Welcome back to the RealityLapse Christmas Countdown! We’re on day eight, celebrating science fiction and we’re four days closer to Christmas! Starting out, we’re going with the book that was recently made into a movie and one of my favorite sci-fis of all time–ENDER’S GAME.
As much as I like this book, I can understand why the movie didn’t get as good ratings or bring in as much money as it could have. The reality of the matter is that if you can’t identify yourself with Ender and his story, then you probably won’t enjoy this movie. Sure, it’s action and adventure scenes are cool enough, but if you’re like me–where you like high-concept movies the best–then this movie may not be for you if you didn’t enjoy the book. The thing is though, I could identify with Ender. I loved how this book was about intelligent kids and what they can do, and I really felt like this book was the very first science fiction book I ever really enjoyed. This book is awesome, and while I have to admit that it has it’s rough spots–I still love it all the same. There’s a lot on ethics and suppression in here, and I highly recommend this book for all MG to YA readers who want to get into science fiction. You can read my full review here. For a great book for someone who liked ENDER’S GAME, you should check out Ender’s Shadow.
John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.
The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce– and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.
Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.
John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine–and what he will become is far stranger.
The first reason why I liked this book is because of Scalzi’s writing. From the very first few pages, you can see how clear, concise and well thought-out it is. After reading an excerpt of this on another blog a long time before I started blogging myself, I knew I wanted to read it. It wasn’t only that though. It didn’t hit me all at once. I didn’t like the characters immediately, they slowly and steadily creeped upon me. The characters and their story really began to mean something to me, and that made the story a lot stronger. I loved the idea of the book and the concepts Scalzi explains. Younger readers might not appreciate this book as much, and in that case you might want to check out Lissa Price’s STARTERS. You can read my full review here.
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved–that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
It’s so much fun to read this book, among other things. Wade is funny, relatable, real and a good guy. All the different references in here are fun to track and think about. I read this book again for the first time in a long time right after watching SWORD ART ONLINE for the first time, so I was extremely excited to rediscover this book and why I loved it so much. There’s a lot of great elements in this book and I loved reading about them as Ernest Cline put them all together, along with the genuinely lovable characters. Highly recommended to 80s pop-culture and video-game fans. You can read my full review here.
Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
I loved the first sentence of this book from the very first time that I read it, and the rest of the book that follows. I love the detail an the heart-racing action that takes place in this book, as well as the characters that quickly grow on you. It was extremely interesting to see Todd grow throughout the first book, constantly changing and growing better. I also really liked the concepts of this story. Even though sometimes the way the slang and language was used throughout this book, it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. This a great read for anyone looking for an action/adventure novel with some fascinating ideas and story writing that will make you think. You can read my full review here.
Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license – for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.
The choice Tally makes changes her world forever…
I feel like the first book in this series was all about Tally’s growth as a character–learning about the world outside her own sheltered one and finding a place behind everything she’s been told or believed. Scott Westerfeld’s writing style grows with the series as well, changing to match whatever is happening at the time, and I think that that makes the book a lot stronger. I do have to say this book
is a little slow in the beginning, but if you get into it–this is a series that is exciting, fun and makes you wonder about where we’re heading as a society. If you liked Westerfeld’s other works such as LEVIATHAN, then you should try this book. You can read my full review here.
For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon – a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.
I loved so much about this book the first time I read it. I have to say that may be under the influence of 1984, which I read just before this as I was in my classics phase–but this book still has something all it’s own. I have to say I didn’t appreciate the teen-speak from Titus and his friends in the beginning. Frankly, it was quite annoying at times. However, I grew into it and by the end of the book it didn’t bother me. The concepts to the story and the amazing plot line really grew on me and I loved reading about Titus and Violet as they fought the feed. M.T. Anderson’s voice really resonates perfectly with the storytelling of this book and I love the journey that they all go through. A truly satisfying read that can make you think.
That concludes day eight and all the science fiction madness! What are some of your favorite science fiction reads? You might want to try some of the ones above! If you’re a fan of Alistair Reynolds and haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest reading his HOUSE OF SUNS. Come back tomorrow for the RealityLapse Christmas Countdown Day Nine: Fantasy.
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