Review: Recursion By Tony Ballantyne


THREE PEOPLE. THREE TIME-LINES. ONE MYSTERY.

An absurdly implausible take on the potential threat posed by artificial intelligence.

 

Book CoverRecursion
(AI Trilogy, Book 1)

Tony Ballantyne

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
Date: 17th June 2005 (First Published 2004)

ISBN-10: 1405041390
ISBN-13: 978-1405041393

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

There have been numerous science fiction stories in different mediums that have explored the idea of artificial intelligence, and the potential threat it may pose to humanity if it were ever to attain sentience/self awareness. That being the case, there is little in the central premise of Tom Ballantyne’s début novel, Recursion, that hasn’t been done before by other writers. So it should come as no surprise that the book adheres to the general consensus that artificial intelligence is bad news. But perhaps the one aspect of the novel that sets it apart from other tales that have tackled the subject is the structure of its narrative.

Continue reading

The Spotlight: Willful Child By Steven Erikson


GENE RODDENBERRY WILL BE SPINNING IN HIS GRAVE

I feel a great disturbance in the warp core, as if millions of Trekkies suddenly cried out in terror.

 

In my youth I was a big fan of the Star Trek franchise; The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and even Voyager. As I got older my enthusiasm for all things Trek gradually began to wane. There were a number of reasons for my diminishing interest but the principal one being my inability to continue to reconcile Gene Roddenberry’s utopian view of humanity’s future with my cynical assessment of human nature.

Continue reading

Review: Stormdancer By Jay Kristoff


ONE EXTRAORDINARY GIRL STANDS UP TO DEFY AN EMPIRE.

Book one of The Lotus War is a gripping steampunk adventure with a pseudo-Japanese aesthetic.

 

Book CoverStormdancer
(The Lotus War, Book 1)

Jay Kristoff

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Steampunk
Publisher: Tor UK
Format: Paperback, 465 Pages
Date: 13th September 2012

ISBN-10: 0230762883
ISBN-13: 978-0230762886

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

What do you do when a novel with a premise you find intriguing, garners numerous scathing reviews from book bloggers you follow, thereby putting you off reading it? In this particular instance, having noted that many of these bad reviews were actually, less than subtle, attacks on the author, I simply ignored the reviews and subsequently read the book. And what a good decision it proved to be; Stormdancer is an engrossing tale of one girl’s journey from reluctant, disdainful acceptance of the status quo, to becoming the focal point for armed rebellion against an oppressive empire.

Continue reading

News: Tor Announces 7 Chapters For Free Download


TOR LAYS THE GROUNDWORK FOR IMMINENT NEW RELEASE

The first seven chapters of Brian Staveley’s latest novel, The Emperor’s Blades, is available for free download, now.

 

Book CoverYesterday Tor Books announced, via their blog, that chapters one to seven of the upcoming book The Emperor’s Blades, is now available to download for free.

The Emperor’s Blades, Brian Staveley’s new fantasy novel, is the first instalment of a new series called Chronicles Of The Unhewn Throne. The hardcover edition is scheduled to be published by Tor in January 2014, but in the meantime you can download the first seven chapters for free; the links are available below:

Continue reading