The Word for the Blog is Scientifiction

sábado, 23 de septiembre de 2017

Latest science fiction readings

I know there could be some mistakes in this review. I'm trying to improve my English, thanks.


(You can also read this review in Spanish/También puedes leer esta reseña en español)


In the Garden of Iden (1997), The Company series #1, by Kage Baker

Reading this book I realize how much I missed time travel stories. This is my first Kage Baker's reading. It is also the first of The Company series.

In the Garden of Iden deals with an entertaining visit to Spain and England in the sixteenth century. The plot, in one sentence: Mendoza is a young agent for The Company -a time travel corporation from the twenty-fourth century-, and she should be aware of the risks of getting involved with the mortals, the people of the sixteenth century.

T
he reading is interesting, the description of this tumultuous era and the characters (with some historical ones) are well-rounded and the end improves the whole story. Kage Baker (1952-2010) left us a legacy of books and short stories set in The Company universe that I want to visit in the future.


Ghosts of Tomorrow (2017), by Michael R. Fletcher


Of course this is only my opinion as a science fiction reader: in the year 2000 it was The Golden Age by John C. Wright; in the year 2010, The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi; and now in 2017, it is Ghosts of tomorrow. In other words, this novel has been a nice surprise.

Ghosts of Tomorrow is a cyberpunk story with a hard scent of transhumanism. The intrigue is good and the pace is frenetic, along with a good sense of wonder in this insane future set in 2046. High violence scenes, lovely characters and funny dialogues (human/human, human/machine and also machine/machine), and some unspoken philosophical questions about technology and humanity. I highly recommend this book.


The Stainless Steel Rat (1961), The Stainless Steel Rat #1, by Harry Harrison

I have finally read this classic. It is my second Harry Harrison's work and I find it quite different for his masterwork Make Room, Make Room! The novel The Stainless Steel Rat is an entertaining reading, with an ironic criticism about human nature, but it is not the devastating warning that was the former.

The plot: Jim diGriz is a gentleman thief turned space agent
007-esque style and he has to capture an interestellar mass murder. 

The novel is a light reading. Curiously it remembers me the Spanish pulps I read when I was a young space cadet (it occurs me that -however the spanish writers are very imaginative- perhaps they are influenced by this one, but I must consider also than the sixties are full of Spy-Fi books and movies). As I said, the novel is not more than an enjoyable reading -regardless the time it was written-, with some funny moments. However, my meeting with the master Harry Harrison is a happy one and it will not be the last reading from The Rat.


Something Coming Through (2015), The Choice #1, by Paul McAuley

I like the quiet science fiction by Paul McAuley. The author is a veteran in the genre and in this novel he deals with some of his favorite subjects: biological contamination, likely aliens, and also always about people... that ends up f*cking everything. In other words: we, the humans, humanize everything we deal with, for better or worse, but most usually for the latter.

The novel has a very good worldbuilding, and in this wonderful/nightmarish universe the characters try to achieve their goals, or simply they try to survive (this is another preferred subject by the author). A very realistic science fiction that in my opinion can be included within the hard subgenre, not only for the technological issues, but for the human aspect that should include all (ahem!) or almost all fantastic stories. for appreciate the whole tale I must read the sequel Into Everywhere (2016). Also there are some short stories set in the same universe written previously.

I understand that Paul McAuley may not appeal to all the science fiction readers, but in my opinion at present he is one of the best writers in the genre.

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