An AI is put in charge of looking after a space ship with thousands of people in hibernation pods. The journey is to last thousands of years and the AI has no one to talk to …
… and so the AI starts to have a bit of a mental health crisis.
I really enjoy good AI stories and this is certainly a good one. As machines become more intelligent one can imagine that they will begin to break down due to similar issues: what are we going to do with these machines when we don’t have them crunching data and they can do many years of thinking in a few seconds?
Food for thought.
My only complaint about this is that it is way to short for such a brilliant idea. I would have loved this very premise to be played out in a novella at least. But we can’t have everything we want.
I thought this would be interesting, and the first chapter was certainly promising. Then we get onto chapter 2 and it just bangs on and on and on and on and on and on and on about some fictional characters called Jesus and Joseph and the claims of the christians and about churches and abbots and abbeys and all this holy grail nonsense.
I could go on a rant here but i have no wish to read about the beliefs and nonsense of christianity. The Pagan people of Britain have had the beliefs and nonsense of the christians forced down our throats for nearly 2000 years and i don’t buy books to read more of it.
Needless to say, i didn’t get to the end of the second chapter and i have no wish to read any more of this book.
Having read all of Christina’s previous books — which i’ve extremely enjoyed — i had very high hopes for this book: alas, it was not to be.
So “Red”, our protagonist and narator, is on a journey to her Grandma’s house across several hundred miles of the USA after a coughing plague has culled nearly all the people: basically it’s a post-apocalyptic survival story.
And the whole book is taken up with the first half of this journey until there’s an endoparasitoid-bursting-out-the-chest-thing — WTF!!! Remember Alien and Sigourney Weaver? Yeah, that’s what an endoparasitoid-bursting-out-the-chest-thing is.
The army turn up and the soldier guy who chases the endoparasitoid-bursting-out-the-chest-things admits to Red that the government made it in a lab. He lets Red carry on with her journey instead of taking her to the quarantine camp, and in a few pages Red arrives at her Grandma’s. It’s like the second half of Red’s journey didn’t happen, like she was just magically transported to her Grandma’s. And no explanation as to the endoparasitoid and why the government would make such a thing.
And it’s this one single, silly, ridiculous idea of an endoparasitoid thrown into the story with no purpose whatsoever that completely ruins the book — and also the second half of Red’s journey being skipped over as though it didn’t really happen, or was in a completely different world to the first half.
We don’t even get to know how Grandma has been surviving or anything.
Basically, the ending is utter garbage and totally ruins the whole story. It’s just a total nonsensical ending.
It just left me which such a disappointment. This is far below Christina’s usual standard.
Ho hum: i suppose we all have to write something crap once in a while.
So this is a well weird tale to tell.
I like walking and other forms of exercise, and while i’m doing them i like to listen to various podcasts. I usually have a good pile queued up on my phone to listen to, to make sure i never run out.
So while i was out walking yesterday morning, the next podcast on the list started to play and it was this one: The Path of Pins, the Path of Needles. Which, it just so happens, is a Little Red Riding Hood spin off.
How Lightspeed managed to justify shoehorning a Little Red Riding Hood spin off into a Sci-Fi magazine, and then also manage to shoehorn it onto my phone to play at exactly the same time i’m having a Little Red Riding Hood reading binge, i have absolutely no idea. But it’s all pretty uncanny when you think about it: like there’s more to these fairy tales than we at first may think.
So yeah, you can read it in Lightspeed magazine, on their website, or listen to the podcast like i did:
While i don’t mind a bit of plagiarising, i do expect that when one does so that they have the ability to improve over the original. The Grimm’s don’t manage that.
Sadly, this is the version that most people in UK know, and most think it’s the original.
When i found out that Christina Henry was writing The Girl In Red, i did my usual with Christina’s books and went back to the past where her stories have their roots: this time it’s Little Red Riding Hood’s turn.
While most people have heard the Brothers Grimm version of this tale, most don’t realise that they plagiarised the whole thing from this book, which was written long, long before the Grimms were even born.
What’s striking about Perrault’s version is the very obvious metaphorical warning to young maidens about men who only have one thing in mind and how they will seek to mislead them to get what they want.
Shorter than the Grimm version, but much better. Recommended for anyone interested in the tale being told properly.
And so this quite entertaining series comes to an end. It was fun, kept on moving along at a good pace, well written and edited.
The only downside was the ending went a bit down hill. Like Hyde has created and unleashed the fraken-creatures-from-hell-that-can’t-be-stopped-because-they’re-already-dead and then …
… well i won’t spoil it. But it was rather silly to say the least.
So yeah, i was expecting a much more rip-roaring ending, but it all ended well in the end so i won’t labour the point.
To sum up all four books: it’s a great adventure if you’re not looking for something to take too seriously. If you’re feeling in the need for some far fetched silly then this might be the series for you. I certainly enjoyed reading it as i like a bit of far-fetched silly now and again. I’d put it on the bookshelf next to Magnificent Devices, as that’s enjoyable, far-fetched silly in much the same way.
This time the Verne flavour is Five Weeks in a Balloon, but instead of flying over Africa, Modo and the crew go flying over Australia in search of a strange and ancient artefact.
Of course, to keep with the main story line of this tetralogy, and also to keep things exciting, the Clockwork Guild is back and also flying in a balloon over Australia searching for the same artefact.
And, once again, the same caveat applies, don’t apply 21st century thinking and science to anything and don’t take it too seriously and you’ll find it a rather enjoyable yarn that’ll pass the time nicely.
And so i dive straight into the fourth and final chapter: Island of Doom
The third book in the American Gods series.
Another good little novella, very much in the similar to The Monarch of the Glen, with Shadow getting himself caught up in things uncanny and folklore-ish once again.
Yes folks, it’s just more of that really good Neil Gaiman writing.
Not anything like i was expecting.
I bought this because i’ve just gotten back into drawing after nearly 30 years of not doing any and i thought it might help a little. I was expecting a book about how to draw, literally, but this isn’t really about that.
This book is more about working on your expectations and why you draw in the first place. It’s more about drawing as just something you should do and what it should mean when it becomes as normal to living as eating and drinking. What’s the point in drawing if you don’t know why you’re drawing?
What are you drawing for? What do you really want to draw and why?
These are a few questions that the book made think about without directly asking them.
So don’t expect a book that tells you how to hold your pencil properly or what lead you should use on what paper, expect a book about your expectations and then go and draw something, anything, it doesn’t matter, just draw.
To sum this book up nicely would be this quote from the last few pages:
DON’T SAY “I can’t draw” especially when what you mean is, “I don’t draw.” DON’T SAY that either.