book review

Redshirts (2012) | John Scalzi

Kirk: All right, men, this is a dangerous mission. And it’s likely one of us will be killed. The landing party will consist of myself, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.

Ensign Ricky:
Aw, crap.

Family Guy

What’s better than the hilarity of the Red Shirt trope? A book completely deconstructing the hilarity of the Red Shirt trope.

I decided to listen to Redshirts by John Scalzi on Audible, where it’s narrated by Wil Wheaton, after listening to The Dispatcher by the same author. I enjoyed The Dispatcher, which is a novel written specially for Audible and was free to download as part of some promotion, and at some point or another I’ll likely review it too. Needless to say, I enjoyed The Dispatcher so much that I  decided to take a stab at Redshirts.

I was not disappointed. I remember when this book came out in 2012 when I was still working in bookshops. I always meant to read it, but it just somehow kept on getting pushed further and further down my reading list. I was vaguely familiar with the Red Shirt trope; one doesn’t have to be a fan of Star Trek to know what it’s about. The good thing is, one also doesn’t have to be a fan of Star Trek or the Red Shirt trope to appreciate this rather hilarious novel. Continue reading “Redshirts (2012) | John Scalzi”

book review

Mistborn Trilogy (2006-2006) | Brandon Sanderson

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I consider Brandon Sanderson to be one of the most inventive and important sci-fi/fantasy writers of the early 21st century, and his defining trilogy is ample evidence.

The Final Empire is set in a vaguely medieval dystopian society, where ash falls constantly from the sky, plants are brown, and supernatural mists choke the night streets. A thousand years prior, the Lord Ruler rose to power and became a god when he repelled an enemy known as the Deepness.

Continue reading “Mistborn Trilogy (2006-2006) | Brandon Sanderson”

book review

Where Am I Now (2016) | Mara Wilson

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In the year 2000, I watched a film called Matilda for the first time. I was eight years old and a bit of a loner/loser at school who preferred to spend her lunchtimes in the library reading. I’d read a few Roald Dahl books but Matilda hadn’t crossed my path yet in its original novel form; what instead happened was, on a trip to Blockbuster, I picked up a VHS copy of a movie about a young girl who loves books and discovers she has extraordinary powers.

Continue reading “Where Am I Now (2016) | Mara Wilson”

book review

Aurora (2015) | Kim Stanley Robinson

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I’ve mentioned before that Children of Time was my favourite novel of 2016 and Aurora was my favourite novel of 2015.

There’s not much I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said by more eloquent and experienced reviewers than I. Aurora is the story of a generational ship, launched from Saturn in 2545, consisting of twenty-four self-contained biomes and an average population of 2000 people. 160 years and seven generations later, the ship is beginning its approach to the Tau Ceti system to begin the ambitious dream of colonising a planet’s moon, similar to Earth, which has been named Aurora.

Continue reading “Aurora (2015) | Kim Stanley Robinson”

book review

Jennifer Government (2004) | Max Barry

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This was a fun book.

In this hilarious and unnerving vision of the near future where the world is run by US corporations, people take their last names as the name of the companies they work for. It’s a globalised, neo-liberal free market utopia/dystopia, depending on your stance. Hack Nike signs a contract without reading it, thinking he’s landed himself a better job in marketing with better pay. Unfortunately for him, his new contract involves shooting teenagers to help Nike’s new shoe line rack up sales, and from there things quickly spiral out of control. Now the Police, the NRA, and Jennifer Government are involved, and Hack is in a lot of trouble.

Continue reading “Jennifer Government (2004) | Max Barry”

book review

Dear Mr M (2016) | Herman Koch

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I might have gone on a bit of a reading spree while I was overseas.

Look, I liked Dear Mr M. It was good, but it wasn’t The Dinner good. It was good in the sense that misanthropic Dutch author Herman Koch, who writes nasty books for nasty readers about nasty people doing unpleasant things and thinking politically incorrect thoughts, continues to develop as an author. His writing is more poetic and flows well; he’s branching out from the single first-person narration to trying multiple points of views.

Continue reading “Dear Mr M (2016) | Herman Koch”