The first novel by Ada Hoffmann, a Canadian author. A Lovecraft subversion of ultimately almost an entire planet brings on the Inquisition, AI gods originally created by man from our current lowly computers (since banned as heretic by the AI), and dependent on a diet of human minds. The protagonist, Yasira, like the author, is autistic and it enables her to grasp patterns that elude others, ultimately her Inquisitor as well. In doing so she finds a place in The Outside for herself and the love of her life, and a way of carefully balancing and joining the humans on the subverted planet into the pattern of The Outside, so they have agency in it. Weaving humanism into cosmicism at the hands of a ‘neuro-divergent’ protagonist like that, to me is a beautiful subversion in itself of Lovecraft (1890-1937), whose rascist nativist mind’s nihilism can’t be seen separate from the stranger than fiction he wrote.

The first novel by Ada Hoffmann (pseudonym), a Canadian author, published last year. A Lovecraft subversion of ultimately almost an entire planet brings on the Inquisition, AI gods originally created by man from our current lowly computers (since banned as heretic by the AI), and dependent on a diet of human minds. The protagonist, Yasira, like the author, is autistic and it enables her to grasp patterns that elude others, ultimately her Inquisitor as well. In doing so she finds a tenuous place in The Outside for herself and the love of her life, and a way of carefully balancing and joining the humans on the subverted planet with/into the pattern of The Outside, so they have meaningful agency in it. Weaving humanism into cosmicism at the hands of a ‘neuro-divergent’ protagonist like that, to me is a beautiful subversion in itself of Lovecraft (1890-1937), whose rascist nativist mind’s nihilism at the dawn of the scientific century can’t be seen separate from the stranger than fiction he wrote.

Enjoyed this. Its sequel is due to appear in 2021. Time, like space, is a lie, so it will be here soon, if it isn’t already.

An epistolary novel, spanning the ages and the many-verse branches of a time war. The Agency, a post-singularity technoworld, and The Garden, a world spanning consciousness based in all organic matter, each field agents to nudge history towards themselves as inevitable outcome of time. Red and Blue are opposing agents that enter into correspondence. Co-written by Amal el-Mothar and Max Gladstone. A very different story, which made it great fun to read.

A capable engineer treats the world as a machine in order to exact revenge for a personal injustice. The enormous human consequences are regrettable collateral damage but an unavoidable part of the logic, at least to the engineer. Set in a medieval world in which one anomalous city state is a guilds-run bureaucratised industrial power.

Published 2005, Part 1 of a trilogy. K.J. Parker is a pseudonym for Tom Holt.

I had thought there would be no more Murderbot stories, as the last one seemed to come to an end. But this longer book makes an interesting jump, using a side branch from an earlier installment, as well as breaking out of having just the one Murderbot’s internal contemplations towards contemplating how constructs might come to terms with socialisation and group forming. In a sense this one was more about depression and recovering mental health, where the previous stories used the protagonist’s robotic mental health more like a prop or source of irony.

This is a collection of short stories by N.K. Jemisin (I’ve been reading her work in the past weeks, similar to how I read all books by other authors when I encounter something I liked.). The title attracted me, and I didn’t know it was a collection of short stories. Jemisin says she started writing short stories as stepping stones towards novel writing. She didn’t want to at first, did it following advice, but came to enjoy it.
Some of the stories are recognisable from her novels, where elements got re-used, or entire worlds flowed from the short story. There are many other stories in there, which allows one to hope for more novels 🙂

I also read Emergency Skin, a story not in this collection.