New rule: no more non-fiction for the rest of the year. That is my goal for the remainder of 2021. I’ll stick to sci-fi.
Here is a list of books I’m currently reading:
- Death’s End by Cixin Liu
- Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
- Neverness by David Zindell
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Death’s End by Cixin Liu
This is the third and final book in the sci-fi sensation trilogy, Three Body Problem. So far the second book, The Dark Forest, is my favourite of the three. Death’s End is like a prequel and sequel to The Dark Forest. It’s also written in the hard-sci-fi mixed with the beautiful imagery and deep description style of Cixin Liu. The opening of Death’s End start in the era of the Ottomans and Constantinople, circa 1453 C.E.. The opening was fascinating as it was about a woman who was seen as a magician that Constantine XI wanted to use to help him defeat the Ottomans. Not until yesterday (November 8) did I understand what the opening chapter was even about. I’ve been reading this book for a month now. It was a wonderful, ‘Oh sh*t!’ moment.
The book follows a few main characters, so far, it’s mostly been Cheng Xin. A graduate student on propulsion systems, she was selected to help design Earth’s new aerospace propulsion system to counter the Trisolarian fleet (the invading alien race that came to Earth to destroy it). As is common with the Three Body book, there are many characters to keep track of, but Cixin does a great job of keeping them separate by chapters and time. I’ve been pounding through it and I only just reached 42% done. I hope to finish it by Christmas, that would be a wonderful present to myself.
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Can you verify something for me? Try typing Adrian’s last name ‘Tchaikovsky’ on your phone. I bet it will auto-predict and finish it before you are done typing it. It did for me. I thought that was cool, that perhaps he is so well known as an author, that Apple decided to add his name to their default dictionary library of words for the prediction feature.
I got this book on a whim, as I saw the title of the book pop up a bunch while looking at sci-fi book lists. SO I thought what the heck why not. I didn’t read any synopsis and simply dove in. Wow. What a nutty idea. A scientist tries to terraform and seed an Earth-like planet with monkey’s and then release a ‘nano-virus’ that helps the monkey’s evolve faster than all other life forms on the Earth, while someone waits up above in a satellite-ship waiting for them to reach the stage of radio communication so they can contact their creator, their God. Except it goes horribly wrong before it even start and all the monkey’s are destroyed along with all the scientists except the one who is stranded in the satellite-ship for ages and ages and goes crazy because her super smart A.G.I. (artificial general intelligence) merges with her and she can’t tell if she is still in hyper-sleep or if she’s awake or if she’s even alive anymore. Phew. The nano-virus still gets released though. On spiders. Talk about a sci-fi twist!
For some reason, at half way through the book, I hopped over to start reading Death’s End and haven’t looked back. I’m sure one day I’ll go back and finish Children of Time, but not before I finish Death’s End. And remember, it’s okay not to read books from start to finish, ask Naval Ravikant.
Neverness by David Zindell
Get a load of this…”A Requiem for Homo Sapiens by Horothy Hosthoh, Timekeeper and Lord Horologe of the Order of Mystic Mathematicians and Other Seekers of the Ineffable Flame.” What am I even reading? So far, it’s the year is 2929, on a planet called, ‘Icefall’ where people skate around town of streets made of ice. The book just starts. The author drops a bunch of info about the world all at once. There are people called ‘pilots’ but I’m not sure what they are yet. I’m not far into the book at all, just chapter one. But I feel I want to dedicate all my reading power to this book so I need to finish the other ones first. This one seems deep and the authors imagination is on full display right off the bat on the first page. I will wait to get back to this book when I have nothing else to read and it is very cold out and snow covers everything.
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
A samurai wielding gun toting futuristic pizza delivery dude? Sign me the f**K up! I grabbed a copy of this book today and it was the catalyst for writing this post. The word, “metaverse” has been popping up more and more recently, and this book – plus Ready Player One – have been mentioned along side it. So I figured I’d give it a look. The story starts off with ‘The Deliverator’ the cyberpunk pizza guy I mentioned earlier. In futuristic America, “pizza delivery is a major industry. A managed industry. People went to CostraNostra University just to learn it.” They take pizza seriously in the future, like, Mafia seriously. You’ll be killed if you don’t make the delivery before the ’30 minutes or it’s free’ deal.
If my zeitgeist-tuner is correct, we very well may be heading for a virtual/digital-focused-reality that will consume most of our waking-reality. Sounds exciting and terrifying.
Someone on Twitter thoroughly recommended that once I complete Snow Crash, I check out Diamond Age by the same author – Neal Stephenson. “Very enjoyable read.” I heart sci-fi book recommendations, so if you have some for me, let me know in the comments below.
I like films and books that force the viewer/reader to dive right into the world. Accept it or sink. Love it or leave it. I love it. If the mood is right and the scenes are set in just a way – I can get sucked into an authors universe like an alien ship falling through a blackhole. I hope that this sorta-not-really-a-book-review got you interested in reading the books mentioned above.
If you have read any of the books mentioned today, let me know in the comments below. Would love to hear your thoughts on these sci-fi sensations. Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m off to read some books.