Now Reading 12/19/12

Now Reading

The Dispossessed
by Ursula K. le Guin
Progress: 5%

Odd Interlude #2
by Dean Koontz
Progress: 0%

I really liked the first part of this 3 part novella. My library hold for ebook version of part 2 just came available today.

Side Burner or Occasional Reading Snacks

A Scanner Darkly
by Philip K. Dick
Progress: 19%

The Mote in God's EyeThe Mote in God’s Eye
by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
Progress: 43%

It Happened in Colorado
by James A. Crutchfield
Progress: 20%

On Hold For A While

The Mongoliad: Book One
by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Treppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, Cooper Moo
Progress: 24%

Review: Use of Weapons

Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks
View book info on GoodReads

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
First Published: 1990
Read from: November 14 to December 16, 2012

Use of Plot Tricks…

“Use of Weapons” is the first book I’ve read by Iain Banks. I had heard the science fiction novel was one of the author’s best, and that it is an independent story taking place in a series of books about a futuristic society called the “Culture” that explores a super advanced society of humans and their AI creations that have spread across the galaxy. That certainly sounded like a book I ought to give a read.

My impression on the first half or so of the novel was that it was okay, but not great. The story had all the right trappings to at least be a fun sci-fi novel if not a ground-breaking or amazing one. There’s the tactical and strategic hero type, some hi-tech gadgets, even some comedic relief in the form of a smart-mouthed sentient robot. There is occasionally some thought-provoking and middle of the pool “deep” stuff going on too in regards to war and violence (either physical or psychological), and some exploration of humanity’s ability to “use” anything, including other people, as tools or “weapons” to achieve our victories, whatever they may be. But much like the citizens of the Culture, I just wasn’t being engaged enough and found myself wanting something else. Continue reading Review: Use of Weapons

Now Reading 11/14/12

The Mote in God's EyeThe Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

About half done with rereading this book (for the 20th or so time). This is absolutely one of my all time favorite sci-fi novels. Has I think the most believable, unique, well thought out, and, well, truely “alien” alien race of any sci-fi story I have ever read. I must add that I love most of Larry Niven & Jerry Pornelle’s work, individually or combined. I think I probably own most of Niven’s work.

Use of Weapons – Iaian M. Banks

Heard good things about this author’s “Culture” series and this book in particular. Saw it was available to check out from the local library for the Kindle so I put it on hold a while back. Just came available yesterday, so I downloaded it tonight and will give it a try and see what I think. Hopefully it’s pretty good as I could always go for a new source of good sci-fi.

 

Crazy Eddie Wants You!

The Mote in God's EyeReading The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle for probably the 30th time. I love this book. Here’s a couple of quotes that sound VERY familiar… Sounds like every politician that is or has been in office in America for the past 10 years or more…

“When a city has grown so overlarge and crowded that it is in immediate danger of collapse . . . when food and clean water flow into the city at a rate just sufficient to feed every mouth, and every hand must work constantly to keep it that way . . . when all transportation is involved in moving vital supplies, and none is left over to move people out of the city should the need arise . . . then it is that Crazy Eddie leads the movers of garbage out on strike for better working conditions.” There was considerable laughter in the wardroom. Renner’s image grinned and said, “I think I know the gentleman. …” — pg. 226, Chap. 24, The Mote in God’s Eye

“And mine spoke of Crazy Eddie as an engineer always using tomorrow’s capital to fix today’s problems,” Sinclair blurted. — pg. 227, Chap. 24, The Mote in God’s Eye

 

Moon Reflections

Moon film posterI watched the Duncan Jones movie Moon again this evening. I watched it about a year ago and enjoyed it then, and thought Sam Rockwell did an amazing job. On second viewing it is a little slow in places, but intentionally so I think, as it puts you in the shoes of the mining facility caretaker character isolated on the dark-side of the moon.

I’ve had a recurring futuristic dream that might contain a little of this movie in it. In it I run a mining ship that is harvesting the asteroid belt for whatever I can make enough profit on that will let me afford to go out and do it all again. The ship was built for multiple people — a family — but they died in an accident before we could make the dream a reality. So I have decided to go on alone and do it all myself, accompanied only by a dog who is a clone of a dog that I have had (at the time the dreams are set,) through multiple “generations”. Continue reading Moon Reflections