I signed up to Annemieke’s fantasy and sci-fi reading challenge, because I couldn’t resist a spot of book bingo to help me pick my next read. If you’ve been tempted to dig deeper into genre reads but didn’t know where to start, this might be the challenge for you!
The last war ended in an atrocity. The Trouble Dog resigned her post afterwards, seeking redemption in salvage. Now she’s the closest craft to a civilian distress call, summoned to the carven worlds of the Gallery with a mess of former enemies aboard. Has anybody put the war behind them?
Nell Crane is the girl with the clockwork heart, daughter of two revolutionary thinkers whose contributions have improved the lives of everyone in Black Water City. Great things are expected of her, but she’s running out of time to make a contribution that will keep her free of a life of manual labour. When inspiration finally strikes, her idea is so bold it may destroy her ties to everyone she loves…
SecUnits are standard issue, one per ten humans on a corporate deal that you can’t opt out of if you wish to survey a new world. They’re not well equipped and they’re not very clever, but they’ll rip themselves apart to protect their clients.
Well, most of the time.
Climate change has herded humanity into Hives, the 99% pacified by a diet of mass media while the super-rich look out for themselves. Orphan Kir is part of a project – the Needle – trying to make mass migration into space feasible. But her on-board AI has uncovered secrets it wants to share with her – if it can find a way around the code that controls it.
It’s the final week of the @SFFreadalong of A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, so ‘ware major spoilers for the finale! This week we’re hosted by Mogsy from The Bibliosanctum as we reach a new crisis point that will test Sidra and Pepper’s loyalties and their commitment. Will it be a happy ending?
Welcome to the second week of the @SFFReadalong of A Closed and Common Orbit. This week, we find Sidra struggling to adapt to her new existence as she searches for a way to come to terms with the kit. In the past, Jane must face her fears if she is to survive in the shuttle.
It’s time to dive back into deep space with the read-along for A Closed and Common Orbit, the much-anticipated sequel to last year’s break-out debut The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. This week we’re hosted by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow – we’ll be reading through December so if you’re interested in participating, hop on over to the SF/F Read-Along group to join the discussion.
JB6847½ is a frankenship, cobbled together from the wreckage of two salvaged craft. Traumatised by memories of past deaths, only its love for its pilot drives it back into the vacuum of space to take on the Earth Force. But in the final days of a hopeless war, who knows what it may yet become.
Artificial Intelligence: self-aware, keeping a low profile, keen to help. Curious about morality. Fond of cat pictures.
Humanity: self-deluding; expert in denial; afraid of change; hard to help. Fond of cat pictures.
Maybe we can find some common ground.
Blindsight: the ability of the cortically blind to respond to stimuli they cannot (consciously) ‘see’.
Also: a Hugo-nominated hard SF novel by Peter Watts, which asks us what makes us human and whether – in the face of demonstrably more viable alternatives – it’s all it’s cracked up to be.
Cat Valente has a gift for myth. She is inspired by it, she works with it, she weaves into new and strange configurations and leaves the reader to work out where they’ve got to and how they feel about it.
I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy this anywhere near as much as The Lady Astronaut of Mars. There are good ingredients in this Hugo-winning short story (and it is short), but it didn’t pack the emotional resonance of Lady Astronaut.