Book Club: Oryx and Crake

Tonight on the GeekNights Book Club, we review and discuss (with spoilers, obviously), Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. We enjoyed it thoroughly, and had a lot to say. Gene-fueled science fiction dystopia, too-real commercialization of life itself, and a short read to boot, we had no choice but to make this - the first of the MaddAddam Trilogy) our GeekNights Book Club choice.

The Eye of the World

Tonight on the GeekNights Book Club we discuss the first book in Robert Jordan's famous epic fantasy series "The Wheel of Time" entitled "The Eye of the World." There is no news in this episode since we pushed it out in a hurry before Rym went on a business trip.

Wool

Tonight on the GeekNights Book Club, we review (spoilers) Hugh Howey's Wool. It was a solid book (or set of five short books, which are really just two short books and one longer book). Mixes of Paranoia (the RPG), Logan's Run, Fallout, and other similar stories, it had a lot more nuance than we expected. Definitely worth reading.

GeekNights Book Club: Idoru

Tonight on the GeekNights Book Club, we discuss William Gibson's Idoru. It's a product of its time - the 1990s - showcasing both the promise and the dystopia projected from that era. Wildly inconsistent in its treatment of technology (fax machines, disposable cameras, and IR remote controls exist alongside city-building nanotechnology and true AI), steeped in the cyberpunk aesthetic, it is typical of Gibson and of its era. If we had to say what it's truly about, it's fame, information, and adolescence. The Idol herself, as AI, is not the core of this book: don't read it expecting to be blown away with a deep look at at the Sharon Apple story. The side details, the setting, the meta, are what make this book worthwhile.

In the news (related in some way to the book), Max Martin is the man behind the idols, and Google Glass prescription frames are allowing Rym to take one more step toward cyberization.

The Player of Games

Tonight on the GeekNights Book Club, we discuss Iain M Banks' The Player of Games. If ever there was a novel that was in our wheelhouse, it's this one. We also talk briefly about some of our more recent Kickstarter backings, and enjoy the "that guys" we poked on Reddit after one fifth of our Anime Boston performances.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is a classic novel that, surprisingly, neither Rym nor Scott had ever read. Considering that a fantastic-looking movie is coming in the nearing future, we'll have but one chance to read the novel ahead of seeing it, so what better time than now?

Per Amazon: The Great Gatsby stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

But, before we tackle this, we talk about centaurs, armagnac-soaked bread, shipping things to Australia, Rymblr, an ancient technology called "fax," and the GeekNights Grand Prix. Also, the next book club book is going to be The Player of Games (Culture).

The Name of the Wind

Tonight on the GeekNights Book Club, we review Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind.

This is the riveting first-person narrative of Kvothe, a young man who grows to be one of the most notorious magicians his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

All in all, it's OK. Not great, not terrible, enjoyable enough, but not quite as fun as The Lies of Locke Lamora. Do note that we are at times quite harsh on the work, its merits nonwithstanding. Simply put, the book is not bad, or else we would actually have little to say. It is good enough that we must bring to bear our strongest criticisms, for it falls just short of being excellent. We both look forward to the continued growth of the author, and consider this a wonderful young adult fantasy novel.

We've discussed this book on two other occasions: relating to arrows and knees, and just as we'd finished it.

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