Books I've read

I read enough books that I've accidentally bought the same book twice, not remembering I already have it. As a consequence of that, I started keeping track of the books I own. As the list grew, I started adding notes, to remind myself of the actual content and not just the title. And then I started adding a rating of how much I liked the book. I've shared that list with friends looking for recommendations several times, so I'm just making the list public.

Be warned, most of this is hard science fiction. You are not required to share my tastes.

Spoilers ahead! Don't read if you don't like to be told how the book ends.

Bowl of Heaven

Colony ship fails at its primary mission but encounters a megastructure "Cupworld" cradling a star that it is using as a rocket engine (by artificially creating & directing a solar flare).

The story starts out with a good pace, hits a couple of slowdowns, picks up speed again, and then ends without a real ending -- this and the sequel Shipstar should have been combined into one, and then trimmed to the length of one book.

I don't think I'll bother reading the sequel.

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Benford, Gregory
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2016

Threats ...and Other Promises

Collection of Vinge's stories, less focused on singularity. Most of the stories are average quality, but not bad either.

The last story, The Blabber, takes place in the Zones of Thought universe, and was a pleasant find.

  • rating: 3/5
  • tags: collection
  • author: Vinge, Vernor
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2016

Playgrounds of the Mind

  • tags: collection
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: to-read

The Engines of God

  • last-read: to-read
  • author: McDevitt, Jack
  • location: shelf

The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

  • last-read: to-read
  • author: Campbell, Jack
  • series: the-lost-fleet
  • location: shelf

Transition

  • last-read: ?
  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • location: only-loaned?

Incandescence

  • last-read: to-read
  • author: Egan, Greg
  • location: shelf

Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology

  • tags: collection
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

The Technicolor Time Machine

  • author: Harrison, Harry
  • last-read: 1990s?
  • location: shelf

A Lion on Tharthee

sequel to Saturnalia

  • author: Grant Callin
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Saturnalia

  • author: Grant Callin
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

The Forever War

  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • last-read: ?
  • location: shelf

Dealing in Futures

  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Rainbow Mars

  • author: Niven, Larry
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Nicely alien aliens but otherwise comes across as a clichéed clone of The Culture. Easy and entertaining read though.

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Asher, Neal
  • tags: collection
  • last-read: 2015
  • location: shelf

Web Operations

Collection of slightly outdated stories about building & scaling web-based companies.

  • tags: fact tech
  • author: Allspaw, John
  • author: Robbins, Jesse
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2015

Neptune's Brood

A little better than Saturn's Children. Manages to create a sense of wonder about economics, that was a good surprise. Still, at best an average book and a really disappointing ending.

Elaborate description of (non-native, high tech) life on a water world.

  • rating: 3/5
  • last-read: 2015
  • author: Stross, Charles
  • series: saturns-children
  • prev: Saturn's Children
  • location: shelf

Crystal Nights

I'm just not a fan of Egan's style.

The titular story has one interesting aspect: how they pull it off. It is only described by a remote, witless observer. Disappointed.

The one story in this collection that left a more lasting impression was "Steve Fever", where a person's agenda becomes malware that runs on humans. Also online, at e.g. http://www.technologyreview.com/article/408858/steve-fever/. It's a good story of nanotech run amok and controlling humans, to relatively futile but grand purposes, and how most of the world just lives around the problem.

TAP is an interesting idea with a bad plot.

  • rating: 3/5
  • tags: collection
  • last-read: 2015
  • author: Egan, Greg
  • location: shelf prune

Echopraxia

Sequel to Blindsight continues the same themes, but less intriguingly. It's kinda what happened with Starfish to Maelstrom to Behemoth; enough good things remain that you keep reading, but it's creeping closer and closer to threshold of not finishing the book.

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Watts, Peter
  • prev: Blindsight
  • last-read: 2015
  • location: shelf

Thrice Upon a Time

Ability to send messages back in time gives a gaggle of nerds the ability to repeatedly save the world, while simultaneously perturbing small things in the world around them.

Published in 1980 and talks heavily about computers. Some of the references are appropriately funny. Apparently their computer receives "network" transmissions by executing them as code; there is no mention of buffer overflows or such. Ah, those were simpler times.

Reminds me of The Visitors in the style of how everything is described, but where Visitors was set in the present (of the time of writing), Thrice Upon a Time is definitely postulating about the future, with videophones and such. It is the kind of book where not a single teatime is missed.

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Hogan, James P.
  • last-read: 2014
  • location: shelf

The Barsoom Project

  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Barnes, Steven
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

SF Hall of Fame: The Novellas Book 3 edited by Ben Bova

  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf
  • tags: collection

The Flight of the Horse

  • author: Niven, Larry
  • tags: timetravel
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Marooned on Eden

  • author: Forward, Robert L.
  • author: Forward, Margaret Dodson
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf
  • series: rocheworld

Bill, The Galactic Hero on The Planet of Zombie Vampires

  • author: Harrison, Harry
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

The Sky Road

Two timelines alternate, about time after an apocalypse scenario and just before it. The core of the story has a very low-tech feel to it: the earlier timeline ties to the fall of the Soviet Union, and while it has everything from news drones to nanotech, it also has characters riding horses because that was the best option available; the later timeline is a post-apocalyptic world with a weird mash of nanotech, fusion reactors, and society barely able to weld sheet metal. Over all of this, a justified yet paranoid fear of AIs & power grabs hinting at singularities abound.

The storytelling is smooth, and the characters just interesting enough. I found the characters of the older timeline harder to relate to, and its history harder to piece together. Overall, an entertaining but not convincing book; I just could not manage to suspend my disbelief enough to appreciate the book as sci-fi or alt-history.

