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David Bremner Locked account

Joined 5 months, 1 week ago

computer scientist, mathematician, photographer, human. Debian Developer, Notmuch Maintainer, scuba diver

Much of my "reading" these days is actually audiobooks while walking.

FediMain: is also me. Trying a smaller instance to see if the delays are less maddening.

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Iron Widow (Hardcover, 2021, Penguin Teen) 4 stars

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming …

Solid adventure, some thought provoking aspects

4 stars

I found my self making time to listen to this audiobook by doing things like taking the dog for extra walks. So that in itself is a pretty good review.

The protagonist is an interesting character, who is quite relatable. I'm not sure I would make some of the choices she does, but I haven't lived her life either.

From a genre point of view, it was (for me) closer to fantasy than "hard" science fiction. That might depend on how familar one was with traditional Chinese Chi theory. I'm not even familiar enough to say how close the book is to tradition.

Some of the twists are not quite as surprising as the author might have intended. It is very much set up for a sequel, which I understand the author needs to make some more money to write. So I hope my USD13 helps (or whatever small share …

Station Eleven (Paperback, 2017, Harper Perennial) 4 stars

The international publishing sensation now available in paperback: an audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, …

Content warning mild spoiler, actually meta spoiler

Little world building, but some nice meditations on friendship

4 stars

This book is supposed to be hugely influential on later fantasy literature [citation needed]. For me I think it would have worked better if the characters belonged to some completely fictional species like elves, dwarves, etc... instead of animals that I know a little about. I kept being jarred out of my suspension of disbelief by the characters behaving like small Englishmen (yes, definitely men) in fursuits.

On the plus side the main characters are quite charming, and the portrait of the various friendships between them is touching and even illuminating at points.

What If? (2014, Blackstone Audio, Inc.) 3 stars

Millions of people visit each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure …

Tell don't show

3 stars

If you really like near future scifi written by people who have a day job in physics or astronomy, and you especially like the pages of description of how some hypothetical space weapon works, this might be your favourite book ever. Especially if you don't miss characters or plot.

For the rest of us., it's a bit hit and miss. A lot of the chapters end up being about death and destruction, for whatever reason.

Disclaimer: I did listen to the chapters in random order, because apparently MP3 metadata is hard. I honestly don't think this matters that much.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010, Orbit) 4 stars

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under …

An easy intro to Jemisin's writing

4 stars

This is more of a fun read than the Broken Earth series. Probably correspondingly less rewarding in the end. I think it could almost qualify as YA, as long as your idea of YA includes some (tasteful) sexual content.

Race and privilege are part of the setting in a way that feels quite natural. One thing I liked is that the mechanics of magic and interaction with gods also feels quite natural. It can be challenging to construct plots with such powerful characters who still face challenges and conflicts. It does get a bit Deus Ex Machina at the end (the plot device, not the video game). On the other hand, at least the rest of the book was about gods, so it is less jarring than it could be.