Blurring the lines of science fiction

Thanks to everyone for their welcome back messages. Life got a bit crazy there for a minute. And welcome to our new readers. It’s nice to have you along for the ride with us.

I’ve been lucky to have some adventures while we’ve been on hiatus. I got to travel to the US of A for work. My co-workers visa never showed up so I was travelling by myself but the lovely Southern hospitality made up for that.

Checking out the sights.

But that means I’ve only read two books in the last two months. One was Artemis, which I am planning to review here, but I think I need to skim it again because honestly I’ve largely forgotten about it. I’m not sure if that says more about my memory or the book itself.

The other was I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. I think technically this is classified as a crime/thriller novel, but it has a bit of science fiction (or science realism depending on how you view it) bent to it.

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Sparkly neon lights everywhere: Cyberpunk books and other stuff

I have been reading SF for a number of years now but have only recently tapped into the sub-genre of cyberpunk. I used to think it was all just dudes with spiky hair plugging their faces into their computers and delivering pizzas on a hover-board. It turns out I was dead wrong (not surprisingly perhaps). I have since corrected my thinking. The very best of cyberpunk explores some very interesting SF themes and ideas that are not typically explored in any other sub-genres of SF.


See, I told you! Spiky hair!

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The dreaded reading slump


I think it is time that we admit we have hit the dreaded reading slump. After a lovely summer of long days reading almost as much as we liked, the return to the real world has taken a bit of a toll.

I’m putting all of my extra energy into trying to get my thesis finished. It also doesn’t help that I just discovered This is Us and pretty much binge watched the whole first season. Watching TV is the only thing I seem to be capable of doing after spending the whole day writing.

I’m not sure what’s going on with Mr NW. He still has about 5 books on his bedside table, but seems to be re-reading Red Seas Under Red Skies (apparently this is comfort reading). I really don’t understand how he could be doing that when he is currently 1/4 of the way through The Hero of Ages.

What are your tips for getting out of a reading slump?

Waiting for Emberlain

Warning  biohazard alert: Shameless fanboy babbling ahead. Proceed with caution.


If you’re a fan of fantasy, you have no doubt at least heard of the Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch. If you haven’t yet taken the time to read it, let me tell you that you should, as the series is truly excellent in every conceivable way a fantasy series has of being excellent. Of course that is just my humble opinion – although with each book in the series having an average rating of 4.2 or above on Goodreads, there is a decent chance you will at least like them (even if you don’t love them like I do). Is love too strong a word? Nah!

GB Series

In this case, you can certainly judge the books by their awesome covers.

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The Top 5 SF-F Heroes

I have spent a bit of time on my blog blabbing on and on about flawed yet interesting characters with a mixed (and sometimes entirely broken) moral compass. But there are also great heroes in science fiction & fantasy that I adore. You can’t help but admire their skills, courage, loyalty, intelligence, and all round perfectness. I always like to think I would behave in the same way and take on the same challenges if I were put in these characters positions, which I think is part of why people like heroes – our own little internal-hero inside our heads relates to them and is also what judges flawed characters so harshly. Yes of course, if you were Frodo, you would take the ring to Mordor. It’s the only logical thing to do…


Or you could just give the ring to Samwise and run off yelling “dibs not!” and hide in a hole with your over-sized ears plugged by your fingers yelling “la la la la la I can’t hear you.” Although it might be tricky having to answer to a disappointed Gandalf.


Gandalf looking underwhelmed with your abhorrent behavior.

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Vintage SciFi Month review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Thanks to Andrea from the Little Red Reviewer for hosting #VintageSciFiMonth. The idea is to read anything that was published before 1979.

I’ve chosen Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card which squeaks in, having first been published in 1977 (as a short story and then later adapted into the full length novel).


Mr NW read Ender’s Game a number of years ago and recommended it, and I had seen the 2013 film based on the book. I was relieved to find, as is often the case, that the book was much better than the movie.

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7 Thoughts on Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy by a Rambling Book Nerd

I’ve been thinking about how I should do my post summing up the Mistborn novels. A quick once over wasn’t really going to suffice so please bear with me as I go to the opposite extreme with a full nerd level post. Now is probably a good time to make a cup of tea and get yourself a snack.

Warning: This post contains spoilers from the Mistborn trilogy. Stop reading here, Mr NW! 

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