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review 2017-04-23 15:50
Finished my reread of Queen of Roses
Queen of Roses - Elizabeth McCoy

I just spent four months rereading this, mostly while in line at the grocery store and such. My review from back when I first read it in 2014 still stands. The main things I'd add are that the fluffy "dealing with passengers" stuff in the beginning of the book still meshed a bit oddly with the later more action-y stuff. Also, while

the things Loren did still bugged me

(spoiler show)

, I couldn't help it, I still loved that character. I had also forgotten how much I liked R.J. And I still want to read some kind of spin-off or sequel with Loren and Roger. A combination sci-fi and cozy mystery starring those two would be so good.

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url 2017-03-29 19:28
Storybundle: Artificial Intelligence (!!!)

I haven't looked at it yet, so for all I know nothing in it will appeal. But I'll be looking at it more closely later, just in case! As far as I know, I've never read any of the authors included in the bundle, although I've at least heard of a few of them.


ETA - Whoops, not quite accurate. I've read William Gibson before, and one of his works is included in one of the anthologies.

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url 2017-02-28 01:22
Tor.com - "An A.I. That Loves Cat Pictures: Hugo-Winning Short Story Becomes YA Novel"

Ooh, I'm interested. But also a little wary. I remember mostly enjoying "Cat Pictures Please," although I cringed at the forced outing of a gay pastor because "Out gay men are much happier."


Crossing my fingers for more A.I. goodness and less "wait, I know you mean well, but stop."

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review 2017-02-05 15:00
Biblical Review
Biblical by Galt, Christopher (2014) Hardcover - Christopher Galt

Biblical screwed with my head on so many levels. SO many. It’s been a while since I read a book took me by surprise. Even longer since I’ve read one that took me by surprise on multiple occasions. Craig Russell, writing as Christopher Galt, delivers what can only be called a tour de force with Biblical.


I didn’t love Biblical from start to finish as I was reading it. There were a few times while reading it that I was sure that he was going to disappointment. There were some red herrings early on that had me rolling my eyes. Luckily he only spent as much time with them as he needed to before returning to the story proper. There was even one point early on when I walked away from the story for a few days because I thought there was no way it was going to be saved from the corner it felt like he was writing into. But I stuck with it, and I’m glad I did. Because soon after, it kicked into straight up Inception-level screwiness. And when it was over, I found myself sitting back and staring at the Audible app in admiration.


Biblical was also a hard book for me to rate. I know I just called it a tour de force, and overall it is. It would have been very easy for this book to fail horribly.  It took some serious skill to keep it from spiraling down into a hot mess. Russell avoids that, but he doesn’t quite succeed at avoiding all the issues. At the same time, whether some of them are truly issues is actually debatable. For example, there is basically no character development in this book.


I can see where lots of people might have a problem with the lack of character development. For me, though, it wasn’t an issue. I didn’t really care about MacBeth or anyone else. I cared about the puzzle Russell was laying out. I think everyone’s experienced deja vu at some point in their life. Biblical’s whole plot seems to be based around “Well, what if it’s not just in your head?” except for the part where its hard to tell what, exactly, is in your head. And then there’s the ethics of creating an artificial intelligence and the exploration of the powers of belief, amongst other things. Biblical grabs so many of the higher-level questions that I love to ponder on occasion, and draws them into the story in a way that kept me hooked.


For a book that’s all about humanity – earth’s – ‘been there, done that’, Biblical is unlike anything I’ve read in… well, ever. I honestly can’t think of a book I could compare it to.  The only thing I would possibly change about the book is the name because I’m sure there are many others that shied away from it because of the fear it would be some Second Coming shtick in the end. (I’m happy to report it definitely wasn’t.) Yeah, it has its issues, but the pros far, far outweigh the cons.

Biblical is a must read /listen. (Ray Porter narrates it, so my vote is for listen, of course!)

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/biblical-review
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review 2017-02-04 15:00
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) Review
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) (Bobiverse) (Volume 1) - Dennis E. Taylor

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is a book that’s hard to describe.  Bob is an interesting character in that he seems like a nobody. I don’t mean that in a bad way. He’s just ‘that guy’. Yes, he got rich by selling off his software company, but he doesn’t even really have time to enjoy it before crap starts. He’s a snarky atheist nerd whom you probably wouldn’t look twice at on the street. But he’s a good guy. Amusing in that way that makes you regret overlooking him initially. I hesitated on getting this book for a while. The synopsis didn’t really catch my attention, and the cover was your basic science fiction one. Really, the only reason I got it was because Ray Porter narrated it.


The tone of We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is overall light, but this is not necessarily a light book. The author uses Bob’s predicament to examine ever-green topics in the world of science fiction. What defines life? Is Bob still ‘human’? What might life look like if we did indeed find it somewhere? What might the habitable planets out there be like? Why can’t we all just flippin’ get along?? And how is this cloning thing going to work out? Can you really clone everything that makes a person a person? Bob’s point of view is a unique one, and watching him puzzle his way through many of these questions is truly fascinating. I don’t think the synopsis does it justice, at all. I mean, in the vaguest of terms, that’s what the book is about, yes. But…not really.


If you are religiously inclined, you need to stay away from We Are Legion (We Are Bob). While it’s not as full of derision as some other books I’ve read Lately, it’s not religion-friendly at all. Fun will be poked at beliefs. I thought it was absolutely hilarious, of course, even as I shuddered because it seemed disturbingly realistic. Religion has been the cause of way too much fighting throughout the ages, and some of the politics are a believable extrapolation of what might happen if religion gained a foothold in the United States government. With the current state of politics in America, it’s enough to make you want to duck and cover.


I debated over this but eventually decided that We Are Legion (We Are Bob) qualifies as a hard science fiction book. From frame rates to the velocities of ship busters, it’s all thought out and included. It’s not even close to being on the info-dump / wall-of-impenetrable-text level, though, so no worries if you’re the type of reader that’s a bit intimidated by that thing. The only reason I even debated over it is because the science is worked so well into the fiction that it never really seemed to be something that I consciously recognized. It was all just a good part of the story.


Overall, We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is a great read made even better by the fantastic narration I’ve come to expect from Ray Porter. If you can get the book in this form, I highly recommend you do so. I’m definitely eagerly awaiting the release of the next book from Dennis E. Taylor.

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/we-are-legion-review
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