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: MacLeod, Ken
  • last-read: 2014
  • location: shelf prune

Anthonology

Collection of previously unpublished short stories from the same author. The stories range from okay to ridiculously bad, with many of them combining childish themes and plots with the author's favorite sexual perversions.

The foreword before every story contains some of the most pompous whining ever published.

  • rating: 1/5
  • author: Anthony, Piers
  • tags: collection
  • last-read: 2014
  • location: shelf prune

The Integral Trees

  • author: Niven, Larry
  • last-read: ?
  • location: shelf

Make Room! Make Room!

  • author: Harrison, Harry
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

The Enemy Stars

  • author: Anderson, Poul
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Wheelworld

  • author: Harrison, Harry
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Vacuum Flowers

  • author: Swanwick, Michael
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

The Shockwave Rider

  • author: Brunner, John
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

When HARLIE Was One (Release 2.0)

  • author: Gerrold, David
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Cold As Ice

  • author: Sheffield, Charles
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

The Two Moons

  • author: Hogan, James P.
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

The Stars My Destination

  • author: Alfred Bester
  • last-read: to-read (years ago, from library?)
  • location: shelf

Man-Kzin Wars IV

  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Man-Kzin Wars V

  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Man-Kzin Wars VI

  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Man-Kzin Wars VII

Predictable but good simple stories, easy read.

The "A Darker Geometry" short story starts off promising, but every insight into the Outsiders it gives is disappointing. Potential wasted.

I liked "Prisoner of War" though the plot twists were too miraculous. Or lucky?

  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • author: Colebatch, Hal
  • author: Martin, Mark O.
  • author: Benford, Gregory
  • author: Chafe, Paul
  • last-read: 2015
  • location: shelf

Man-Kzin Wars VIII

  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Man-Kzin Wars IX

  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Man-Kzin Wars X

  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: waiting for Amazon to ship it

Man-Kzin Wars XI

  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • last-read: to-read
  • location: shelf

Man-Kzin Wars III

predictable but good simple stories, easy read

  • rating: 3/5
  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • author: Pournelle, Jerry
  • author: Anderson, Poul
  • last-read: 2015
  • location: shelf

Murder in the Solid State

The cover calls it a "thriller". It's a story of the good guy being unjustly accused, needing to run from the cops, and plot his victory. The good guy happens to be an unlikely scientist studying nanomachinery. The reader is expected to believe that because the scientist often thinks about his self defense training, his transformation into an action hero is believable. Not to mention the convenient let-me-dump-my-spy-gear-on-you friend.

It's a very unlikely plot, with not much depth, set in the context of a world full of nanomachines that almost don't show up in the actual day to day life. It is an easy and flowing read.

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Will McCarthy
  • last-read: 2014
  • location: shelf prune

Lady of Mazes

Transhuman power struggles in a world where virtual worlds are more real than real world, as experienced through a near-baseline human who is clueless about her surroundings most of the time.

Interesting societal constructions, such as humans living intermixed, but not sensing each other, because they are in a different "manifold", based on their attitudes and values. And later same without the attitudes and values; for example, physically shuffling straight in a boring corridor while in virtual reality walking in wide open terrain -- while other people in the corridor are mingling in a party. Not sure why they'd bother physically moving, at that point. Interesting ideas never taken to their logical conclusions.

The plot is actually pretty interesting, and has lots of larger-than-life plotlines cooking. Much of the background is, however, left completely unexplained, and while there are alien-like creatures -- and you don't even know if they're aliens, transhumans, AIs, or what -- all of the interaction with them is mediated by a boring "transhuman-as-hollywood-action-hero" character. Some hints are dropped toward AIs simulating alternate scenarios and choosing actions based on that, but none of those actually tie into the story in any way.

Much like with Gibson's cyberpunk, I refuse to believe there wouldn't be individuals who choose to (be able to) see things as they are, and gain more power from that ability.

Cover calls it "hard SF", but I think it's just very far-future soft SF. Nothing is really explained, and there are whole ringworld-like constructions full of smart matter that'll magically explain anything. Then again, the hard SF quote is from Stephen Baxter, who also doesn't really write hard SF..

Writing is smooth & easy to read.

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Schroeder, Karl
  • last-read: 2014
  • location: shelf prune

Einstein's Bridge

old school scifi, often talking at length about human troubles with communicating over phones etc, reminded me of The Visitors

aliens from a parallel universe open a wormhole; aliens are actually somewhat actually alien, but overtly stereotyped and evil/cutesy, as appropriate

interspersed with the fictional story a rant over the cancellation of the Superconducting Super Collider, and the differences of that compared to LHC

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Cramer, John
  • last-read: 2014
  • location: shelf prune

Rama II

not worthy to be a sequel of Rama; not written by Clarke and it shows

this book is preachy, too talky, and essentially a fantasy adventure book leeching off the fame of the original; absolutely no hard science fiction, very little science fiction at all, and lots of rambling about religion and magical visions

the closest connection to scifi is that one of the characters is a geek

it takes more than a quarter of the book for them to even enter Rama II; and at the point when they are about to, the author launches into several pages of dialog

parts of the book read like A Bit of Fry & Laurie sketch with Control and Tony:

"By the way," he said to his companion as he started his ascent, "thanks a lot for your good humor today. I might not have made it without the jokes."

Janos smiled and waved at his friend.

the role of women in this book is horrible; the woman main character ends up being nothing but a Timmy-in-the-well and a sexual interest for the unlikely hero. she never actually does anything.

