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SciFi

Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein

I didn't enjoy this book, but I still finished it. It was interesting, though made me cringe at times. This book has not stood up well to the passage of time. It's very sexist. I suppose the author being born in 1907 would have a lot to do with that.

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The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

This was just what I needed this summer; A light, fun, and engaging read with a murder myster....and time travel! I'm sold!

The book jumps forward and backwards through time but this is well laid out with how the plot develops and the titles of the chapters. I was never lost when reading this book. Did the plot tie up everything perfectly at the end? Yes, but that's what we expect at the end of a book like this.

This is a feel-good book that would be a great companion for when you are sitting on the beach. My friend lent this to me, and I'm very grateful for that because I'm not sure I would've picked this book up off the shelf on my own.

Rating: ★★★★ Book #85 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge

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(Xenogenesis #2 & 3)

(These 3 books are so short, they really should be read as one book. I finished #2 in the series but then finished #3 as well before having a chance to write the review for #2)

Adulthood Rites

This book is about Lilith's first child, a human-Oankali construct child. Akin looks quite human-like. This book is about its upbringing, and eventual kidnapping by a 'resister' community. Some humans have rejected the Oankali aliens, and don't want to live with them; they are called Resisters. They are determined to find a way to have pure human children. This has led them to kidnap Oankali children who look quite child-like before their metamorphosis into adulthood. Obviously living with the Resisters, Akin learns more about the human way of life than any Oankali before him. He empathizes with the humans, and wants do help them.

Imago

The focus of this book shifts to Jodahs, the first Oankail ooloi-human construct. It follows him as he tries to implement the plan to 'save' the human race, and give them an alternative option than living with the Oankali. It also is about the ooloi growing up and its search for mates.

Series Overview

The whole series of Xenogenesis is more about race, freedom, colonizers, and what defines 'humanity' than spaceships and explosions. It's a slow burn, but detailed look at how things would look if humans were the colonized, rather than colonial masters. It also deals a lot with gender roles in families, and the society of Oankali aliens, and humans. This may not be the 'sci-fi' book for everyone, but it is certainly quite different to what I was expecting and to most of the other sci-fi I have ever read.

Rating: ★★★★ Book #83 & 84 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge

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Dawn by Octavia E. Butler

(Xenogenesis, #1)

What if humanity almost destroyed itself and was saved by an alien race? How would we deal with that loss of pride, honour, and freedom? How far would we be willing to go to survive? What defines us as 'human'? These are the types of questions explored in this series by Ms. Butler.

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Network Effect by Martha Wells

(The Murderbot Diaries #5)

I've read all the books in the series so far. I usually don't read books from a series, especially not more than one*, but Murderbot is like an old friend. He's sassy. He's violent, and he doesn't really like human emotions. All-in-all, he's my kinda guy! In this story, we find him re-united him with another character I like from the series, ART. This is the first book where Murderbot is fully 'free'. The ending seems to set it up for Murderbot to go on another adventure. There are also a few loose ends that could conceivably make it into book 6, or into some short stories.

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Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory by Martha Wells

(The Murderbot Diaries #4.5)

A very, very short story (17 pages) used a bridge between The Murderbot Diaries 4: Exit Strategy and her new book that just came out The Murderbot Diaries 5: Network Effect.

I'm not sure why I keep coming back to this series. Well, I guess I do know. I like the smart-ass robot who has to keep saving those pitiful humans who are living in their fragile meat sacs. They are short, and action packed too. I like to read Murderbot in between other hard, and difficult books. The series is familiar, and easy to read.

Now that this is finished, I can move onto the new full-length novel, Network Effect! I hope it is still as good as the other 4.5 books in the series. Onward!

Rating: ★★★ Book #71 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge

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The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

What a thrilling book! It had a diabolical premise of corporations being the rulers of the world, who have their own armies. They have a technology that can turn soldiers into a light beam and send them anywhere they desire to fight their wars for them. I really liked to political backdrop of the story with: ghouls (those without residency or citizenship rights), residents, and citizens. The scary part of this story is how some parts of it are quite plausible, and not that far fetched.

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This turned out to be a huge disappointment. It wasn't a total loss because the last two stories were Liu in his true form, but the other 8 or 10 stories felt like filler. Was Liu short on money? Was publisher forcing him to publish something? Was he digging out old stories he had never gotten published before?

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Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov

(Foundation #2)

Another solid entry in the Foundation series. This one is about the expansion of the Foundation and it meeting its greatest nemesis yet, a military commander that wasn't forseen by Hari Seldon. It's more of the same with Foundation, and that is perfectly fine because the formula is great, and the plot moves into new territory that is very cool.

PS This book feels like a more substantial version of what John Scalzi seems to be trying to do with his Collapsing Empire series, but his series can't touch this masterpiece from the 50s. Scalzi focuses too much on lightweight banter that doesn't move the world forward. It feels like he's stretching out his story to sell more books. It's fine, but it shouldn't feel like that when reading it.

I'm already reading Foundation #3 now. It still sizzles!

Rating: ★★★★ Book #57 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge

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Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Foundation #1

This is a huge novel in scope. This is a sci-fi, political thriller that deals with civilization and the maneuvering that goes on at the highest levels. Are the characters 1 dimensional? Yes. Does it matter? No. It's amazing the world he builds with only ideas. Every sentence is required, he is not one for superfluous plot points or description. This is the essentials stripped down, and it's beautiful.

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