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Book Reviews

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  1. The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

    Read 14–23 October 2021

  2. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

    Read 12–14 October 2021

  3. How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism by Cory Doctorow

    Read 6 April – 27 September 2021

  4. Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang

    Read 7 February – 18 April 2021

  5. Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

    Read 26 June – 1 July 2020

  6. Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer

    Read 8–20 June 2020

  7. Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

    Read 28 December 2019 – 5 January 2020

  8. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

    Read 14–15 December 2019

  9. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

    Read 23 May – 17 October 2019

    I’ve watched the first season of the show more than once, so there were no surprises to be found in this book, only details. That made it a slog to get through, even as it matched my expectations exactly.

    The book is fine, but most of its strength lies in finding out what happens — not so much in the flair of its style, or the inventiveness of its ideas, and certainly not in the very systematic, episodic structure that often threw me off pace.

    On the one hand, it did give me what I craved: more detail and cohesiveness than the show could bear to sustain. On the other hand, there is a certain ’80s fantasy corniness in some of those details that the show did well to correct in its art direction. Why does everyone wear impractically ornate animal-shaped helms? Sure, make armor fashion a thing, but those appendaged helms just seem like they’d be a hindrance in battle, existing more as flavor text than as a realistic part of the world. They remind me of the “no capes” gag in The Incredibles.

    Nonetheless, I am into it, and I plan to keep reading the books. As the story drifts from the show’s, I can only hope that the experience of reading it will feel less like a chore.

  10. Radicalized by Cory Doctorow

    Read 6–20 June 2019