Category Archives: Alien

Review: Abaddon’s Gate by James S. A. Corey

A while ago I had surgery. Nothing really major, but enough to put me in bed for several days. During this time, I read Abaddon’s Gate and loved it.

Continue reading


 

Review: Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds

Pushing Ice

In Pushing Ice, one of Saturn’s moons suddenly departs from its orbit and shoots off into deep space. The only nearby ship chases the errant moon and watches as huge chunks of ice fall off its surface to reveal a gigantic machine underneath.

Not everyone on the ship wants to keep chasing this object. The object seems to have some ideas about that, too.

Pushing Ice is a great book, and I lost some sleep because I couldn’t put it down. Even though we follow the same characters throughout the book, so much happens that it has the feel of a big, sprawling, multi-generational epic.

The science is hard, the humans flawed, and the surprises keep coming.

Recommendation: Get it at the library unless you’re building a shelf of all of Alastair Reynolds’ books. Which may be a pretty good idea, actually. Hmm.


 

Review: A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias

A Darkling Sea As a lapsed marine zoologist, I couldn’t help but love A Darkling Sea. It has aliens, intrigue, desperate missions, and it all happens underwater.

On a moon orbiting a gas giant, a human science station sits in pitch-black water. They’re studying a semi-primitive alien species, but when a dumb-ass scientist gets himself killed by the curious aliens, another alien species visits the science station and tries to take over. Chaos ensues.

Recommendation: Get it at the library. It’s an excellent read, but not mandatory for a bookshelf.

Continue reading


 

Review: Echopraxia by Peter Watts

echopraxiaI have a bad habit of getting excited by a book and skimming, eager to find out what happens next. Usually, this works out fine.

I did that with Echopraxia and missed so much that I had to read it again. This book is as dense as those borderline-illegal molten chocolate desserts that are as big as a teacup but somehow weigh ten pounds.

Don’t skip a word. The writing is that tight.

Echopraxia is a sequel to Blindsight, and again author Watts explores the craziness of space, aliens, vampires (he makes them work, even more believably than he did in Blindsight), and how malleable human brains are. His central idea that human consciousness is like a flea riding a dog, thinking it’s in charge of everything, when really the dog, i.e., the rest of our brain, makes all of the decisions. (This is something that a lot of studies are actually agreeing with.)

In addition to all that, it’s a smart, fantastic read, and his best book since Starfish, one of my absolute favorites.

Recommendation: Buy it. It’s excellent on the first, second, and further readings.


 

21 Best Alien Science Fiction Books

aliens

Aliens have always been a great way for authors to explore new ideas or hold a mirror to humanity, reflecting both our brightest hopes and darkest fears.

(Note that there’s already a list of 29 Best Alien Invasion Books, so I tried to steer away from invasion stories in this list.)

Continue reading


 

Review: Panda Ray by Michael Kandel

panda rayPanda Ray is a rare beast: a fun and weird adventure for kids where there is no Chosen One. Thank God. I’m a little tired of the Hero’s Journey.

Continue reading