Recently Reading

Here's a few titles that have read over the past six months.

Winter World by A. G. Riddle, recommended by Josh Pigford. An ecological first contact thriller. It was popcorn, but not memorable I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had not recently read the bewildering and terrifying Blindsight by Peter Watts. Related: Blindsight and Echopraxia by Peter Watts for truly terrifying alien concepts, Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir for saving earth with limited resources, Seveneves by Neil Stephenson for some far-flung futurism post-catastrophe.

The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler. Recommended by Robin Rendle. In a near future, a nearly depleted sea is overfished by monstrous AI-automated fisheries and a mysterious organization races to study a last sanctuary that may contain an undersea intelligence… while a mysterious assassin kills everyone who has ever seen it. Fantastic and highly recommended. Related: Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky for more strange evolution, Borne by Jeff VandeMeer for examining childhood trauma through post-singularity parenting.

Know No Fear by Dan Abnett. Grimdark hard military sci-fi in the 41st millennium. Ultramarines are indeed kind of OP, but this was a glorious testosterone romp with heavy Tom Clancy overtones, and I loved it.

The City & The City by China Miéville. Recommended by Errin Larsen. A noir murder mystery in a more mysterious city. I love "new weird" fiction, and this is a great one. Related: Gnomon by Nick Harkaway for a strange detective story, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman for a love letter to smoky mysterious metropolis, Fall; or Dodge in Hell by Neil Stephenson, for visualizations of worldview divide, and Foucalt's Pendulum by Umberto Eco for the creeping gaslighting of "is this a conspiracy or am I the crazy one?"

Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge. Fifteen years from know, high schoolers attempt to finish their senior project distracted by a nearly post-scarcity world populated by AR video gaming, genetically crafted virus warfare, and propaganda triggers intended to keep people happily consuming and not questioning what's happening around them. Should be required reading for those (like me) who are thinking about technology and education. Related: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and The Gilded Age by Neil Stephenson for more envisioning the pros and cons of near-real VR tech on education.

Only The Dead by Jack Carr. A fun popcorn book with political overtones. Carr is best when he's weaving snide commentaries about America's empirical excesses through the inner monologues of semi-fictional enemies with slick results-based action sequences.

Built to Move by Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett. Recommended by Tim Ferris. I way under-estimated the power of walking. I now understand breath a bit better. Contains simple tests (some of which I fail) to analyze where I am in stewarding a durable body.

Currently reading: The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. I love Larson… and the picture of what it was like to be around Churchill as he dealt with highs and lows, developed healthy (and unhealthy!) working and communication habits… delightful lens into a well documented story.

  • 2023-07-18 13:10:29 -0500
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  • 2023-07-18 09:51:21 -0500
    Draft: Recently Reading