  • rating: 1/5
  • author: Lee, Gentry
  • author: Clarke, Arthur C.
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf prune
  • series: rama

Rendezvous with Rama

exploring an alien megastructure; good story but doesn't even try to answer the questions it raises

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Clarke, Arthur C.
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf
  • tags: kindle loan-only
  • series: rama

Ender's Game

it's a cult classic for a reason; it's also a flawed book, but read it anyway

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: enderverse
  • author: Card, Orson Scott
  • last-read: 2013
  • tags: audiobook

Ender in Exile

it's as if Heinlein wrote a Takeshi Kovacs novel

if you skip all the bits that are about religion and gender and bigotry, it is fundamentally a good book underneath, but those bits are really annoying and I really wish they weren't there

the scheming and plotting and planning and thought processes of the characters are good

nowhere near as good as Ender's Game, but that was expected

the talk about parenthood is really boring

  • rating: 2/5
  • series: enderverse
  • author: Card, Orson Scott
  • last-read: 2013
  • tags: audiobook

The Man-Kzin Wars II

predictable but good simple stories, easy read

  • rating: 3/5
  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • author: Pournelle, Jerry
  • author: Stirling, S.M.
  • author: Ing, Dean
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf

Tool of the Trade

only scifi aspect is a sonic mind control device

superficially a spy thriller, but with an unusual Haldeman take on the topic

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf

Deathworld

a whole planet unites against the mankind -- or so it seems

simple but gripping story

free book available at http://www.manybooks.net/titles/harrisonharry2834628346.html

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Harrison, Harry
  • last-read: 2013
  • tags: digital free

Invasion: Earth

alien invasion story focusing on lies and deception

the aliens are at the same time nicely alien and utterly frustratingly simplistic; maybe that's the soft scifi treatment

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Harrison, Harry
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf

The Visitors

quirky alien invasion story from the era of printing press and landline phones

fluent writing and sufficiently alien aliens, but completely fails to fill in any detail or come to a satisfying conclusion; written in 1980 but has the distinctly stale and utopistic feel of 50s scifi

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Simak, Clifford D.
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf

Infinite Dreams

collection of unrelated stories

i just like Haldeman

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf

Trader To The Stars

unlikable merchant genius acts like a fat hedonistic Sherlock Holmes in various "Star Trek planetside scenarios", sometimes with aliens

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Anderson, Poul
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf

A Gift From Earth

story of terraformers settling on a harsh planet and society reacting to technological progress brought by a supply ship from Earth

contained in: Three books of known space

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf

Gateways

uneven collection of unrelated stories

  • rating: 3/5
  • editor: Hull, Elizabeth Anne
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf prune

A World Out of Time

  • author: Niven, Larry
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf

Fate of Worlds

  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Lerner, Edward M.
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf

The Forge of God

decent read but very disappointing end; never really explains or even explores anything

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Bear, Greg
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf prune

The Hydrogen Sonata

slow moving Culture book, too many ship Minds to keep track of well, grand plot that remains unmoving

capabilities of all the actors remain vague, so it ends up reading like fantasy: "oh but I have a mightier spell"; you never know whether someone is an underdog or magnitudes more capable, and that ruins the integrity of the story for me

  • rating: 3/5
  • series: the-culture
  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • last-read: 2013
  • location: shelf

Halting State

Near-future story of cyberpunked-without-the-80s-fashion-glitter society where online games are starting to bleed over into (augmented) reality. Readable and decently interesting story but somehow it failed to grasp me. Perhaps it tried to be too cutesy with the AD&D RPG ARG element, perhaps it was the viewpoint jumping between characters, perhaps it was how mundane their world still seemed.

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Stross, Charles
  • location: shelf

Beowulf's Children

sequel of The Legacy of Heorot

1st generation is growing old, their kids aren't happy with the rules and rebel

most intrigue & action revolves around the rebellion, not with the planet or aliens

the scifi on the rest of the ecosystem tries hard, but doesn't come off as good as the grendels themselves; there's a little bit of a "plot device smell" there

I'm bored with the "smooth-talking politically-minded human as the antagonist" theme, of this and The Children of the Sky, which I read back-to-back

  • rating: 3/5
  • series: beowulf
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Pournelle, Jerry
  • author: Barnes, Steven
  • last-read: 2011-12
  • location: shelf

The Legacy of Heorot

interstellar travelers (and probably last survivors of humankind) try to terraform an already-habitable planet with its own ecosystem

local animal life is extremely hostile and dangerous; good exposition, good scifi on the ecosystem as a whole

goes into almost military scifi as the humans battle the animals, called "grendels" as per the Beowulf lore

grendel biology is interesting: "speed" makes them amazingly fast, but overheats them severely; the limitations this brings to the otherwise ultimate predators is well thought out

  • rating: 5/5
  • series: beowulf
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Pournelle, Jerry
  • author: Barnes, Steven
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

The Children of the Sky

sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep

does not live up the the high expectation set by the earlier books

mostly about the internal conflict of the humans, the Tines have mostly supporting roles and very little initiative

there's a lot of promise of new revelations about the workings of the Tine group minds, but the book has very little new scifi in it

I kept expecting the fireflies on Pham Nuwen's grave, and later the change of behavior in the hive mind of the Tropics, to be manifestations of Countermeasure/Pham

I'm bored with the "smooth-talking politically-minded human as the antagonist" theme, of this and Beowulf's Children, which I read back-to-back

  • rating: 3/5
  • series: zones-of-thought
  • author: Vinge, Vernor
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

The End of Eternity

"guardians of humankind" living outside of time, making changes in the timeline

naive characters, unbelievable romance

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Asimov, Isaac
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf prune

The Lean Startup

how to make business decisions based on measurable data

  • tags: fact business
  • author: Ries, Eric
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

Building Harlequin's Moon

"last hope of humanity" settlers get lost, must do build a moon from scratch and terraform it just to be able to refuel

story spans 60000+ years, with the same characters, using cryo and nanotech for longer lifespans

class struggle with elite, earth born, moon born

easy to read, story flows well, i wish the end would have been more developed

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Cooper, Brenda
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

