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review 2017-02-12 20:42
Gridlinked (Polity: Agent Cormac #1)
Gridlinked (Agent Cormac) - Neal Asher

https://bookstooge.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/gridlinked-polity-agent-cormac-1/

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review 2016-11-15 14:54
Bah…Humbug by Tony Bertauski @tonybertauski
Humbug (The Unwinding of Ebenezer Scrooge): A Science Fiction Adventure - Tony Bertauski

I have been reading Tony Bertauski’s Christmas stories since the very beginning and have loved each and every one, so I was eager to get my hands on Humbug.

 

 

Humbug: The Unwinding of Ebenezer Scrooge (Claus, #4)

 

Amazon  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

Fantastic twist on a familiar tale.

 

Tony Bertauski has come away with another winner in Humbug. This is one of those books that is hard to review without giving away all the goodies inside.

 

You may think you know the story, but when Tony Bertauski spins a tale, he creates a world of his own, original, unique and highly creative.

 

I immediately thought steampunk because of all the technology involved, but cyberpunk will do just fine.

 

Ebenezer is constantly riding around his castle on a Segway. He is overweight and a bit lazy. He wants what he wants when he wants it and expects his androids to deliver. He doesn’t leave his castle and doesn’t want any human contact. No one knows what he looks like because he projects a created image when he talks ‘face to face’.

 

At times I felt like Ebenezer got what he deserved and other times I felt sorry for him. After all, we don’t always know what happens to shape a person into who they have become.

 

We do travel to the future, visit the present and go back to the past to find out his story.

The twists and turns kept me entertained and I surely never saw the end coming. I loved it.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Humbug by Tony Bertauski.

 

4 Stars

 

Read more HERE.

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/bah-humbug-by-tony-bertauski-tonybertauski
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review 2016-11-04 19:55
After Atlas is Painfully Good Science Fiction
After Atlas (Planetfall Novel, A) - Emma Newman

I completely adored the book previous to this one, Planetfall, and it's so wonderful to see the second meet the same impossible standards. After Atlas is not a sequel so much as a companion novel, and I suspect it could be read as a standalone.

 

My latest on B&N SciFi 

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review 2016-10-08 21:28
"Everybody is on a leash. Some are more obvious than others."
After Atlas (Planetfall Novel, A) - Emma Newman

After Atlas

by Emma Newman

 

After Atlas proves that, yes indeed, Emma Newman can do cyberpunk. Good news: although it takes place in the same world as Newman's earlier novel, After Atlas can be read without Planetfall, and if the idea of a discussion of agency wrapped around a police procedural taking place in a world remade by gov-corps sounds appealing while an exploration of OCD on an alien planet does not, then I'd definitely recommend jumping straight ahead to After Atlas. You'll miss a certain amount of dramatic irony, but the worldbuilding and plot points should be entirely intelligible. The narrator of After Atlas is Carlos, a police inspector for the Noropean Ministry of Justice. Carlos is also an indentured slave with few rights and little hope of freedom. After "the transition from pseudo-democracy into neoliberty," the new gov-corps tried their hands at solving the issues of poverty and homelessness in the most economical way they could think of: "nonpersons" are scooped off the streets and locked into "hot-houses," where their brains are crammed with skills so they can be sold to the highest bidder.

 

Carlos is luckier than most, for the MoJ is a comparatively kindly master. He may not have the right to own property or be in a relationship or "cohabitate" or even take his own life, but he has one of the most advanced artificial personal assistants on the market and he truly loves solving problems. His newest case, however, takes him to a place he has no desire to explore: his own past, including the technology-shunning cult he grew up in and fled from. I thoroughly enjoyed the vivid, gritty cyberpunk world that Newman created. People wander the streets of London gesticulating to thin air as they engage in virtual conversations with friends hundreds of miles away; others use their APAs to play augmented reality games or watch an endless stream of advertisements. Except for the very wealthy, almost all food is made-to-order from food printers. Resources are scarce, attention even scarcer. In such a world, Carlos's questions about agency are all too apt. As he puts it,

"Everybody is on a leash. Some are more obvious than others."

