Mikolaj Habryn (dichro) wrote in b00kwh0re,
Mikolaj Habryn

Bulk update

The Etched City, K. J. Bishop, is interesting but very uneven. Featuring a typical post-apocalyptic world: lawless, close horizons, and no room service. Vaguely reminiscent of China Mieville, but nowhere near as good. Dull and directionless at first, but becomes quite gripping in the second half, modulo the extended bouts of navel-gazing that the characters and author engage in at the oddest of times.

A Forest of Stars, Kevin J. Anderson, is just fabulous. Sequel to Hidden Empire, it's space opera with a sizeable complement of factions and powers given to manic self-interest and internecine warfare. Science and a dash of supra-natural nicely blended, with lost ancient technology and inscrutable aliens to boot. Loved it.

The Thief's Gamble, Juliet E. McKenna, is fairly standard fantasy. Quite engaging, and despite being first-person and possessed of a post-denouement lead-out that stretches credulity beyond all reasonable bounds, quite enjoyable.

The Outlaw Sea, William Langewiesche, promises to be an insight into modern maritime realities (subtitled A World of Freedom, Chaos and Crime), but despite an interesting first few chapters, the author clearly runs out of material about half way through and starts blathering on about just about anything. The book winds up being far too short for the money anyway.

The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality is a surprisingly in-depth yet accessible pop-science exploration of the search for fundamental theories that explain observed reality. There's no maths that isn't introduced with a reference to where the narrative resumes, and most of the harder detail is relegated to end notes. Gradually introduces you to some very deep subjects by following their development over the past century or so. Best book I've read in the genre since A Brief History of Time.
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