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wow books, amirite? trying to replace lethargic social media usage with slothful reading

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A Half-Built Garden (2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

On a warm March night in 2083, Judy Wallach-Stevens wakes to a warning of unknown …

Queer solarpunk first-contact sci-fi

4 stars

As the title says: queer solarpunk first-contact sci-fi!

Recommended for anyone that liked:

  • the first book of the Wanderer series by Becky Chambers
  • for anyone solar-curious
  • for nerds with kids
  • for nerds without kids
  • for fans of peer-to-peer mesh networks (yes, really)

It definitely has some weird bits, not necessarily in a negative sense. I enjoyed this a bunch and kept telling people about during my travels in the past weeks—so that's probably a better recommendation indicator than anything!

The author even coined a potential subgenre in describing the book: diaperpunk!

Flowers for Algernon (1978, Bantam Books) 5 stars

FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON made its first appearance as a short story which was rapidly and …

Flowers for Algernon

4 stars

Goodness gracious. So many themes are touched on in this book, and I think I'll be haunted for some time to come by the ideas raised.

I'm a sucker for both an epistolary-style novel (which this classifies as, given the diary format) and the bildungsroman genre which I can also see reflected in the type of story it is, albeit not perfectly—so if either of those butter your biscuits well dangit bring out the tea cause these biscuits are ready to be eaten, buttered and all!!

Recommended read for many reasons, and not only because it's hard to let go of once started.

A Good Old-fashioned Future (1999) 4 stars

From the subversive to the antic, the uproarious to the disturbing, the stories of Bruce …

A Good Old-fashioned Future

4 stars

Solid! Bruce Sterling's quite fun when he gets his engines going in the right direction.

The later shorts are all in the same universe and tie in together with cross-over characters; I enjoyed them immensely. That is: Deep Eddy (the concept of the Wende!), Bicycle Repairman (v good), and Taklamakan (climbing-focused sci-fi, v good).

Weakest of the collection was Sacred Cow; it didn't do anything for me.

The Goblin Emperor (Paperback, 2019, REBCA) 4 stars

Maia, the youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, …


5 stars

Content warning mild spoilies on general theme

Doors Of Eden 3 stars

From the Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning Adrian Tchaikovsky, The Doors of Eden is an extraordinary …


4 stars

Wide-spanning and imaginative. If you're feeling sceptic in the beginning, give it until at least the second set of characters are introduced proper—I feel that's when the book was coming into its stride.

Consistently entertaining and engaging, I never felt like I was slogging through a chapter to reach the end. At times, a bit too many pop-cultural references, but within acceptable bounds given the YA bent of the novel.

I'd say this is recommended if you're a fan of other Tchaikovsky novels :)

Iron Sunrise (2005, Time Warner Books Uk) 4 stars


4 stars

solid space opera that improves upon the world-building set out by the first book.

slightly messy reading experience, but might have just been my edition; perspectives would suddenly change from one character to a completely different one, in another part of the world without any type of signifier (e.g ***, or new chapter heading, although there were the latter at times)

Children of Ruin (Paperback, 2020, Pan Macmillan) 4 stars

The astonishing sequel to Children of Time, the award-winning novel of humanity’s battle for survival …

Review of "Children of Ruin"

4 stars

Decent read! Unexpectedly enjoyed having previously read one of the author's reference books (if you have gotten into Children of Ruin you might be able to guess which topic it concerns :) Less bombastic storyline than Children of Time, a larger focus on cognition in general