Wednesday, June 06, 2018

7 Down, 34 To Go

My Unread shelf in the Kobo eBook app on my iPad was up to 41 books, so I decided binge some science fiction.

1st up, "Overclocked", by Cory Doctorow, 2016, 388 pages. 8 most excellent stories mostly dealing with computing and artificial intelligence, which Doctorow totally gets. I particularly liked a couple of stories that feature robots who were programmed to obey Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics and robots who weren't. "The Man Who Sold The Moon", I had already read in the excellent "Heiroglyph" collection, blogged here. I didn't reread it.

Next up, "Null States", by Malka Older, 2017, 432 pages. The sequel to "Infomocracy", blogged here. So the system of micro-democracy proposed in "Infomocracy" may not be working out. Plus ninjas. Almost all the major characters are women, plus it has the same international feel as "Infomacracy". All in all a page turner.

Next up, "Head On", by John Scalzi, 2818, 336 pages. The sequel to "Lock In", blogged here. People with consciousness locked into their bodies (Hayden syndrome) who escape into VR and robot bodies. The same characters as "Lock In", the Hayden FBI agent and his bad-cop-from-hell partner. A snappy police procedural, definitely a page turner.

Next, 3 short pieces by Scalzi. He sells these for $0.99 or occassionally $1.99, which is more than you would pay for them in a short story collection. It's probably a nice supplemental income for Scalzi, and they are usually pretty amusing. They were:

Finally, "Infinity Wars", edited by Jonathan Strahan, 2017, 356 pages. Apparently Strahan has done a number of collections with "Infinity" in the title. This is 15 short stories set in the future concerning war. I was around 1/2 way through before there started being some interesting stories. The 1 that really stood out was "Weather Girl", by E.J. Swift, about US info-warriors using cyber-warfare to hide climate crisis induced weather events from their future victims so as to maximize the damage. Horrifying and cynical to a level reminiscent of Frederick Pohl. I have ordered Ms. Swift's latest novel, "Paris Adrift".

It looks like the 35th Year's Best Science Fiction will be the last. Gardner Dozois died May 27, 2018. Reading that collection has been an annual ritual for ... 35 years. I'm not sure if I'll pick a new annual collection to read or not.

I'm on the magazine stack for June now. I think more sci-fi up next, still need to get that Unread shelf down to size.

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