Tag: Science FIction

Book Review: Walk the Vanished Earth by Erin Swan

Walk the Vanished Earth
Author:
Erin Swan

Published: May 31, 2022
384 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

The year is 1873, and a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. The year is 1975, and an adolescent girl named Bea walks those very same plains; pregnant, mute, and raised in extreme seclusion, she lands in an institution, where a well-meaning psychiatrist struggles to decipher the pictures she draws of her past. The year is 2027 and, after a series of devastating storms, a tenacious engineer named Paul has left behind his banal suburban existence to build a floating city above the drowned streets that were once New Orleans. There with his poet daughter he rules over a society of dreamers and vagabonds who salvage vintage dresses, ferment rotgut wine out of fruit, paint murals on the ceiling of the Superdome, and try to write the story of their existence. The year is 2073, and Moon has heard only stories of the blue planet–Earth, as they once called it, now succumbed entirely to water. Now that Moon has come of age, she could become a mother if she wanted to-if only she understood what a mother is. Alone on Mars with her two alien uncles, she must decide whether to continue her family line and repopulate humanity on a new planet.

A sweeping family epic, told over seven generations, as America changes and so does its dream, Walk the Vanished Earth explores ancestry, legacy, motherhood, the trauma we inherit, and the power of connection in the face of our planet’s imminent collapse.

This is a story about the end of the world–but it is also about the beginning of something entirely new. Thoughtful, warm, and wildly prescient, this work of bright imagination promises that, no matter what the future looks like, there is always room for hope.

Kim’s Review:

I’m starting to see differences within the sci-fi genre. And unfortunately, this book is in the group that I’m not a super huge fan of. I’m glad I read it; it’s an overall good story, I just feel like it wasn’t for me. It’s a multi timeline, multi POV story that covers a lot! The story line I liked most was that of Moon, an odd child in the care of a pair of odd robotic beings on an odd quest to save the human race and discover her own origins. She falls under the more traditional title of sci-fi and I wish I could have a book just about her. The rest of it was just necessary context for me. I didn’t really have any emotional attachment to most of the characters and the overplayed apocalyptic climate change trope just bored me. It’s definitely not a loss because it kept me entertained while reading and I am glad I did … I just don’t feel much for it now that I’m done with it. But … that cover!!!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams

Published: October 12, 1979
215 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of the The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out of work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin their journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitch Hiker’s Guide “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have” and a galaxy-full of fellow travellers: Zaphod Beeblebrox – the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out to lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ball-point pens he has bought over the years.

Kim’s Review:

Easily one of the greatest books ever written. I’ll admit that not everyone will like this book. The plotline is thin and definitely more character driven. But even then, the writing is dry and technical and random. Being a sci-fi fan is the absolute minimum of being able to appreciate this book. The characters are random and hilarious and, in many cases, confusing and shallow. Arthur Dent is the one that I identified with. The lone human in this amalgam aliens, creatures, planets, probabilities, drink recipes, space ships, robots, and sea creatures; he’s the grounding influence.

It’s so hard to describe this book to those who haven’t read it; it’s hard enough to describe to those who have! I think the most accurate comparison I can make (super random, I know, but stay with me) is to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Definitely one of the greatest films ever made, but don’t ask me to explain why, because I can’t. I put Hitchhiker’s Guide ahead of Rocky Horror because I actually got it while I was reading it. Rocky Horror Picture Show is more of a hindsight enjoyment. Even though not everyone will enjoy it, I still encourage everyone to read it! Those who will love it, will love it with all their hearts and be so thankful that someone suggested they read it. Hitchhiker’s Guide is one of my new all time favorite books!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Sea of Tranquility
Author: Emily St. John Mandel

Published: April 5, 2022
255 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

A novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon three hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal–an experience that shocks him to his core.

Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s bestselling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.

Kim’s Review:

What a fascinating book. I bought it on a whim and while it had its small bit of annoying idealism, I truly enjoyed reading it. I’m liking this multi-timeline trend. Not the historical fiction, lady walking away on the cover kind, but this sci-fi kind. And this one added a thread that is definitely unique. While it had some of those typical factors that are oh so overplayed, the overall product felt like something I hadn’t read before. And considering how technical some of the concepts were, I still felt like I knew what was going on. I enjoyed this book! Will I read it again? Probably not, but it’s definitely worth the read!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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