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Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
Barbara W. Tuchman, Nadia May
Progress: 696/1718minutes
Conservation of Shadows
Yoon Ha Lee
Progress: 22%
Le premier jour
Marc Levy
Progress: 180/496pages
Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
Herman Melville
Manifold: Time
Stephen Baxter, Chris Schluep
Progress: 99/480pages
The Long War
Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett
Progress: 68/501pages

Reading progress update: I've read 26%.

Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky

I'm quite enjoying this, although I'm not sure how to explain why.  Or even why I'm enjoying it, really.  I need to write something down, though, or I'm going to be trying to talk about intelligent spiders later when I go out with some friends, and I really don't think they'd understand why it's so cool that they're at war with the ants. Big spiders. Big ants. Plus unsuspecting humans! Sort of.  The ants remind me of the armies of Mordor.


I feel like it's a cross between David Brin, Vernor Vinge, and Peter Watts.  I don't actually like spiders in any way, but somehow they make for interesting alien intelligences.  Maybe the creepiness helps instill that sense of alienness?  Not sure.


My following comments aren't that spoiler-worthy, but just in case you don't want any more info than I've already provided (or you just don't want to hear about spiders), I'll put them in spoiler tags.


Anyway, the best part is that the spiders became intelligent through human interference. You see, some people were trying to uplift some monkeys so they designed a nanovirus, but then all the monkeys died, and no one thought that the virus would act on the invertebrates.  So we have various levels of intelligent spiders and other invertebrates.  Somehow this makes me gleeful.


So right now it looks like the humans are going to be competing with the current invertebrate inhabitants for mastery of the planet, and these current inhabitants are at war with each other.  And it's cool because the spiders can fool the ants in their own territory by ambushing a group, ripping off their heads, and carrying the heads around to use as "masks" if they encounter other ants.


However, the ants are truly like the unstoppable legions of Mordor.  Really, if the spiders somehow manage to beat the ants, they might deserve to win against the humans.  It looks hopeless at the moment.


There's a bunch of stuff going on on the ship, too, but that might be actually spoiler-worthy.

(show spoiler)


Now I'm going to illustrate why I was so tempted to take advantage of that 50% off Kobo sale to buy the ebook. [I may post something later about some of my other purchases.]




My copy of Forever Amber (picture Lydia Bennett if she had lived 150 years earlier and had had no one to fetch her from London) is 972 pages and about 4.5 cm thick.  Children of Time was only a few mm short of that at exactly 600 pages.  It wasn't that heavy, but it just took up so much room!