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Thriveth Locked account

Joined 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't read as much as I should. Much into science fiction but other stuff gets a bit of love sometimes too.

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The Dawn of Everything (Hardcover, 2021, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 4 stars

The renowned activist and public intellectual David Graeber teams up with the professor of comparative …

Review of 'The Dawn of Everything' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This book gives an extremely refreshing perspective of the history of human societies, including (but importantly not culminating in) our own.

The book is extremely interesting for its thorough presentation of a wide array of human societies along. It rejects the notion often taken by many, that societies throughout the world and throughout history, are merely evolutionary stages culminating in our own. Instead, they make an effort of showing just how remarkably diverse, unpredictable and complex societies through history seem to have been already back in the Central European Paleolithic at the end of the last Ice Age - rather than living in some child-like, innocent state of nature, they show, people seem to have formed large, continent-spanning spheres of kinship and hospitality, and to have displayed a quite surprising flexibility in their societal arrangements, seemingly effortlessly alternating between libertarian and strongly hierarchical arrangements with the change of the seasons. …

Stories of Your Life and Others (Hardcover, 2002, Tor) 4 stars

Ted Chiang's first published story, "Tower of Babylon," won the Nebula Award in 1990. Subsequent …

Review of 'Stories of Your Life and Others' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

As I have grown older, more stressed, more worried, more cynical, and have read more books; I suppose I have gotten a bit blasé. It is not often that I read a book that stirs me so much that it feels like it sits in my body for days after, and poses questions and tells stories that somehow feel urgent to think about and mull over in my head. I am glad to report that this book showed me it is still possible.

Not all the stories are fantastic. But Chiang has that rare quality to his writing where even the stories that are not good are still good. I didn't care much for "Understand", "Division by Zero" or "Liking What You See". They are great ideas, and Chiang does a formidable job of diving into his own ideas and examining them from all angles. But sometimes, as in these …

To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1976, Berkley) 4 stars

Imagine that every human who ever lived, from the earliest Neanderthals to the present, is …

Review of 'To Your Scattered Bodies Go' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Great story, original and trippy set-up and premise. Fun and surprising idea to populate the character list with real historical people, and the way they are used is generally fairly interesting.

But... Two things blemish this book and they are kind of connected. One is the blatant sexism in it. One could perhaps in part excuse the constant focus on the attractiveness and "figure" of women in the book - and little else about them! - with the POV character being a Victorian British man. But that does not explain the complete lack of interesting parts to play for the female characters beyond being judged on their attractiveness by the main character.

The other is the seemingly uncritical idolization of the main character. A bit of a male Mary Sue... A Marty Stu? I am a bit disappointed by this; I have not read much else by Farmer but what …