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Joined 1 year, 5 months ago

Michigander (USA), city planner, sci fi/fantasy/RPG nerd, he/him. Mastodon:

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Murph's books

Aimee Ogden: Emergent Properties (EBook, 2023, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 5 stars

In the middle of investigating a story on the moon, Scorn comes back online to …

emergent properties

5 stars

A short cyberpunk-lite whodunnit starring an angsty AI journalist (ze/zir) investigating zir own previous instance's disappearance. Fast read with meditations on personhood and a good sense of humor without being comedic.

Tad Williams: Sea of Silver Light (Otherland, #4) 5 stars

Sea of Silver Light is a science fiction novel by American writer Tad Williams, the …

Lots going on in this book, the fourth in the series, finally knocking over all the dominoes that had been set up in the prior 3x900-pages of the series. By the time you're looking at this book, you hardly need me to tell you what's it's about, so I won't.

It reminded me why I appreciate Tad Williams' super-long series, though. He's able to use that space to set up so much and make characters so fully human that it doesn't feel like the books should be any shorter, and the payoff is big: the climax here was hundreds of pages long, and then took another hundred pages of flashbacks and exposition to fully unravel, and then there were enough endings that Peter Jackson would be envious, and I teared up at least three times in reading those endings.

In this reread of the series, I also very much appreciated …

Ha-Joon Chang: Edible Economics (2023, PublicAffairs) 5 stars

talks a lot about food, for a book that's not about food

5 stars

Picked this up expecting a book on food systems. It was not that.

While it contains many charming personal anecdotes about specific foods, as well as historical vignettes about those food items, those are primarily used as metaphors to address economic topics. E.g. you assume at your peril that an item without a "spicy" icon on a sichuan restaurant menu does not contain chili peppers -- and nor should you assume that care work does not matter just because it is not paid.

Overall, an entertaining taster menu of critiques and alternatives to the free-trade/free-market hegemony of contemporary economic practice, though you'll need to look elsewhere for a deep dive into any of the topics covered.

finished reading Untethered Sky by Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee: Untethered Sky (2023, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

Ester's family was torn apart when a manticore killed her mother and baby brother, leaving …

A novella of roc trainers in fantasy not-Persia. I quite enjoyed this, as an example of fantasy where only a couple things from a folklore are taken as part of the setting, and a human story told around those changed points. Pacing a little off in places and might have had trouble holding together a longer book, also CW for a killed child.

reviewed Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow: Attack Surface (2020) 4 stars

Cory Doctorow's Attack Surface is a standalone novel set in the world of New York …

attack surface

4 stars

I'll read anything Doctorow puts out. Enjoyed this techno-thriller, though the pacing felt vaguely off at times. Had a bit of Heinlein-esque unsubtle author monologuing through the mouths of charismatic and hypercompetent characters on the nature of technology as at best a tool for connecting and enabling humans to participate in person-to-person organizing and democracy, rather than as a magic wand that makes the world better -- you can clearly feel the period and mood he was writing this in.