A new year, another year older (my birthday was just over a week ago) and another Monday. I’ve had a lovely ten-day break over with my parents in the Netherlands, which I spent pigging out on Christmas food, knitting cat hats, baking oliebollen and setting off fireworks. Oh, and watching my brother’s usual attempts at making a Stalin organ out of any type of firework we have more than ten of.
Back to Authors Answer then, and this week’s question is What are your favourite genres to read?
Description: In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research & cutting-edge science in the 1st of a trilogy chronicling the colonization of Mars: For eons, sandstorms have swept the desolate landscape. For centuries, Mars has beckoned humans to conquer its hostile climate. Now, in 2026, a group of 100 colonists is about to fulfill that destiny. John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers & Arkady Bogdanov lead a terraforming mission. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage & madness. For others it offers an opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. For the genetic alchemists, it presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life & death. The colonists orbit giant satellite mirrors to reflect light to the surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth. Massive tunnels, kilometers deep, will be drilled into the mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves & friendships will form & fall to pieces–for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.
Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope & ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in evolution, creating a world in its entirety. It shows a future, with both glory & tarnish, that awes with complexity & inspires with vision.
I know it has been absolutely ages since I last posted a blog post, but this is in part due to the fact that I have been on holiday for two and a half weeks. I am also shamelessly behind on reviews, but I will catch up on those at some point, I promise. I just don’t know when yet.
With that brief news out of the way, I found myself pondering science-fiction literature recently, mainly because I have started Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars).
Description:They are, truly, provably, End Days for the Gzilt civilization.
An ancient people, they helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier & were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they’ve made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new & almost infinitely more rich & complex existence.
Amidst preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, & she is now wanted–dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android & a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command–find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over 9000 years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago. Cossont must discover the truth before she’s exiled from her people & her civilization forever–or just plain killed.
Description: Captain Laurent Zai of Imperial Frigate Lynx must rescue the Child Empress, sister of the immortal Emperor worshiped by 80 human worlds for 1600 years. The forever young co-ruler has been taken hostage by Rix, machine-augmented humans who worship AI compound minds – cool relentless fanatics bent on domination. Separated by light years, bound by an unlikely love, Zai and pacifist senator Nara Oxham face the Rix and hold the fate of the empire.
Why: Stumbled across it and thought I’d give it a try.
Rating: 3 Stars
Description:By all accounts, Sirantha Jax should have burned out years ago…
As the carrier of a rare gene, Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace—a talent which cuts into her life expectancy, but makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. But then the ship she’s navigating crash-lands, and she’s accused of killing everyone on board. It’s hard for Jax to defend herself: she has no memory of the crash.
Now imprisoned and the subject of a ruthless interrogation, Jax is on the verge of madness. Then a mysterious man breaks into her cell, offering her freedom—for a price. March needs Jax to help his small band of rogue fighters break the Corp monopoly on interstellar travel—and establish a new breed of jumper.
Jax is only good at one thing—grimspace—and it will eventually kill her. So she may as well have some fun in the meantime…