Reading Update 18/11/2020

Updates

Recently Finished: SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo
I decided to read this on a whim without really knowing anything about it. Mainly because I’m very interested in reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and I have a weird thing where I like to read authors books in order, so I can see how they progress as an author or something? I dunno, my brain just rebels at the idea of consciously skipping a bunch of books in a writer back catalogue. Turns out Shadow and Bone is a YA book about a young war orphan called Alina Starkov, who unexpectedly reveals a dormant magical power that saves her best friends life – a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Honestly I would have hated this book had I actually sat down and read a physical copy, there’s just too much brooding, mopey love triangley nonsense for my taste; as it is I just chewed through the audiobook while I was painting my bedroom so it was decent enough background noise.

Currently Reading: INFOMOCRACY by Malka Older
As regular readers will know I’m celebrating all things cyberpunk this SciFi Month, and after a brief fantasy detour I’m getting back to it. Infomocracy has been on my radar for a while and sounds like a pretty unique book in the cyberpunk canon. Instead of focussing on high-octane heists and adventure this is a book about political intrigue and espionage, which I looooove. The premise is that in the near future a powerful search engine monopoly called Information has pioneered switch from nation states to global micro-democracy and the story follows operatives from the different political and corporate factions as they gear up for the next looming election. It’s a story of corruption, manipulation, political manoeuvring and intrigue. I’m not far in yet but I’m already enjoying it and I’ll have a full review shortly.

Next Read: SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo
This is the second book in the Shadow and Bone series that I started above. I’ve actually already started this one cos I moved straight on from the first book while I was still painting the bedroom haha. I’m about a quarter of the way through and actually enjoying this one much more than the previous instalment so far. There’s been much less mopey romance which is a big plus, though I’m anticipating it’ll make an unwelcome return at some point. Not particularly interested in actually sitting down to read it in my own ‘spare time’ as it were, so I’ll probs finish it up next time I’ve got some house chores to do.


That’s it for this lil reading update folks. Let me know in the comments what you’re reading at the mo, I love to chat about the books we’re all reading. And if you enjoyed this update why not follow the blog for more reviews and bookish chat.

Cyberpunk SciFi Month is ready for lift off!

Updates

Yesss, I’ve been looking forward to SciFi Month for weeks! As much as I love Halloween and all things spooky season, science fiction is my one true love and I’m strapped in and ready for lift off. Though in all likelihood most of my reading won’t involve much interstellar travel or interaction with alien species, and that’s because I’ll be exclusively reading books set in the near future corporate dystopias of cyberpunk!

What is cyberpunk, you may ask? Well, I’ll be doing a full introduction post before any reviews or discussion posts appear, so if you’re unfamiliar with the genre then don’t fear, I’ve got you covered! But for a very quick and dirty overview, cyberpunk stories are generally set in the very near future where corporations have become more powerful than governments and tend to have settings featuring high levels of economic and cultural displacement, inequality and social unrest. Artificial intelligence, transhumanism and virtual reality feature quite heavily. Think Bladerunner or Ghost in the Shell as some of the most famous representations of cyberpunk in film and you’ll have a good idea of what the genre entails.

I don’t really do plans or set-in-stone TBRs, but I do have a well of potential books I’ll be drawing from, as well as a bunch of short stories, comics and films I might watch and talk about. As far as books go, a non-exhaustive list of some of what I might be reading includes:



So these are a mixture of classic and newer cyberpunk. Neuromancer is actually one of my fave books of all time and I reread it every few years, while Repo Virtual and Busted Synapses are very new. There’s an interesting dichotomy between classic and newer stuff in the genre because a lot of the stuff being written in the 80s was still very much science fiction, whereas now, the internet, biohacking and cyber crime are very real and inequality, social unrest and corporate power have reached fever pitch. In many ways we already live in a warped version of the society the progenitors of cyberpunk were imagining back in the 1980s.

In any case, this is just a small selection of some of the cyberpunk books I’ll be perusing this SciFi Month and please, if you have any fave cyberpunk books I haven’t mentioned here or recommendations you think I should look at, do let me know. In the meantime console cowboys, let’s lay back, relax and jack into cyberspace, we’re in for a wild ride.



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