A 2015 short story of first contact. An alien race, detected by their signal emissions is visited by a two person mission. The aliens are humanoid in shape, but have but a single eye. The cyclopes choose their leaders based on the adversity and grief they’ve suffered. Tear tracks are taken as a sign of wisdom. Bought and read because I enjoyed Olders 2016 Infomocracy trilogy enormously. There is a new set of Holmesian short books by her set on Jupiter, not sure if I’m interested in those.

Part one of the Bridge trilogy. I bought it because I wanted to read Idoru, the 2nd part, because of a reference in a talk to ‘nodal points’ as coming from that book. Virtual light is triggering your optical nerve and brain with visuals directly without photons. The Bridge is the Golden Gate, since encrusted with people’s habitats. Gibson uses the word Thomasson to describe it. The US has splintered. In this setting a bike courier steals an object from what turns out to also be a courier, who is killed for losing it. A rentacop is brought in to find the bike courier but follows his conscience. A Japanese anthropologist who is on the bridge to observe (and hunt Thomassons), and references to a big earth quake in Tokyo which got rebuild by nanotech form the bridge to part two.

Set in 2255 in our own solar system. A small black hole is found at the edge of our solar system. Its Hawking radiation seems to contain information, and responding to it gets a response in return in which the black hole becomes a featureless planetoid. Different factions, earth, moon, and conservationists race to be the first to leverage any potential it may provide.

I jotted this title down to buy November 2022, came across it in a book store in October 2023, looked it up online and noticed it was a dollar at Amazon. Was curious to see what Baxter is attempting here. He’s written fascinating stuff and stuff that didn’t work for me, and he seems to have phases in topics of interest. This time it’s an interesting mix of two main story lines, and zooming out to enormous timelines. The notion of having some people move far forward in time as feedback loops to maintain humanity is interesting. Plays around with the notion of emergent mind at 10 trillion or so connected nodes, whatever type of node it is. Interesting political splits too, as well as a take on conservatism as a mistake. And now I wonder if a sun can have mind.

Part 6 of 6. Lee returns to earth and lays low for two decades. Cult villages emerge without being clear who is behind it. Panopticon drones are falling down over the North Sea and Jersey. Flat charactered and at times with naive exposés by the protagonist Lee, all in all this was a series with some interesting exploration of VR/AR, and the various evolving consequences it might have.