Movie Review: Don't Worry Darling

Movie poster.

This film is a masterpiece. Sure, the plot is nothing special ("What is the dark secret behind this seemingly idyllic life?!?) but it is directed with such flare and texture that it becomes a joy to watch. I can't remember when I last saw something which kept me engrossed just through the sheer inventiveness of […]

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Book Review: Theory of Bastards - Audrey Schulman

Book cover. A woman with green eyes looks over the shoulder of a man.

They say you should never judge a book by its cover. I picked this book solely because of the title. I didn't even read the blurb. Frankly, I'm delighted to have stumbled onto something so good! It's a near-future sci-fi story with an actual bibliography backing up its science! That's one of the things which […]

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Book Review: Klara and the Sun - Kazuo Ishiguro

Book cover. The sun peeks though a window.

Thoroughly disappointing. It's a rip-off of about a dozen Asimov stories about domestic robots. Robot helps child. Robot gets religion. Robot Misunderstands world. Robot is abused. It baffles me why this was nominated for so many prizes - I guess judges don't read enough old-school sci-fi? It's written in Ishiuro's dreamy, wandering style. I enjoyed […]

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Book Review: Mirrorshades The Cyberpunk Anthology

Collection of book covers features people wearing mirrored sunglasses.

This is a tough little compilation to review. It's a collection of mid-1980s stories all grouped around the loose theme of "Cyberpunk". What is Cyberpunk? Well, I'm not quite sure. And neither is the book. Some of the stories are high-tech tales of people fighting the system and sticking it to the man! Others are... […]

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Book Review: Binti - Nnedi Okorafor

Three book covers featuring a young African woman painting her face with clay.

Binti is an absolute treat. I've not read much Afro-Futurism, but what I have has been truly excellent and entertaining. What is it like to try to honour your ancestors while feeling the call for adventure? It's a topic which has been explored ad infinitum but rarely with such passion. Why do old men fear […]

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Book Review: Illegal Alien - Robert Sawyer

Book cover.

As recommended to me by a comment on my blog. This is ridiculous fun from start to finish. It's a John Grisham-style courtroom drama. Only the defendant is an alien. Literally a multi-limbed beast from a dozen light-years away. That's it. That's the whole plot. And it works wonderfully. Nothing wrong with a bit of […]

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Book Review: When HARLIE was One

Book cover featuring a digital vitruvian man.

I started reading this as the news came out that someone at Google got convinced that their AI was sentient. And that's what this book is about! A researcher starts talking to his computer and gradually becomes convinced that it is "alive". It is a perennially prescient story. And it is fascinating to see how […]

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Book Review: An Unnatural Life by Erin K Wagner

A side pofile of a robot's face.

An excellent premise for a book - if an AI is accused of murder, should it be faced with a jury of its peers? But I just found it a bit flat and disappointing. This could have been a fascinating courtroom drama, or spacey whodunnit, or even a philosophical investigation into the nature of guilt. […]

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My 2022 predictions from 2012

A tiny TARDIS made of Lego.

Exactly a decade ago, I asked "Why Can't Red Dwarf Predict The Future?" That is - sci-fi writers can imagine interstellar travel and sentient computers, but they think the future will still involve developing film photographs, library fines, and 3-pin electrical plugs. At the end of the post, I said: Here are my thoughts on […]

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Book Review: There Is No Antimemetics Division

Book cover featuring an ominous black tower dominating the landscape.

I can't remember the last book which gave me literal nightmares. After reading the first few chapters of the book, I fell into an uneasy sleep - troubled with dreams about its impossibility. "Antimemetics" is one of those frighteningly original sci-fi ideas. Sure, the secret-agency-defends-the-world trope has been played to death, but there is something […]

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