Surface Detail

  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • series: the-culture
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

The Quantum Thief

new author's first book, has a lot of promise but not enough execution

the kind of scifi where anything is possible if you call it "quantum" something; some decent speculation about how people living in such a world would think, build, entertain themselves

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Hannu Rajaniemi
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

Gridlinked

sort of "far-future cyberpunk"; technology levels are all over the place, AIs are rampant but people still drive cars (even if the cars do fly)

author's first (published) book, and you can kind of tell, the story jumps around in odd ways, almost half of the book ends up being irrelevant in the end, and the other half ends up being left as a mystery for a sequel -- have I mentioned how much I dislike books written from the start to be part of a series?

had definitely potential for max rating, but some of the time I felt it only deserved 3/5

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Asher, Neal
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

The Gods Themselves

classic science fiction

cheap energy by mass transfer between different universes

aliens with Rationals, Emotionals and Parentals, that later merge into a Hard One; nicely handled part of the story

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Asimov, Isaac
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

The Essential Hal Clement 3: Variations on a Theme by Sir Isaac Newton

Mission of Gravity is a true classic

collection of short stories

  • rating: 5/5
  • author: Clement, Hal
  • tags: collection
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

The Essential Hal Clement 2: Music of Many Spheres

collection of short stories

  • rating: 5/5 (quality varies a lot, maybe 4/5 average)
  • author: Clement, Hal
  • tags: collection
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

Permanence

story built around "Cyclers", slow cargo ships, once accelerated to (near?)relativistic speeds that never slow down, just turn slightly to fly in gigantic circles between inhabited worlds

humans living near "unlit stars", that just weren't energetic enough to sustain the usual reaction

lots of cyberpunkish elements, HUD-style implants etc, though none of the punk; also considers implications of security of implants, though very naively

mysterious ancient aliens, long gone, who left organic ships behind

sort of reads like juvenile Heinlein; young girl heroine, hero's quest and all

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Schroeder, Karl
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2011

Indistinguishable From Magic

One of the grand masters of scifi writes about the science behind the stories; lots of speculative depth about faster than light travel, time travel, etc

  • tags: non-fiction
  • author: Forward, Robert L.
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

Destroyer of Worlds

Pak protectors from Ringworld dealing with Earthlings.

I liked Ringworld very much, and this gives a bit of background on the Pak. Not as good, but still good.

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Lerner, Edward M.
  • series: known-space
  • last-read: 2011
  • location: shelf

The Essential Hal Clement 1: Trio for Slide Rule & Typewriter

collection of short stories

  • rating: 5/5 (quality varies a lot, maybe 4/5 average)
  • author: Clement, Hal
  • tags: collection
  • last-read: 2010
  • location: shelf

Quarantine

all about quantum mechanics and Schrödinger's cat with humans

somewhat cyberpunk world, neural implants grown into our brain by inhaling nanomachines; e.g. security guards have superhuman focus

neural implants influencing a character's motivations, yet the character is able to influence the neural implants definition of its goal; this is like the inverse of Asimov's Laws of Robotics.

slightly boring in the middle

ends with no real resolution

coming back to my notes, I realize this sounds very similar to the Ten Sigmas short story.

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Egan, Greg
  • last-read: 2014, 2010
  • location: shelf prune

Matter

this book takes 400 pages to get the plot rolling. kill me now.

the last 250 pages are decently interesting, in the way I enjoy The Culture, but are woefully underutilized compared to the pure amount of, well, fantasy style writing that ruins the book

once again, most detail is gimmicks and not plot-relevant; not good scifi at all

  • rating: 3/5
  • series: the-culture
  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • last-read: 2010
  • location: shelf

The Algebraist

ancient aliens living in gas planet atmospheres; whole species extremely stereotyped in behavior

lots of things end up being just gimmicks, for example the "slow time" Dwelling

ending is practically left open, no interesting plot twists at all

couldn't finish the book without reading something else in the middle, too boring

not a Culture book

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • last-read: 2010
  • location: shelf

Look to Windward

too long, too many unrelated sideplots, just too space opera

Minds and SC are interesting, otherwise wouldn't read

  • rating: 3/5
  • series: the-culture
  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • last-read: 2010
  • location: shelf

Excession

the Culture encountering a phenomena ("Excession") beyond their understanding

finally a Culture book that has the Minds taking active roles

the Excession itself is completely underexplained

long-winded and often confusing, but the Minds are interesting

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: the-culture
  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • last-read: 2010
  • location: shelf

Use of Weapons

tales of the Culture actually doing something, and fighting a few (dirty) wars, make this book engaging

i did not fully like the focus on Zakalwe and his background, and considered the way the book ended annoying

  • rating: 3/5
  • series: the-culture
  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • last-read: 2010
  • location: shelf

The State Of The Art

collection of short stories, some related to the Culture

often interestingly written, but on the whole unremarkable

contains afterword with authors' notes about the Culture; I think I liked it better before he explained how poorly thought out it was

"Odd Attachment" was funny, and very alien

"Descendant" was interesting but quite easy to guess

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: the-culture
  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • tags: collection
  • last-read: 2010
  • location: shelf

Noise

planet with no landmass, all sea of toxic chemicals, populated by Maori etc descendants; planet-wide seafaring trader culture

climate of the planet causes poor visibility, loud noise, and electromagnetic interference, making long-distance communication impossible

vulcanic activity at the core of the planet causes constant pressure waves, sort of upwards tsunamis; one cannot survive in the sea without armor, like fish and dynamite

good discussion about upbringing of children, morals, etc in a totally different society

every single detail about the planet and the climate is well thought of, though nothing explains why humans bother to inhabit such an awkward planet

quick easy read

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Clement, Hal
  • last-read: 2010

