Saturday, January 18, 2014

21st Century Science Fiction: Part Two

Part two in the book review series for the book 21st Century Science Fiction.

See Part One.

Strood by Neal Asher


Aliens have made contact and brought their advanced technology including medical treatments to the people of earth.  They appear friendly but something does not feel right.  Can Nigel trust these creatures?  Are they sinister and hiding a plot to eat him and all of humanity?

My Take

Had me guessing what was coming next.

An interesting take on what first contact with aliens might be like.

I especially like that they ignore politicians and deal with the scientists first and foremost.

Eros, Philia, Agape by Rachel Swirsky


Do androids dream of electric sheep?

What does it mean to be human?

My Take

Lots to think about here.

If we give our gadgets free will, will they still love us?

How would an android discover what it means to be human?

At what point does AI cross the boundary and learn to be truly human in thought if not in flesh?

The Tale of The Wicked by John Scalzi


A cat and mouse space battle is nearing it's completion.  The hunter has tracked the crippled alien ship across jumps and the next jump will end the battle.  Will the battle end as either captain thinks?

My Take

Of the stories I have read so far, this is the one I want to see made as a TV show right now!  Man, this show could explore a lot of angles.

I really want to say more but I am trying not to ruin the story for you.  If you are into Battlestar Galactica and/or Star Trek then I think you'd love the premise in this story.

Evil Robot Monkey by Mary Robinette Kowal


What happens when we increase the intelligence of monkeys?  How will they deal with the increase in reasoning?

My Take

Zoo keeping is just another form of parenting.  Replace monkey with 4 year old and story does not change much except the kid can talk.

Toy Planes by Tobias S. Buckell


Every country deserves a right to interstellar exploration.

My Take

A short and sweet sci-fi story with an element of nationalism.

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