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acidman

acidman@bookwyrm.social

Joined 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Almost exclusively SFF. Rec me your favorite utopias.

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Review of 'BYZANTIUM: THE SURPRISING LIFE OF A MEDIEVAL EMPIRE.' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

7/10

I don't have a lot of experience with history books so I'm not sure what qualities to look for in one nor the standards. I thus can only write about how I personally found it and my time with it. Byzantium, written as it is for the public (rather than historians), does a good job of laying out all the interesting bits of it's subject on the canvas; sometimes in broad strokes and sometimes in intimate details. The mostly self contained chapters, each around a single feature of the society make it very approachable each pages never failing to contain something interesting.

The Byzantines themselves make for an interesting tale, them having previously been mostly a mystery to me. The history of the Churches and how they came to take the shape they have today. How the familiar court and royal traditions of Europe came about from their Roman …

Stephen King: The Long Walk (Paperback, 1999, Signet Group, Penguin Group) 4 stars

In the near future, where America has become a police state, one hundred boys are …

Review of 'The Long Walk' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Gobsmackingly funny but bleak beyond repair. I enjoyed every page but it's just too goddamn bleak.

So, the book's about a bunch of dead men walking. I didn't really care for the social commentary that's supposed to be there if you squint your eyes. Past the premise, past the setup, the author didn't care either. Death men don't care.

It's also about a bunch of kids dying. Kids who don't know any better. They get to learn though. Not much. But they wizen up to how wrong they were about everything. Disabused of their convictions about their bodies, strength. Their minds, their fancy plans. A long, strung out, emphasized, capitalized but pointless lesson. Divine enlightenment during bad trip that doesn't seem to end. Raw reality received and processed but soon to be forgotten, too absurd to be any useful. You drop when you drop. Till then, maybe you get to …

Sarah Pinborough: Behind her eyes (2017) 3 stars

Behind Her Eyes is a thriller novel by English author Sarah Pinborough, published on 23 …

Review of 'Behind her eyes' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

It's always incredibly frustrating to watch characters take the obviously wrong turn, trip into the obvious trap, tumble down obvious stairs. It has been used to charming effect in some horror titles but it's never failed to be frustrating for me. This book, for the most part, alternates between a chapter of the villain scheming, all but documenting, their evil plans is followed by a chapter of the victim failing for it. And it's not even like the victim's being unrealistically stupid or anything. It's just that the author had to rely on explaining the oh-so-wicked scheme beforehand as an attempt to make them interesting because their drab prose would have failed to make it any kind of engaging otherwise.

Also, the oh-so-big twist was made so damned obvious half a dozen chapters before it's revealed. It's obvious from the get go that the book was relying on it's one …

Neil Postman: Amusing Ourselves to Death (2005, Penguin (Non-Classics)) 4 stars

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985) is a …

Review of 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

7/10

Postman wrote this polemic on Television in 1984. The World Wide Web was incepted in 1989. We'd have to wait until 2006 till Twitter launches and the 2010s until it takes over public discourse but the obsolescence of the all-might Television since then lends the book a certain retro-futuristic aspect...for a lack of words. That's not to say it's rendered irrelevant because its core arguments still resounds strongly as ever if not stronger.

- Cultures are defined by their medium of communication.
- Mediums have their own latent biases.
- No medium is fit for all discourse.

I think the average informed citizen of today's world, with their temporal proximity to Facebook genocides and The Culture War, has an intuition if not a deep understanding of what Postman was furiously gesturing at then, especially the last point. Sure, the specific form of the dangers warned of herein don't apply …

reviewed The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings, #0)

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit (EBook, 2012) 4 stars

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther …

Review of 'The Hobbit' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Having already watched all Jackson movies, it's hard to make a fair assessment of the book. Would I have found the worldbuilding and so and so silly if I hadn't? Would I be unimpressed if I had no knowledge of the greatness in it's future? I don't know. I like to think not so. Cause I'll say this, I had incredible fun. And little of that came from the richness of Middle-earth or the little clues here and there of this and that and what not. It was the prose and storytelling bringing most things leaping alive. It was the characters, Bilbo and Thorin and Gollum and Smaug, and what characters they are. It was the incredibly successful humor. It was the songs I'd heard so much about and was not expecting to like. Well, the last third is not like the first two. It's not perfect by any means. …

reviewed The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time, #1)

Robert Jordan: The Eye of the World (1990, Tom Doherty Associates) 4 stars

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. …

Review of 'The Eye of the World' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I enjoyed this one. Its a chosen one. Its a farm boys. Its a dark lord. Its witches and prophecies. Noble noblefolk and surprising-not-really back stories. Secret ancestry and stuff. There's Mary Sues. There's plot armor. It's the end of the world, mister! It's all things, it's everything you'd expect from the generic epic fantasy in your head. Well, all that's true. But it's more true about the series than it is about this book. This book's all about running. Running away from the bad guys. Running across a whole damn continent. Country bumpkins at that. This sets a tension, setting and pace for a solid and enjoyable introduction to a big world and conflict.

Now, do I like what was on display? Will I be sampling more? Was it worth my time? I was definitely scratching for something like this, let's just say that. Haven't decided if I'd be …

reviewed Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee (The Machineries of Empire, #3)

Yoon Ha Lee: Revenant Gun 4 stars

Review of 'Revenant Gun' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

7/10


These characters are amazing. What they managed to do with Jedao on this one not only was super clever, it worked really well. The world-building's fantastic as always though I did not find the new addition to be as inspirational. Gate-space is no Calendar. Moths are no Hafn geese. Good book, good series. But fuck, allow me to lament, we never return to the heights of Book 1 Chapter1. Kel Infantry shit.

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I think the series could have used a few world-upending changes. Change of scenery at least. Read the books back to back and it feels like a sci-fi show from 90ies. Shot on the same high-end but repetitive set. Describe to me the Ashawk tapestries once again.

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All of my criticisms feel unfair to me. I really liked and enjoyed the book. I really liked how it turned out. I really like the intimate, intrigue, …

reviewed Perhaps the Stars by Ada Palmer (Terra Ignota #4)

Ada Palmer: Perhaps the Stars (Hardcover, 2021, Head of Zeus) 4 stars

World Peace turns into global civil war.

In the future, the leaders of Hive nations—nations …

Review of 'Perhaps the Stars' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I write these words, a reader far from what this account was intended for. One from 300 years in the past for one. A gender addict (though I could have sworn I wasn't one before some twists and turns present in this volume showed me otherwise). A nobody with no accomplishment to speak of. I've never shook hands with anyone that haunts any halls of any kind of measurable power let alone walk them myself. I don't read philosophy or history. I like to think I'm good and kind but I'm yet to find hard evidence for it. I don't care that much for my nation strat. The magnitude of "oppositude" I feel would make this list endless (though not to imply that I believe one has to relate with anything to enjoy it) and I'm not fit to in anyway to critic this book but it...set forth a lot …