Consider Phlebas

fairly interesting alien species, Idiran, but fairly stereotyped: big, strong, smart, live forever, talk with a booming voice, religious lunatics almost all, overly preachy/talkative

one of the high AIs of the Culture (a Mind) is damaged, seeks refuge at a desolate planet (that is guarded by a "god-like creature", meh); the Culture human agent, the independent drone, and the Mind are the interesting elements of the story, but nothing much is ever done with the characters

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: the-culture
  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • last-read: 2010

The Player of Games

best intro to Banks' world, the Culture.

most action is on a backwards planet unbelievably fixated with a game tournament that controls every aspect of their society

the Culture is present as a backdrop and brief episodes only, the tease becomes a bit annoying

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: the-culture
  • author: Banks, Iain M.
  • last-read: 2010

Flatlander

collection of stories starring the same character, Gil "The Arm" Hamilton

main character has a "psionic" 3rd arm, usable for feeling and manipulating things behind walls etc; not too thrilled about it

some stories were entertaining, but on the average the book is nowhere near Niven's best

  • rating: 3/5
  • tags: collection
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2010

Crashlander

collection of short stories about a character called Beowulf Shaeffer

a few of the first stories are repeats from books I already have/have read

some stories were entertaining, but on the average the book is nowhere near Niven's best

  • rating: 3/5
  • tags: collection
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2010

Forever Peace

physicists having 2nd career as soldiers with remote-control bots; whole society build around "being at war"

barely explained science experiment near Jupiter might bring world to end

religious nutcases trying to kill main characters, cause end of the world

remote-control bots operated as teams "sharing a mind", long-term exposure to this makes people pacifists; main characters use this to effect a coup

interesting mix of very current-day seeming world and a world with nanoforges etc

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2010

The Draco Tavern

collection of short stories located in a bar built near the only alien landing point on Earth; aliens come & go, bartender & bar connect the stories

low on science or great thought but witty, well written and kept me glued

unconnected to other Niven fiction, i.e. not Known Space

  • rating: 5/5
  • tags: collection
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2010

Prey

nanobots play alien invasion & bodysnatchers

tries hard to sound scientific but fails; tries to use programming metaphors but fails utterly

starts out well, but later stages of nanobots are way too hollywoody to be believable or entertaining

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Chricton, Michael
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2010

The Black Cloud

Hard-to-find classic from 1957.

Alien contact from the era of punch cards; some of the science predictions seems silly now (20000 horizontal scanlines on a television display is easy?), but mostly good stuff.

Scientists form a "stronghold" against the end of the world, Footfall seems very similar now in many ways.

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Hoyle, Fred
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2010

Saturn Rukh

First exploration to descend into the Saturn atmosphere.

Nice commentary on commercial motivations etc.

Mile-long "gas blimp" aliens with interestingly disconnected double brains.

Shallow characters, naive storytelling. A lot of hard scifi detail on some things, but e.g. high level description of the aliens is "large flying manta rays".

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Forward, Robert L.
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

Neutron Star

Collection of Known Space stories.

I like puppet masters.

  • rating: 4/5
  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

Marsbound

Typical Haldeman: somehow infuriatingly simple to the level of naivete, but still very compelling.

Story is similar to Heinlein's young readers stuff. Much of the more complex backplot is referred to but not covered. Good concepts though, but again simplistic.

Settlers discover martians, who are an artificial species left there to keep track of humans. Ends in a disappointing way.

  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

Starquake

Sequel to Dragon's Egg. Not as good as the first part.

  • author: Forward, Robert L.
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

Dragon's Egg

  • author: Forward, Robert L.
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

The Witling

Scientists encounter an alien culture (humanoid and annoyingly human-like) that can teleport things, is stuck in medieval setting. Also remote sensing.

Can only teleport from/to places they've visited (without using teleportation). Security by restricting who can walk in, e.g. cave with blocked entrance opened once a decade.

Palaces with doorless rooms spread across a large georgraphical area.

Telepathic talent sets societal status, masters are Guild, talentless are outcasts.

Teleportation works by swapping contents of two volumes of space. Global kinetic energy maintained, so teleporting things from other areas of the planet causes them to become high speed projectiles. Normally use water (lakes, ponds) to cushion landing.

Teleportation won't disturb energy levels of bonds, so e.g. cutting objects just won't happen; uses that to explain why teleporting doesn't lead you accidentally half inside a wall; tied up people can't teleport away.

"Bear" animal that can prevent teleportation with conscious effort.

  • author: Vinge, Vernor
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

Slow Train to Arcturus

A bunch of disconnected societies heading spaceward to colonialize faraway planets/space, most of them having forgotten they are on a spaceship, and devolved into barbarism.

Colonializing the universe by discarding the unwanted elements of your society.

Nice idea about not braking the ship but just dropping off "train cars", while the "engine" finally loops back to Earth.

Large part of the story told from viewpoint of fairly interesting aliens. Anthropomorphized but still full of lovely nuggets like thinking smaller humans are younger, and bigger are female.

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Flint, Eric
  • author: Freer, Dave
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

Timemaster

Time travel by Einsteinian timelike curves, basically wormholes where one end is moved at close to lightspeed to slow its time.

Man timetravels and meets himself, repeatedly. Ponders paradoxes.

Wormholes are originally created by a living creature, interesting description.

Slightly annoying main character, "the billionaire who can do anything". Want more of an antihero.

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Forward, Robert L.
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

Rocheworld

Amoeboid super smart but non-technological aliens living on an interesting double-planet, and humans traveling there.

Hard scifi with the typical somewhat shallow characters.

