she not only has no market, but the government has banned her goods due to the last batch being ‘contaminated’. Kiva knows she has been set up, and sets about figuring out how she can turn a profit on the situation.

Collapsing Empire is fast moving and laugh out loud funny.Plus it is full of kick ass female characters.

Do you do sci fi? What’s your favourite recent read?

6 thoughts on “I Have a Thing for Science Fiction

  1. Glad to hear you’re feeling better! I’ve managed to dodge the worst of the flu (I hope), something of an achievement. I’ve just finished Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch series, and have been contemplating ‘A Closed and Common Orbit’ by Becky Chambers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you haven’t been too bad – it went through my workplace like a freight train. I have to try Leckie again – I couldn’t cope with it on audio. Closed and Common Orbit is great, definitely do it! I’m waiting impatiently for the third to come out.

      Like

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