If you don't know the basics of the British television series Doctor Who, here we go: a mysterious, eccentric, very long-lived, alien scientist known only as "the Doctor" travels through time and space in a ship that looks like a 1960s British police call box on the outside and is much, much bigger and more futuristic on the inside.
Cyborg Cinderella, android friends and an evil space queen? I was hesitant to read this book because I do not enjoy the original Cinderella story. However, after having Cinder on my list for years, I finally downloaded the audio version narrated by Rebecca Soler and became entranced. While some plot points are a bit predictable, this futuristic-steampunky twist on the Cinderella story we all know is fantastic. As a character, Cinder is humorous and resourceful despite dealing with her awful stepmother and stepsister.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a robot psychologist when I grew up. I knew that Isaac Asimov’s robot stories were fiction, but I firmly believed that robots would one day be a part of our daily lives. It didn’t seem impossible that I could be like Dr. Susan Calvin, the robopsychologist featured in I, Robot, Asimov’s book of short stories.
Good Morning, Midnight is an atmospheric story told from the perspective of two flawed characters who have struggled with or avoided human connection most of their lives. From a remote arctic research station to the vast openness of space, the settings evoke a feeling of stillness and quiet that, as I sat reading, had the effect of blocking out the world around me.
Humanity is curious by nature. Ever since we first looked up at the sky, we have been fascinated with the possibility of reaching those distant lights. Lacking the ability, we wrote stories about what it would be like on that wild frontier. The what-ifs, the hows. But it wasn't until 1817 that these stories stopped being about gods and magic and delved into the concept of science. Man, not gods, were the source of power. Since then, science fiction stories have led the way to scientific advancement.
Secrets abound in Planetfall. Since establishing a colony on a distant planet, no one has seen the leader of the mission, Suh-Mi, who has gone to live in a strange network of tunnels called God’s City. The protagonist, Renata, believes in the supernatural, but has her doubts about the religion that has formed around the leader’s disappearance into God’s City. A stranger arrives at the colony, but no one knows how he got there.
Cloud Atlas is a movie that, for me, gets better with every watching. Fortunately, I had been forewarned that it is confusing; otherwise I might have turned it off after the first few minutes. While I got the gist of the plot with the first viewing – several lives interweaving and affecting each other through time – with each subsequent viewing I was able to catch more detail and see layers I had missed before.
Illuminae is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve come across recently. I don’t know what it would be like to read the book, but the audio was marvelous to listen to. The different voices encapsulate the personalities and essences of the different characters, making the story richer and adding depth.
There are so many fantastic things about Mr. Nobody that I would definitely recommend it, but there are also many annoying things that could turn someone off. So here is my endorsement, with caveats.
It’s been a month since I watched the first season of Extant, but it’s still with me. It’s that quiet place I go to when I’m zoning out. The set design offers a vision of a gentler, more organic future, where technology is less obtrusively integrated into our daily lives than perhaps it is now. It’s the silent actor that sets a tone of calm, but there are tensions, to be sure. The introduction of a life-like android prototype into the functions of everyday life invites antagonism from many fronts, including a militant anti-technology group.