Like its predecessor, After Atlas is a compelling story. Approached as a mystery, it is perhaps rather lacking, both in terms of twists and in an ultimately satisfactory explanation.

As a reader, I thought it looked like suicide plus postmortem damage, but it was such an obvious solution that I assumed something far more intricate. Even the final reasons felt rather lacking. I never really felt I understood Alejandro, and many of the apparent clues remained odd and unresolved. Why did Alejandro embrace an extravagant lifestyle? Why did a man so vehemently against suicide end up killing himself? Why did he so badly want to be chipped, particularly since he planned to commit suicide? I know the mission of the cult changed, but even so, that seems like too radical and unexplained a shift in perspective. Where did Klein get the bruises?

(spoiler show)

The story shines most in its examination of agency and choice, particularly coming from the perspective of a character who has so little of either. As an elite inspector, Carlos is fully of the disparity between the privileged world he appears to be a part of and his actual state of disempowerment:

"It was the constant cognitive dissonance of being so desperate to get out yet too scared to leave. Of being so afraid to fail yet wishing I did so it would all stop. Of being told I was lucky when I was being abused. Of hearing I was a valuable asset when I was being treated like a fucking object."

I don't know what exactly Emma Newman does to make her books so addictive, but I do know that I'm thoroughly hooked. It's not just that I love the worldbuilding; there's something about her stories and her style that I find utterly beguiling. Whether the next book takes place on Earth or on the world of Planetfall, count me in.

 

~~I received this ebook through Netgalley from the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review. Quotes were taken from an advanced reader copy and while they may not reflect the final version, I believe they speak to the spirit of the novel as a whole.~~

 

Cross-posted on Goodreads.

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review 2016-06-24 12:26
Słów kilka o "W sieci umysłów" Jamesa Dashnera
W sieci umyslow - James Dashner

Niby mamy tu wirtualną rzeczywistość, światy wykreowane sztucznie, graczy - pachnie przyjemnie cyberpunkiem. Ale po prawdzie od niemalże pierwszych stron lektury W sieci umysłów znacznie bardziej kojarzy się z typową, klasyczną powieścią z gatunku fantasy, gdzie wirtualna rzeczywistość jest niczym wymyślony bajkowy świat, zamieszkują ją potwory, z którymi należy walczyć, a nawet ma swojego Złego, którego dzielni śmiałkowie muszą pokonać.

 

Jest to powieść z gatunku young adult, i jestem przekonany, że młodszym czytelnikom będzie się podobać. Wyobrażam sobie, że dwadzieścia lat temu sam bawiłbym się doskonale, bez większych problemów identyfikując się z bohaterem, podobnie zresztą jak wówczas nie raziły by mnie liczne uproszczenia fabularne i rozwiązania tak proste, że nielogiczne. Ponadto powieść jest mocno powtarzalna, i napisana według schematu prostej sesji rozgrywki RPG, gdzie na każdym kolejnym kroku trafia się kolejna akcja, aż dochodzimy do tej ostatniej, po której wypada już tylko sięgnąć po następny tom. Bo dziś już chyba się nie da napisać po prostu powieści, trzeba od razu strzelać seriami i cyklami.

 

Owszem, na końcu książki czeka niespodzianka, bardzo przyjemna, jednakże docenią ją zdecydowanie tylko niespecjalnie doświadczeni literacko czytelnicy. Serdecznie polecam W sieci umysłów jako prezent dla czternastolatka, jednakże tym, którzy mają chęć na coś cyberpunkowego tradycyjnie polecam cykl Głębia Siergieja Łukjanienki czy nawet pierwszy tom naszego, polskiego Gamedeka - o niebo lepszą lekturę.

 

The Eye of Minds
Albatros 2015

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