Neuromancer by William Gibson


3 out of 5

This is like reading the script of a video game where the player only has time to react and not to strategize. The prize is attained, but then their hectic life goes on. I migth’ve enjoyed the ending more if I didn’t feel like I had to sprint all the while to get there. This book probably came before video games were established and might’ve been used as inspiration for them. It’d work better as a video game than a book.

Update 07/14/19: Some responses to this post on Facebook made me decide to read a text copy of the work instead of just listen to an audiobook while I multitask. So far it makes more sense this way. I haven’t finished it yet but I already have more respect for this work.

 

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Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov


4 out of 5

The mule is defeated by a decoy “Second Foundation”, and the main Foundation is established. I liked this part of the Foundation Trilogy the most because it came closest to a space opera. The other books struck me as mere backstory rather than proper installments until now. I know they were meant to showcase the struggles creating the Foundation, but the scientists’ contention they were apolitical when they’re trying to establish a foundation makes them come across as socially dense or hypocrites.

Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asmiov

3 out of 5

The remnants of the Empire resents the Foundation’s expansionism. They encounter a mutant with mind control powers, and I found myself cheering for the mutant. I should say I’m a Mohawk, and I know what it’s like to have a colonial power convinced of its own
superiority imposing paternalistic policies on your people. Dr. Sheldon’s followers are trying to impose social programming on society even as they claim they are apolitical. It’s little wonder they are resented by the society that rejects their rule.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

3 out of 5

This feels like a nerd’s wish fulfillment that science can make humanity mathematically predictable. The Encyclopediests use social engineering to further their goals for intergalactic society, and are able to meet their goals. I get the impression real science has setbacks, which you’d expect from psychohistory which hasn’t been perfected by the time Dr. Seldon puts it into place. It might’ve been better if Sheldon had to prove his theory first before he got permission to set up a scientific outpost when he got his commission rather than having it granted so easily.

Double Star by Robert A Heinlein


5 out of 5

This is my favorite Heinlein novel. Not only is the main character a conman he is
an actor who accepts commissions to impersonate people. He is not only concerned with
pulling off scams but giving the best performance possible. This is a rogue who’d be
winsome in any genre. This being scifi he has the solar system as his stage when he steps into the role of a life time.

Starman Jones by Robert Heinlein


4 out of 5

I’d recommend this as a good YA book if I didn’t worry its scientific worldbuidling was
to much for modern YA readers. Perhaps it’d be best for an advanced reader who needs
a challenge? Max Jones runs away to join the crew of a starship, and rises to become its
captain after an emergency. It’s a cute story, and it might inspire a young person to
train for a STEM career.