Author: Stanislaw Lem
This book is considered one of the classics of science fiction. No doubt about it, it’s a great book.
That being said, I’m starting to believe I’m tainted in the sci-fi novel category. Because of all the mediocre movies made out of great books, I can’t manage to read most older sci-fi books with any of the amazement and wonder that I get from present-day authors like Daniel Suarez.
I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen the movie Solaris, but the plot just felt so familiar to me that as I read on, I kept expecting to recognize what happened next. I never actually did guess what happened next. But I just can’t shake that feeling…
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Author: Cixin Liu, Translated By: Ken Liu
This book is Chinese-language science fiction, translated into English. I’ve heard from a few folks that it’s all the rage among China’s tech community, and I couldn’t resist a chance to read it (hear it read) first-hand.
Judged purely as a science fiction book, it’s good. The story kept my attention and I didn’t want to put it down. There were plenty of interesting twists and turns, and it was full of scientific language and concepts.
That said, I don’t judge this purely as a science fiction book. For me, it was more than that. At the start of the book, I kept thinking “How did this make it past the Chinese censors?”
The book gave me a window into Chinese culture, in some ways directly and in some indirectly. It’s not often I read books written from non-western perspectives, so I really enjoy the opportunity!
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