  • rating: 5/5
  • author: Forward, Robert L.
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009
  • series: rocheworld

Return to Rocheworld

Sequel to Rocheworld that fails to live up to the standard.

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Forward, Robert L.
  • author: Forward Fuller, Julie
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009
  • series: rocheworld

Fleet of Worlds

Tells the story of the Puppetmasters' (of Ringworld) home world.

Nice background, sort of interesting, but not all that special. Which is quite suprising because I enjoyed Nessus in Ringworld very much. Maybe he gets anthropomorphized too much?

  • rating: 3/5
  • series: known-space
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Lerner, Edward M.
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

Lucifer's Hammer

  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Pournelle, Jerry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

Protector

Pak protectors from Ringworld dealing with Earthlings.

I liked Ringworld very much, and this gives a bit of background on the Pak. Not as good, but still good.

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: known-space
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

Footfall

Elephantoid aliens wage war on Earth.

Good but very simple book.

Discusses things from alien stand point, but they just seem like an odd warring tribe, very anthropomorphized.

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Pournelle, Jerry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

The Other End of Time

I totally devoured this book, but in the end I was very disappointed.

It doesn't really tell its story, just gives some hints of it and then ends. The scifi concepts in the book have been handled better even by Star Trek.

Smells very much like just a hook to get you to buy the rest of the trilogy; does not stand alone as a book.

  • rating: 1/5
  • author: Pohl, Frederik
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2009

Future Weapons of War

Collection of short stories exploring "new ways of waging war". Boring and mundane. Haldeman on the cover lured me in but I feel cheated.

  • rating: 1/5
  • tags: collection
  • editor: Haldeman, Joe
  • editor: Greenberg, Martin H.
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009

True Names (and the opening of the cyberspace frontier)

Partially a collection of essays about impact of scifi in the real world.

True Names the story was fresh when it was written, but after all this time so many stories have been written that are like it that it drowns among its clones.

I still fundamentally disagree about virtual reality being more powerful as a form of expression; if you look at the current web, web-based interfaces are mostly idolized by people who they empower; anyone who already had the skills necessary to do things before the web interfaces showed up isn't affected nearly as much. There will always be more power in using a slightly lower level interface, and while that will not be a popular choice, that is where the power users will be found; not as early adopters of the virtuality.

  • tags: collection
  • author: Vinge, Vernor
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Sun of Suns

The concept of a large zero-g area with air is intriguing, especially how heterogenous it ends up.

Reminds me very much of Niven's Integral Trees.

Decent storytelling but I absolutely loathe books obviously written to be part of a "saga". Good stories are short.

  • rating: 3/5
  • aythor: Schroeder, Karl
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2008

Pattern Recognition

Modern day story that manages to have a futuristic feel to it -- I guess that says something about the pace of the modern world.

I seem to never enjoy Gibson.

Decent writing, some clever ideas, but mostly the story feels empty.

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Gibson, William
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2008

Glasshouse

A "penal colony" feel, people living in isolated setting and being grumpy about it.

In chapter 11, he calls a diagram of habitats linked by wormholes a cyclic directed graph, but the wormholes are bidirectional.

The "recognition handshake" to detect doppelgangers changes from "something due" to "something do" (p. 296 in paperback)

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Stross, Charles
  • location: basement
  • last-read: 2008

Old Man's War

  • rating: 5/5
  • series: old-mans-war
  • next: The Ghost Brigades
  • author: Scalzi, John
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

The Ghost Brigades

The Sagan Diary

Novelette (100 pages, big font), easy to read in one piece.

Story was very sentimental, very much a diary form, totally different from rest of Scalzi and specifically the continuum it is part of.

While I acknowledge the writing is good, I personally did not like this book.

The Last Colony

  • rating: 5/5
  • series: old-mans-war
  • prev: The Sagan Diary
  • next: Zoe's Tale
  • author: Scalzi, John
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Zoe's Tale

The Human Division

The End of All Things

  • rating: 4/5 [rating-is-not-sure]
  • tags: collection
  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Old Twentieth

I'm disappointed with the book. The story takes ages to start picking up, fails suspension of disbelief, and the ending mostly frustrated me. Wouldn't read again.

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Accidental Time Machine

Haldeman has his own style, once again. Starting to like it even more.

Big fonts, pleasant reading, story is short enough to sustain momentum.

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Pushing Ice

Sort of typical space opera, comet miners end up being explorers and settlers. I like the fact that they're constantly in hard vacuum, no plentiful human-habitable planets available everywhere.

Decent alien concepts, good big scale ideas.

Actual story dwells in parts I didn't really want to read about, and then jumps years or decades, skipping the parts I wanted to read. For example, getting to know the aliens is skipped fully.

The arch nemesis angle annoyed me a lot; a society with hundreds of people seemed to only do anything because of two people. The ending made up for the similarity of the two characters, a bit.

Read more from this author: no.

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Reynolds, Alastair
  • location: basement
  • last-read: 2008

Spin State

Claims to be hard scifi but is really fantasy; one could replace the Bose-Einstein condensate with magic crystals, AIs with daemons, and the level of explanation and scientific rigor, nor the plot itself, wouldn't change significantly.

Falls victim to the cyberpunk-inherited silly rules about VR.

Data access via rooms and drawers? Oh come on.

Too long, wishing it'd be over already.

Read more from this author: no.

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Moriarty, Chris
  • location: basement
  • last-read: 2008

Camouflage

Haldeman has a his own distinct style, his stories are surprisingly simple, almost naive, while still being captivating. No huge plot twists, but makes you want to read as long as you can stay awake.

What was the chameleons origin?

  • rating: 5/5
  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Broken Angels

I like the military angle (I never fully enjoyed the private eye version of Kovacs in Altered Carbon)

The two sex scenes in the middle seem quite disconnected, would have been better to have the book that much shorter.

