Artemis

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Its been ages since I’ve read a book in a couple of days, let alone stayed up late when I really shouldn’t in order to finish a book. Artemis is the book which broke me out of that rut — this is a fun, clever, light read. Its quite different when compared to¬†The Martian, but I think that’s good. Weir has attempted to do something new instead of just playing on his previous successes.

An excellent book, and Mr Weir is solidly landing on my buy-everything-he-writes list.

Artemis Book Cover Artemis
Andy Weir
Fiction
Del Rey
November 13, 2017
384

She grew up on the moon, of course she has a dark side... Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of Jazz's problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself - and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even more unlikely than the first.

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Woken Furies

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This is the third book in the Takeshi Kovaks series. It is similar to the second book, and follows on more strongly from that one that the first book. This is consistent with the overall arc if the series, so it doesn’t bother me that it is different from the first book. Overall I liked this book, and read it fairly quickly. I think the end is good and was largely unexpected.

[isbn: 0575081279]

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Polar City Blues

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My first Katharine Kerr science fiction novel. There is a lot happening in this book: an inversion between the expected racism in our society; multiple alien species; political intrigue; murder; disease; and a first contact with a new alien species. The book could have included fewer plot elements and still have been excellent. Regardless, this book is quite good, and very unexpected from what I consider to be a fantasy author.

[isbn: 0553285041]

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Buying Time

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This book isn’t Haldeman’s best work (checkout The Forever War, The Forever Peace, or Marsbound for examples of his really good stuff). I found the characters largely unsympathetic, and the plot quite slow. The book is also odd in that it was written in 1989, but is full of stuff you’d expect to see from a Heinlein novel like The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress — global conspiracies, Russian space colonies with vigilante law, that sort of thing.

Interestingly, the plot twist is much more smoothly done than many other Haldeman novels, which is nice.

[award: nominee prometheus 1990]
[isbn: 0380704390]

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Broken Angels

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This book is very different from Altered Carbon, as noted by many other online reviews. I found it very slow going, for a few reasons: it is quite long; it is very different from Altered Carbon in a way that almost feel like a bait and switch (Altered Carbon is a film noir detective novel, this is a hard core combat book with an alien influence); and Morgan has an annoying habit of providing emphasis with. periods. in the middle. of sentences which makes his work sometimes hard to parse. Overall and ok book and I like the alien stuff, but not what I was expecting and not as good as Altered Carbon.

[isbn: 9780575081253;0575081252]

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Snow Crash

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I’d read this book before, but a long time ago and I decided it was time for a re-read. Its a good book, although the exposition about Sumerian history feels like a first attempt at the style of exposition used in later books like Quicksilver and I think its not as well done here. The story is pretty good sci-fi, even if the plot feels a little dated today. Overall a good book, but not Stephenson’s best.

[isbn: 0140232923;0553562614]

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Zodiac

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This isn’t Neal’s best work, and I found the second half a little hard to read — I think because it meandered, with several theories for who was responsible being interchanged. They were all reasonable theories, but the jump between each of them was jarring and could have been better done. The version of the book I was reading also had heaps of typographical errors — single character substitutions and stuff like that — which meant you needed to re-read sentences to make them make sense, which was pretty annoying. Overall not the worst book I’ve ever read, but certainly the worst Stephenson I’ve read.

[isbn: 0099415526]

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The System of the World

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The final book of the Baroque Cycle, and it feels like a real achievement to have gone through them all. They have their slow spots, but also excellent action and characters I love. Best of all, this book focuses on the latter two, with only one section of long theoretical dialog (about the nature of God in this case), which was so common in the other books and somethings so hard to follow. This story line was well worth the 2,500 or so pages it took, and the last book was a pleasure to read. It feels like there should be more books in this universe, but I’m not aware of any — perhaps later?

[award: winner prometheus 2005]
[isbn: 0060750863;0060750863]

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Currency

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This is the second last book in the Baroque Cycle and its good to see so many diverse plot elements being wrapped up. It does feel like Neal is going to have to work pretty hard to get them all wrapped up in just one more book — especially at the pace that these books move at. This book focuses on Daniel’s adventures in London, although the usual suspects are of course present. An enjoyable read.

[isbn: 0060750863;0060895357]

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