After the runaway success of The Martian, it would have been easy for Andy Weir to publish his grocery list and have it race to the top of the bestseller list.
Instead, Weir made fans wait what seemed like an eternity for his sophomore effort, Artemis. Good things come to those who wait.
While not as immediately engaging as The Martian, Weir’s Artemis avoids a sophomore slump by delivering an entirely new narrator and story. Set in the near future, Artemis introduces us to Jazz, a citizen of the lunar colony Artemis. Jazz wants to help guide tours of the lunar surface, but while she trains for that role, she makes ends meet by running the lunar black market. This leads her to a complicated plot to pull off what should be a perfect crime and earn a reward that will see her set for life. Continue reading
In an afterword to one of his stories, Hugh Howley suggests that the sci-fi trope of AIs rising up and going to war against humanity probably won’t be the way things really happen. Instead, he sees how AIs could go into battle with each other, with humanity being little more than ants in the /8956-9battle between intelligences. We’d be a distraction and little else..*
Several stories in his short-story collection, Machine Learning, delve into this question with varying degrees of success. One memorable story finds humanity falling because of an oversight involving a Roomba. Other stories look at what will happen when we have artificial lifeforms and people begin to fall in love with them and engage in a romantic relationship.
Howley’s stories (collected together by theme) show a wide range. Howley includes a story he thought was long lost from his website as well as several short stories set in his popular Silo universe. If you’re a fan of the Silo universe, those stories alone make this a must-read collection.
Howley also offers an afterword to the stories, giving us a bit of insight into the creation of the stories or further reflections on some of the central themes and questions raised. Using the afterward to address these questions allows the reader to go into each story fresh and without having anything of what’s to come given away by a well-intentioned introduction.
If you’re a Howley fan, this collection is a worthy addition. If you’re not, this collection is a nice way to dip your toe in and see why Howley is one of the more respected writers in the business today (though I will warn you that having a familiarity with his Silo universe lends more enjoyment to that section of stories).
In the interest of full disclosure, I received an ARC of this book as part of the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review.
Just in time to celebrate the anniversary of the greatest television show ever made, November is Sci-Fi Month! I’ve participated in this in the past and always enjoyed it.
This year, Sci-Fi Month is hosted by Lisa and Imyril (shout out to Rinn for getting it started!) It’s a month to celebrate all things sci-fi.
And while I won’t be able to participate in the Read-Along for the month (it’s book six of a series that I’ve only read the first book!), I still plan to actively post about sci-fi in lots of pop-culture variations.
Who’s with me?!?
You can sign up at Lisa ‘s site above. And don’t forget that Sci-Fi Month has its own Twitter handle (@SciFiMonth) and a hashtag (#RRSciFiMonth).
Time again for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish). To kick off Sci-Fi Month (hosted by Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow), I’m looking at my favorite books for a sci-fi/fantasy discussion group. Continue reading