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scienced

scienced@books.theunseen.city

Joined 1 year ago

Mostly reading science-fiction, with a preference for hard sci-fi. Alastair Reynolds, Vernor Vinge and Peter Hamilton wrote novels and series that I enjoyed very much.

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scienced's books

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This Is How You Lose the Time War (Hardcover, 2019, Simon and Schuster) 4 stars

Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange …

a teapot in a tempest

5 stars

"This is How You Lose the Time War" asks the reader to perch on the shoulders of two operatives on opposing sides of a time-traveling war.

Each chapter follows "Red" or "Blue" as they scurry up and down timelines and across dimensions. The book is both sweepingly broad and extremely contained and personal.

The settings flit by, dizzying: a temple for mechanized humans, an ancient holy cave, the assassination of Caesar - each sketched with broad, emotional strokes to give the setting an aesthetic. One gets the sense that a great web of cause and effect is being constantly constructed, altered, and destroyed, without ever seeing the full picture.

Against these backdrops, the characters "Red" and "Blue" write to each other - as nemeses, then as friends, ever deeper entangled even as they demolish each other's plans and forces. The letters make up an enormous part of the experience, and …

Lock Every Door (2019) 2 stars

Not worth the time spent on reading it

2 stars

Content warning Spoiler!

A Closed and Common Orbit (2017) 5 stars

A Closed and Common Orbit is a 2016 science fiction novel by Becky Chambers, published …

Better than the first one in the Wayfarer series

5 stars

This is a relatively short book using two narrative threads focused on how interactions of humans with self-aware artificial intelligence systems could look like in a very distant future. While the first Wayfarer story introduced well the universe and alien species, this second book has a better pace and was more enjoyable overall. Still, it is probably better to read them in order.

Project Hail Mary (Hardcover, 2021, Ballantine Books) 4 stars

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission--and if he fails, humanity …

A lot of fun and technical imagination

5 stars

If you read 'The Martian', this one follows the same chain of technical puzzles in a survival setting. But both the setting and the science are quite a lot more fictional. I still enjoyed it very much as it also has 'Enemy mine' vibes. Highly entertaining read, if you don't take the science too seriously.

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The Boys from Biloxi (Hardcover, 2022, Doubleday) 4 stars

A Good Long Ride

4 stars

I’ve read every one of John Grisham’s novels, many of them more than once. He is easily one of my favorite authors. But his previous book, Sparring Partners, was not good at all, and I was afraid it might herald a permanent decline. I'm glad to say I was wrong, because The Boys from Biloxi is a strong rebound.

This new novel is written in an unusual style for Grisham, covering multiple character arcs over a long span of time. But it works — so well, in fact, that I often felt I was reading a non-fiction account of fascinating historical events. Definitely recommended.

I Am a Strange Loop (2007, Basic Books) 3 stars

Hofstadter's long-awaited return to the themes of Gödel, Escher, Bach--an original and controversial view of …

Review of 'I Am a Strange Loop' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

While the book started fine as an autobiography, I think it would have been better to continue in the same vein. Also tried reading the previous and famous "Gödel, Escher, Bach" book from the same author and did not find the value other people seem to find in it.