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review 2018-05-20 22:43
Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty

The ending was pretty much a disappointment. Death never really meant death forever. So, ho hum, I'm dead again. Some scenes I felt should have given me some emotion, SPOILER [ but one character trades barbs with her torturer when she finds out he has been doing this for awhile and then killing her so when her clone awakens she doesn't remember. (hide spoiler)] She's almost like, "Wow, so that explains those absences in time." Not, "I'm going to kill your mother f***ing ass!" There are attacks and stabbings with rarely any emotion in response not even anger - maybe annoyance? I kept waiting for this book to get better.

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review 2018-04-25 23:17
Review: Six Wakes
Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty

A fun read, with well constructed reveals, and a space ship with a twisted sense of humor. The crew of a ship all wake up in new clones to find the ship has lost gravity, the ship AI is off-line, and the cloning lab is a zero-g abattoir containing the mutilated corpses of most of their last clones. And apparently decades have passed, but those memories are lost.


A lot of this book has a my-kind-of-odd sense of humor. From the pun in the title to basically 3/4 of Hiro's dialog.  It was also kind of interesting, so soon after watching Altered Carbon, to see such a different take on cloning and stored consciousness. In the universe of Six Wakes, cloning is inexpensive, but becoming a clone alters the rights a person has. In exchange for immortality, you can't have children, and if there are duplicate clones, the older version must die. Also, with identity being so much code, hacking has been outlawed completely, even for hacks that eliminate genetic diseases.


The clone laws are listed at the front of the novel, and explained via flashbacks to relevant portions of each character's life prior to boarding the spaceship this murder mystery is set on. It's almost reminiscent of I, Robot, except that all these vignettes are integrated into a single narrative to discover who done it and why.


I didn't love the ending. The solution was satisfying, but something about the actual end of the novel felt abrupt.


Overall, though, quite a good book. This is on both the Hugo and Nebula ballots, and I can definitely see why.

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review 2018-04-11 18:19
Review: Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty
Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty
This book goes down very smooth and easy - like a fine liquor, I would say, if I were a fancy person. But it's really more like a diet soda: tastes sweet like candy, wakes up all the sluggish neurons, but has no nutritious qualities at all. Still, there really isn't enough fresh, light, and good science fiction like this.

The six-person crew of the generation ship Dormire awaken suddenly in cloning pods with no memory of how or why they are there. This is not an entirely unexpected development - in a future where cloning is a common way of extending life, most of the crew have already been duplicated several times as their previous bodies have died. However, they usually awaken with a relatively recent version of their mind downloaded from a backup. This time, the past 25 years are completely missing from their memories. The AI that runs the ship is also missing vast chunks of data and - oh yeah - their own dead bodies are still floating around the clone bay in a grisly murder scene that seems to defy explanation.

As the crew begins to pry into their own pasts, ever more strange secrets and connections are revealed which hint at their potential murderous motives and the deceitful origins of the Dormire mission itself. It's a rollicking ride.

I love the detail Lafferty confides in the post-novel interview, that this story basically started out as FTL fanfiction - FTL, the little strategy game about navigating a spaceship through various crises. In that game, when your starship crew dies they can be reawakened as clones - and thus, the idea for Six Wakes was born. Like the game, there's not a lot of depth here, but that doesn't mean it's not an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.

If it had wanted to be, this book could have been a really interesting meditation on identity and culpability, and how those concepts would warp with the introduction of cloning technology. Is a clone really a continuation of one's self, or just a convincing copy? Are life and death cheapened when everyone can just be brought back indefinitely? If a previous version of you committed a terrible act, is the new version of you to blame? What if you don't remember doing it?

For the most part, though, the book just kind of bounces off these questions. And I'm okay with that - sometimes it's fine to just say, "yeah, this is a mystery, and it involves clones, but let's not get too deep into the philosophical weeds here". The main focus is on the intrigue and the deceit and the stabbings.

I wish there had been a little more character development - for all of the shadowy backstories, they all still felt pretty one-note. The dialogue was somewhat clunky, and some of the plot developments were easy to see coming. But really, none of those complaints take away from how much fun I had reading this book. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a good sci-fi thriller beach read.
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text 2018-04-02 02:55
Library Books, Updated
The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines - Shohreh Aghdashloo
The Boat People - Sharon Bala
Northwest Garden Manifesto: Create, Restore, and Maintain a Sustainable Yard - John Albers,David F. Perry
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach - Kelly Robson
Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty
New York 2140 - Kim Stanley Robinson
Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate - Zoe Quinn
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters - Emil Ferris
Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor
In Other Lands - Sarah Rees Brennan,Carolyn Nowak

Checked Out

The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines - Shohreh Aghdashloo (DUE 04-13-18)

The Boat People - Sharon Bala  (DUE 04-27-18)

Northwest Garden Manifesto: Create, Restore, and Maintain a Sustainable Yard - John Albers, David F. Perry (DUE 05-04-18)

Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach - Kelly Robson  (DUE 05-10-18)


On Hold

New York 2140 - Kim Stanley Robinson   (In Transit)

Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty   (1 of 1 holds)

Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate - Zoe Quinn  (1 of 1 holds)

Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor  (1 of 1 holds) 

In Other Lands - Sarah Rees Brennan,Carolyn Nowak  (1 of 1 holds)

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters - Emil Ferris   (2 of 2 holds)

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review 2017-08-16 02:40
Bookburners by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery - My Thoughts
Bookburners - Mur Lafferty,Max Gladstone,Margaret Dunlap,Brian Francis Slattery

This is a serial book - that is, 16 episodes strung together like a season of TV shows, each episode written by one of the 4 authors.  One of the reasons I picked it up was because I had read one of Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence novels and enjoyed it. 

Anyway, it appears that I'm not really a huge fan of the serial experience.  It's not my preferred style of book.  I just find it tends to go on for too long, maybe.  Or maybe it's the pacing that I'm not fond of.  I'm not bright enough to figure out the reasons.  *LOL*

But also, I'm not a fan of urban horror fantasy.  I mean, I like the premise.  I like the characters for the most part but it's the horror part that's not my favourite.  I'll read them and if the the characters are captivating and the plot intriguing, I can usually deal with the actual horror parts - like the intense descriptions of monsters and dungeons and lairs and the like. 

So, after that caveat, Bookburners was a good read for the most part.  The 4 different author styles weren't jarring, as a matter of fact they were all rather similar and I'm not familiar enough with them to know if it was worked towards in this project or just something that they all have in common.  The main character, Sal, I couldn't quite enjoy until about 2/3rds of the way through the book.  I just didn't like her very much.  I was fascinated by the other members of her team though. 

Will I read the next seasons of Bookburners?  Maybe.  If they come up on sale at some point.  I enjoyed this one enough to be curious about where they go next with the story. 

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