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Soh Kam Yung Locked account

Joined 2 years, 3 months ago

Exploring one universe at a time. Interested in #Nature, #Photography, #NaturePhotography, #Science, #ScienceFiction, #Physics, #Engineering.

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The Privilege of the Happy Ending (2023, Small Beer Press) 4 stars

A surprising and exciting new collection of speculative and experimental stories that explore animal intelligences, …

A collection of fantastic stories that shows how broad the author's writings can be.

4 stars

A collection of fantastic stories (of short, medium and long length) that shows how broad the author's writings can be. Stories that invite the reader to become part of the story, flash fiction and 'traditional' forms of writing can all be found here. Stories that I really enjoyed include a trickster Coyote's journey into the land of the dead, one involving Toad and other characters by Kenneth Grahame, a magnificent journey through a dreamland created by H.P. Lovecraft, and a story that asks the reader whether the characters should have the privilage of a happy ending.

  • "Tool-Using Mimics": an unusual picture of a little girl wearing a squid or octopus-like costume triggers a speculative story about what the girl really is: just a girl in a costume, or perhaps an octopus mimicking a girl as a disguise, or something else.

  • "Mantis Wives": the various ways female mantis deal with the …

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2023 (2023, Spilogale, Inc..) 3 stars

An average issue of F&SF.

3 stars

An average issue, with interesting stories by Geoff Ryman and David Jeffrey, Amal Singh, Samantha E. Chung and Meighan Hogate.

  • "The Many Different Kinds of Love" by Geoff Ryman and David Jeffrey: a long, interesting story about a sentient exploration rig on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. It is buried in the water under the ice on the moon. The rig houses the memories and experiences of a group of selected people, who are tasked with giving permission to the rig to execute decisions. When communications with Earth are lost, the rig, with permission, decides to organize an expedition to explore the rest of the moon. When the expedition discovers would change the world that they know. But it may be threatened, for when the expedition returns to the rig, they discover that its priorities have been changed under its new masters.

  • "Karantha Fish" by Amal Singh: a girl's uncle …

The Stars We Raised (2023, 3 stars

We’re delighted to share “The Stars We Raised” by Xiu Xinyu, translated from Chinese by …

On harvesting stars while growing up.

3 stars

A story about growing up while feeling isolated. In a small village, the children catch floating stars as pets, which are eventually harvested. But one child, picked upon by the others, keeps his star despite being bullied about it by the others, until it is lost.

The children all grow up, and one day, the former child and his best friend go on a trip to harvest stars in the mountains. What they see and find there among the stars would be a wonder; and also a sadness over lost childhood desires.

20 Goto 10 (2023, Unbound) 3 stars

A numerical adventure through the history of retro computers of the 1980s and 90s

Do …

A retro-computing book, where you can follow the GOTOs of interest.

3 stars

An interesting book on retro-computers. Unlike other book on retro-technology, this one presents trivia on the machines: lots and lots of trivia on lots and lots of early home computers, some of which I later had to look on up the internet as I've never heard of them before.

The book also presents trivia on numerous games and on the idiosyncrasies of the machine themselves, both the operating systems and the tape based systems used at the time to save programs, and on the BASIC usually found on the machines. Some bring back memories of some of the POKES and PEEKS done in the past to 'bypass' game protection systems or to hack games.

The chapters, with a numbering system that starts with 0 (zero) repeatedly, and then jumps to other entries via GOTOs, are not meant to be read in sequence (although you can do that). Instead, you are …

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 206 (EBook, 2023, Wyrm Publishing) 4 stars

Fiction: - "Eddies are the Worst" by Bo Balder - "Bird-Girl Builds a Machine" by …

A better than average issue of Clarkesworld

4 stars

A better than average issue, with interesting stories by Bo Balder, Hannah Yang and Tia Tashiro. I reserve judgement on Thoraiya Dyer's story until I've re\ ad the second half.

  • "Eddies are the Worst" by Bo Balder: in a future with fewer people having babies, the only way to get a workforce is to hire cheap clones of people who've sold their genetic maps. But what happens when the clones working for you is from the last person you expect to have been cloned?

  • "Bird-Girl Builds a Machine" by Hannah Yang: a child grows up watching, and later helping, her mother put together an unknown machine. But it is only after the machine is put to use at the end does the child realize the various clues her mother said about her future in the story.

  • "The Long Mural" by James Van Pelt: On a generational spaceship heading to a …

Invisibility (Hardcover, 2023, Yale University Press) 5 stars

A lively exploration of how invisibility has gone from science fiction to fact   Is it …

A fantastic and readable book on the history of light and invisibility

5 stars

A fantastic and readable book on the history of invisibility. But before getting there, the author covers the history of the nature of light from the past through to the present. The excepts of fictional stories featuring invisibility found at the start of each chapter are also very interesting.

Once the nature of light is given, the author then shows how current research is looking into ways to take advantage of how light behaves to make things invisible, either by making light 'avoid' the object of interest, or by destructively interfering with the light emitted by the objects, so it cannot be detected.

The book closes with a look at how the technology and science used to make objects invisible to light can also be used to make objects invisible to other forms of energy, like sound, water waves and even earthquakes.

One property of charged particles mentioned in the …

The Locked Coffin (2023, 3 stars

While visiting the mysterious castle of Maidstone for an investigation, Judge Dee and Jonathan discover …

A death in a locked coffin is no mystery to the Vampire Judge.

3 stars

Another story in the author's Vampire Judge Dee's (and helper, Jonathan) series of stories, this one has the Judge travelling to an English castle, where its vampire master is certain somebody is trying to kill him. Despite the precautions, death does happen in a locked coffin and, given the clues given in the story, the reader might have a chance to deduce what happened before the Judge, or Jonathan, do.