A follow up to last year’s post (from which I’ve since read the majestic total of three books…)
This classic of science (and mathematical) fiction — charmingly illustrated by author — describes the journeys of A. Square and his adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions). A. Square also entertains thoughts of visiting a land of four dimensions — a revolutionary idea for which he is banished from Spaceland.
One of the many sci-fi classics I’ve yet to get around to reading.
A novel about the end of the world–and the beginning of our future
Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.
But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca of San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s ever-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.
A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.
I received this from my The Broke and the Bookish Secret Santa last year, and it had been on my wishlist since its initial publication. Have I read it yet? Of course not.
They’ve died for the companies more times than they can remember. Now they must fight to live for themselves.
Sentient machines work, fight and die in interstellar exploration and conflict for the benefit of their owners – the competing mining corporations of Earth. But sent over hundreds of light-years, commands are late to arrive and often hard to enforce. The machines must make their own decisions, and make them stick.
With this new found autonomy come new questions about their masters. The robots want answers. The companies would rather see them dead.
The Corporation Wars: Dissidence is an all-action, colorful space opera giving a robot’s-eye view of a robot revolt
I’ve only had this one since last week (I went to an author event where I was lucky enough get my copy signed by Ken MacLeod) so I’m cutting myself some slack on not having read this yet. The problem is that I said that last year about A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers which – you’ve guessed it! – remains unread.
A Handmaid’s Tale for our times, this exhilarating novel pits political oppression against the will to survive, in a nightmarishly believable vision of Britain in the near future.
Following its union with the United States and a series of disastrous foreign wars, Britain is in the grip of a severe crisis; the country is now under the control of The Authority.
But up in the far north of Cumbria, Jackie and a group of fellow rebel women have escaped The Authority’s repressive regime and formed their own militia. Sister, brought to breaking point by the restrictions imposed on her own life, decides to join them. Though her journey is frightening and dangerous, she believes her struggle will soon be over. But Jackie’s single-minded vision for the army means that Sister must decide all over again what freedom is, and whether she is willing to fight for it.
I picked this up at a library book sale in 2011 (!). It’s dystopian, features LGBT relationships AND was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke award, so why haven’t I read it yet?
A propulsive science fiction tale of murder and memory, all set on a futuristic space station.
Hundreds of miles above Earth, the space station Ciudad de Cielo – The City in the Sky – is a beacon of hope for humanity’s expansion into the stars. But not everyone aboard shares such noble ideals.
Bootlegging, booze, and prostitution form a lucrative underground economy for rival gangs, which the authorities are happy to turn a blind eye to until a disassembled corpse is found dancing in the micro-gravity.
In charge of the murder investigation is Nikki “Fix” Freeman, who is not thrilled to have Alice Blake, an uptight government goody-two-shoes, riding shotgun. As the bodies pile up, and the partners are forced to question their own memories, Nikki and Alice begin to realize that gang warfare may not be the only cause for the violence.
Described by the author as a traditional noir novel that happens to be set in space. Sign me up! I picked this up (and got it signed by the author) at the same event as The Corporation Wars: Dissidence, so it’s a new entry to the list.
The Quantum Bomb of 2015 changed everything. The fabric that kept the universe’s different dimensions apart was torn and now, six years later, the people of earth exist in uneasy company with the inhabitants of, amongst others, the elfin, elemental, and demonic realms. Magic is real and can be even more dangerous than technology. Elves are exotic, erotic, dangerous, and really bored with the constant “Lord of the Rings” references. Elementals are a law unto themselves and demons are best left well to themselves.
Special agent Lila Black used to be pretty, but now she’s not so sure. Her body is more than half restless carbon and metal alloy machinery, a machine she’s barely in control of. It goes into combat mode, enough weapons for a small army springing from within itself, at the merest provocation. As for her heart, well, ever since being drawn into a game by the elfin rockstar Zal (lead singer of the No Shows), who she’s been assigned to protect, she’s not even sure she can trust that any more either.
Okay, I only have the first and fourth books in the series, but I’ve had them for aaaaages now and they sound like such a delightful combination of genres (there are negative reviews calling it a romance novel in disguise and, honestly, I’m right into that aspect of it).
HISTORY HAPPENED WHILE YOU WERE HUNGOVER.
When you haven’t had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that is happening to anyone anywhere. If you’re living in Germany in the 1930s, it probably isn’t. But that’s no consolation to Egon Loeser, whose carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theatres of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of Los Angeles, trying all the while to solve two mysteries: whether it was really a deal with Satan that claimed the life of his hero, the great Renaissance stage designer Adriano Lavicini; and why a handsome, clever, charming, modest guy like him can’t, just once in a while, get himself laid. From the author of the acclaimed Boxer, Beetle comes a historical novel that doesn’t know what year it is; a noir novel that turns all the lights on; a romance novel that arrives drunk to dinner; a science fiction novel that can’t remember what ‘isotope’ means; a stunningly inventive, exceptionally funny, dangerously unsteady and (largely) coherent novel about sex, violence, space, time, and how the best way to deal with history is to ignore it.
LET’S HOPE THE PARTY WAS WORTH IT.
This was really well received, but I can’t lie – I’m mostly in it for the cover.
In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
I have been in love with the name of this series since I first glimpsed the first book on a library shelf. I’ve bought the entire trilogy and yet, and yet, and yet… *sigh*
A chilling dystopian classic crime story from the godfather of Scandinavian crime fiction
In an unnamed country, in an unnamed year sometime in the future, Chief Inspector Jensen of the Sixteenth Division is called in after the publishers controlling the entire country’s newspapers and magazines receive a threat to blow up their building, in retaliation for a murder they are accused of committing. The building is evacuated, but the bomb fails to explode and Jensen is given seven days in which to track down the letter writer.
Jensen has never had a case he could not solve before, but as his investigation into the identity of the letter writer begins it soon becomes clear that the directors of the publishers have their own secrets, not least the identity of the ‘Special Department’ on the thirty first floor; the only department not permitted to be evacuated after the bomb threat.
I nabbed a copy of this from a library book sale when I realised it had a sci-fi bent. It’s super short and I could probably zoom through it in a couple of hours, but we all know that’s probably not going to happen any time soon.