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Tag Archive for ‘science fiction’

Classic science fiction with a timely message

The Parable of the Talents (Parable #2 of 2), by Octavia E. Butler @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Read Octavia E. Butler‘s two-book Parable series or the five-volume Xenogenesis cycle, and you’ll understand why she won a MacArthur Foundation genius grant as well as multiple Hugo and Nebula awards. The Parable of the Talents, the… Read More ›

An outstanding sci-fi series

Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga #1), by Lois McMaster Bujold @@@@@ (5 out of 5) For some time I’ve known that Lois McMaster Bujold is one of best of the contemporary science fiction writers. She’s won the Hugo Award five times and the Nebula three times. Somehow, though, I’ve managed not to read any of her… Read More ›

A superb dystopian novel

The Parable of the Sower (Parable #1 of 2), by Octavia E. Butler @@@@@ (5 out of 5) 15-year-old Lauren Olamina is the daughter of a Baptist minister and the eldest of his five children. Both Reverend Olamina and his second wife, Lauren’s stepmother, are African-American, and both hold Ph.Ds. Lauren’s father reaches at a… Read More ›

An entertaining if puzzling sci-fi novel

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1 of 2), by Sylvain Neuvel @@@@ (4 out of 5) Every once in a while you come across a work of fiction so puzzling that you simply can’t put it down. No matter that the story seems not just farfetched but downright silly. The narrative drive, the sheer suspense, keep… Read More ›

Roman gods in the 30th Century?

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy #1), by Pierce Brown @@ (2 out of 5) Red Rising, and its two sequels in the trilogy of the same name, have been hailed as the equal of the Hunger Games Trilogy. The series’ hero, Darrow, has been likened to Ender Wiggin of Orson Scott Card’s classic four-book science… Read More ›

A novel about alternate universes?

My Real Children: One Woman, Two Worlds, Two Lives, by Jo Walton @@@ (3 out of 5) Jo Walton’s My Real Children may be a science fiction novel about alternate universes — or simply a complicated fantasy in the addled mind of an old woman afflicted with advanced memory loss. Since Walton has written other… Read More ›

A science fiction trilogy reaches a surprising conclusion

A review of The Last Town (Wayward Pines Trilogy #3), by Blake Crouch @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Spoiler alert: do NOT read this book (or this review!) unless you have already read Pines and Wayward, the first two novels in the Wayward Pines trilogy. It makes no sense as a standalone story. Now, assuming… Read More ›

Paradise lost in a small Idaho town

A review of Wayward (Wayward Pines #2), by Blake Crouch @@@@ (4 out of 5) Spoiler alert: do NOT read this book (or this review!) unless you have already read Pines, the first novel in the Wayward Pines trilogy. Wayward is the second. It makes absolutely no sense as a standalone story. Now, assuming that… Read More ›

A journey into the multiverse

A review of Dark Matter: A Novel, by Blake Crouch @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Imagine that every decision you make throughout your life creates a new universe: the old one representing the path you actually take, the new universe conforming to the alternate path. Over the years, then, your life branches into innumerable possible… Read More ›

My 27 favorite science fiction novels

I don’t read much science fiction these days, but that was by no means always the case. I devoured sci-fi novels as a teenager and for extended periods later in life, attracted above all by the sheer creativity the writers¬†demonstrated in speculating about life and reality from new perspectives. In times past, science fiction was… Read More ›