Intensely disliked the voodoo angle and the Semetaire character

Morgan's ideas of virtual reality are annoying; why would the suit who owns the virtual reality have his dress shoes be slippery? No point in emulating real world to the letter there. (Note later the soldiers get accustomed to their new bodies in VR, there as realistic as possible emulation makes sense.) Also completely ignores the fact that different levels of realism need different amounts of CPU power, and pretty much every economical aspect of it. And don't get me started on "system magic" and the whole link to voodoo. On somebody else's machine that might have been a neat trick, but on your own, hardly.

The sabotage of the ship is handled irrationally by the characters; I'd expect way more security after an incident like that from such a paramilitary organization.

  • rating: 5/5
  • series: takeshi-kovacs
  • prev: Altered Carbon
  • next: Woken Furies
  • author: Morgan, Richard
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Altered Carbon

Morgan's world economics make backup copies of yourself overtly costly compared to how easily digital humans are manipulated all over the story; this is more obvious in connection with Altered Carbon, but think about this: even lowliest humans have a "cortical stack", that is a live real-time backup of their brain; thus a single snapshot backup must cost less than the lowliest solder is worth. Sounds more like an extra backup should be comparable to buying a car or a house -- absolutely obtainable, even if not everyone has that extra copy.

  • rating: 5/5
  • series: takeshi-kovacs
  • next: Broken Angels
  • author: Morgan, Richard
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Woken Furies

The main character has a body ("sleeve") with synthetic setae, gecko-like fine "hair" on palms and feet, allowing him to cling to even smooth surfaces. However, the author thinks they will work even under water, which doesn't happen for geckos.

  • rating: 5/5
  • series: takeshi-kovacs
  • prev: Broken Angels
  • author: Morgan, Richard
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Snow Crash

  • rating: 3/5 [rating-is-not-sure]
  • author: Stephenson, Neal
  • location: basement
  • last-read: 2008

Diamond Age

  • rating: 3/5 [rating-is-not-sure]
  • author: Stephenson, Neal
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Eon

Too long for the story it contained.

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Bear, Greg
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2008

Schismatrix Plus

Sort of interesting ideas about conscious control of body language.

Mostly mediocre story.

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Sterling, Bruce
  • location: basement
  • last-read: 2008

Gateway

I always confuse Heechees with Xeelees

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: heechee
  • author: Pohl, Frederick
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Heechee Rendezvous

(Sequence of books: Gateway / Beyond the Blue Event Horizon / Heechee Rendezvous)

  • author: Pohl, Frederik
  • series: heechee
  • last-read: to-read

Armor

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Steakley, John
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2008

Blindsight

good story, interesting ideas, mildly bad writing

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Peter Watts
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2007
  • next: Echopraxia

Tau Zero

Accelerating & time dilating to the end of the universe.

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Anderson, Poul
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2007

The Golden Transcendence

claims to be hard science fiction; do not believe

only thing of value in the book: speculation of new and different mind forms

author fails to grasp fundamental physics, such as how characters talking over multi-hour latency links should be unable to interrupt eachother

  • rating: 1/5
  • author: Wright, John C.
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2007

The ultimate alien

semiboring

  • rating: 1/5
  • tags: collection
  • editor: Clarke, Arthur C.
  • editor: McCaffrey, Anne
  • editor: Silverberg, Robert
  • location: basement
  • last-read: 2007

Vacuum diagrams

bad scifi

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Baxter, Stephen
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2007

Engaging the enemy

  • author: Moon, Elizabeth
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2007

Century Rain

bad scifi

  • author: Reynolds, Alastair
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2007

Ring

bad scifi

  • author: Baxter, Stephen
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2007

Getting Things Done

  • tags: fact
  • author: Allen, David
  • last-read: 2007

The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge

  • author: Vinge, Vernor
  • tags: collection
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2007

The Peace War

  • author: Vinge, Vernor
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2007

Marooned in Realtime

  • author: Vinge, Vernor
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2007

The Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction

mostly average if even that scifi

"extreme" as in "people might upload their minds and live with 0-n bodies" -- unh, anything that has a full genre for it, isn't extreme anymore, ok?

  • rating: 1/5
  • tags: collection
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2007

N-Space

  • tags: collection
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2007

Mirrorshades

  • tags: collection
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2007

Tangents

  • tags: collection
  • author: Bear, Greg
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2007

Cryptonomicon

  • author: Stephenson, Neal
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2007

Microcosms

  • tags: collection
  • location: basement
  • last-read: 2007

Sirius The Dog Star

  • tags: collection
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2007

The Hard SF Renaissance

  • tags: collection
  • location: basement
  • last-read: 2007

Lucky Or Smart?

  • tags: fact business
  • author: Peabody, Bo
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2007

Ringworld

  • rating: 5/5
  • series: known-space
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: basement
  • last-read: 2006

The Ringworld Throne

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: known-space
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2006

The Ringworld Engineers

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2006

The Mote In God's Eye

  • rating: 5/5
  • series: moties
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Pournelle, Jerry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2006

The Gripping Hand

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: moties
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Pournelle, Jerry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2006

Three books of known space

contains: World of ptavvs, A gift from earth, Tales of known space

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: known-space
  • tags: collection
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2006

The man-kzin wars

  • rating: 3/5
  • tags: collection
  • series: known-space
  • author: Niven, Larry
  • author: Anderson, Poul
  • author: Ing, Dean
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2006

Star dragon

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Brotherton, Mike
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2006

Iron Sunrise

sequel to Singularity Sky, which I don't seem to have

  • rating: 4/5
  • series: eschaton
  • prev: Singularity Sky
  • author: Stross, Charles
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2006

A Fire Upon the Deep

  • rating: 5/5
  • series: zones-of-thought
  • author: Vinge, Vernor
  • location: basement
  • last-read: 2006

A.I.s

  • rating: 1/5
  • tags: collection
  • editor: Dann, Jack
  • editor: Dozois, Gardner
  • location: shelf prune
  • last-read: 2006

Past Imperfect

Never even finished this collection of short stories, utterly plain & uninteresting.

  • rating: 1/5
  • tags: collection
  • location: shelf prune

Year's Best SF 10

  • rating: 1/5
  • tags: collection
  • location: basement

The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 12

  • rating: 1/5
  • tags: collection
  • location: basement

The New Space Opera

  • rating: 1/5 [rating-is-not-sure]
  • tags: collection
  • location: basement

Sphere

  • rating: 1/5
  • author: Crichton, Michael
  • location: basement

The Alien Way

  • author: Dickson, Gordon R.
  • location: shelf prune

Alien Minds

  • author: Laumer, Keith
  • location: shelf

Virtual Light

  • rating: 2/5 [rating-is-not-sure]
  • author: Gibson, William
  • location: basement

Asimov Science Fiction valikoima

  • tags: collection lang:fi

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  • rating: 5/5
  • tags: collection
  • author: Adams, Douglas
  • location: shelf

Mona Lisa overdrive

  • rating: 2/5 [rating-is-not-sure]
  • author: Gibson, William
  • location: shelf

Robojen poika

  • rating: 1/5
  • tags: lang:fi
  • author: Rucker, Rudy
  • location: basement

Triljoonasade

Meant for younger readers, rated accordingly.

  • rating: 3/5
  • tags: lang:fi
  • author: Fisk, Nicholas
  • location: basement

Taistelu Venuksessa

Meant for younger readers.

  • tags: lang:fi
  • author: Heinlein, Robert A.
  • location: basement

Saturn's Children

After humans are dead, the robots are left around, still obeying human laws.

Reads very much like a modern Heinlein, with hints of Asimov; womanizing, crudely naively sexual in places etc, just like Heinlein was.

Space travel is slow and uncomfortable.

  • rating: 3/5
  • author: Stross, Charles
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2009-12
  • series: saturns-children
  • next: Neptune's Brood

Camelot 30K

Aliens living near absolute zero temperatures.

Interesting reproductive strategy.

Lots of effort put into alien body chemistry.

  • rating: 4/5
  • author: Forward, Robert L.
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2009-12

Vector Analysis

Interesting lifeforms but horrible story.

  • rating: 2/5
  • author: Haldeman, Jack C., II
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2009-11

Luminous

  • author: Egan, Greg
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2005-12

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

  • author: Sheffield, Charles
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2005-12

A Deepness in the Sky

  • author: Vinge, Vernor
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2005-12

Galactic dreams

  • author: Harrison, Harry
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2006-01

The mammoth book of 20th century science fiction

  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2006-01

Mindbridge

  • author: Haldeman, Joe
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: 2006-01

Schild's ladder

  • author: Egan, Greg
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2006-01

Sister Alice

  • author: Reed, Robert
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2006-02

Ihmisen paluu

  • tags: lang:fi
  • author: Vance, Jack
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2006-02

Drunkard's Walk

  • author: Pohl, Frederik
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2006-04

Wasp

  • author: Russell, Eric Frank
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2006-04

The difference engine

  • author: Gibson, William
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2006-04

Starfish

Starts as psychos in deep sea lab, switches to include AIs and corporate politics, lots of exobiology (or at least exotic biology); ends a bit suddenly. While lighter than average and largely based on describing the character's feelings, it probably counts as hard science fiction, and it does have the typical appendix with sources and all. (Oh and this is from the author of Blindsight -- I think I can see the similarities now. Didn't realize that before.)

whole series also available as free downloads!

  • rating: 3/5
  • series: rifters
  • next: Maelstrom
  • tags: free-online
  • author: Watts, Peter
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2007-06

Maelstrom

  • series: rifters
  • next: Behemoth
  • prev: Starfish
  • tags: free-online
  • author: Watts, Peter
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2007-06

Behemoth

  • series: rifters
  • prev: Maelstrom
  • tags: free-online
  • author: Watts, Peter
  • tags: only-loaned
  • last-read: 2007-06

Flesh Made Words

  • Short story (18 pages) about the structure of the mind. Nothing special.

  • rating: 2/5

  • author: Watts, Peter

  • tags: only-loaned

  • last-read: 2007-06

The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 18

  • Mostly boring, one good story: Ten Sigmas by Paul Melko, about a man whose consciousness spans all "similar" parallel realities, and how this makes him able to predict outcomes of things -- mostly by being hurt in some percentage those realities.

  • tags: only-loaned

  • last-read: 2008-06

Singularity Sky

  • tags: only-loaned
  • series: eschaton
  • next: Iron Sunrise
  • author: Stross, Charles

Accelerando

Extremely good. Requires solid background knowledge of scifi concepts to be read fluently.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

  • tags: free-online only-loaned

Diaspora

  • author: Egan, Greg
  • tags: only-loaned

Lilith's Brood

  • author: Butler, Octavia E.
  • tags: only-loaned

Dilbert: The Joy of Work

  • author: Scott Adams
  • tags: comic
  • location: shelf

The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book

  • author: Watterson
  • tags: comic
  • location: shelf

The Essential Calvin and Hobbes

  • author: Watterson
  • tags: comic
  • location: shelf

The Indispensable Calvin And Hobbes

  • author: Watterson
  • tags: comic
  • location: shelf

Crystal Express

  • tags: collection
  • editor: Bruce Sterling
  • location: shelf
  • last-read: to-read