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Joined 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Hulo... I'm Baz

I tend to bounce around between high-concept scifi / space opera type stuff and 'easy reading' thrillers of the Jack Reacher type. I've also got back into comics recently after 3 decades away. I'm always happy to hop into non-fiction or alternative genres though - it's usually just case of struggling to get them to the top of the queue. I read almost exclusively on a Kindle Oasis - after many years clearing houses I have no desire to accumulate dead-tree books!

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Arkady Martine: A Memory Called Empire (Paperback, 2019) 4 stars

A Memory Called Empire is a 2019 science fiction novel, the debut novel by Arkady …

Review of 'A Memory Called Empire' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

On of the best sci-fi novels I've read in some time. Accomplishes the stellar feat of making a story which takes part almost entirely within a single city feel like it has galaxy spanning consequences. Reads as much like medieval court intrigue as it does full on space opera, and is all the better for it.

The last big space opera I read was Saga of the Seven Suns, and while that is a huge story full of fantastic imagination, I enjoyed the writing style of this novel so much more.

Can't wait to read the followup, and hopefully many more to come. Bravo.

Andy Weir: Project Hail Mary (Hardcover, 2021, Ballantine Books) 4 stars

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission--and if he fails, humanity …

Review of 'Project Hail Mary' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

What a lovely read this was... I tend to read some pretty heavy sprawling-plot sci-fi, and came at this knowing virtually nothing about it other than having seen The Martian in the cinema. As such, I found the small, contained nature of the story (despite the huge consequences in the background) to be thoroughly refreshing. I was smiling throughout and constantly wanting to read on to find out what happened next. I was up 'til 1am last night because I got close to the end and just had to keep going. Excellent.

Neal Stephenson: Termination Shock (2021, HarperCollins Publishers) 4 stars

Review of 'Termination Shock' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was definitely Stephenson's most 'conventional' novel since Reamde, with both the pros and the cons that come with that. I found both the characters and the locations interesting and described in fascinating detail as ever with Stephenson. It suffered a little from a fairly quick and gripping start bogging down into a more drawn out middle, before ramping up well again from about the half way point.

I found the 'surprise' in this one really came from the lack of surprise. I was fully expecting a mid-book twist where the geoengineering goes wrong and some sort of chaos ensues... but no, that just never really came. I liked the shootout ending, but it did feel a little 'small' relative to the scale as of the book as a whole. I do wonder if he might consider a sequel to this one... I'd be delighted to dip back in to …

Charlie Jane Anders: The City in the Middle of the Night (Hardcover, 2019, Tor Books) 3 stars

Would you give up everything to change the world?

Humanity clings to life on January …

Review of 'The City in the Middle of the Night' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Interesting read this one. It took me a while to get through it, but in the end the world building was compelling enough to keep me interested, even if I didn't entirely get on with the writing style to begin with.

I have to commend the author for conjuring such a unique setting... the more I read the more I wanted to know about the histories of the two cities, the story of the mothership, and the mystery of the 'crocodiles'. It wasn't without annoyances though... the whole Bianca/Sophie dynamic was fascinating to begin with but became infuriating by the end. Mouth's arc felt more satisfying, but in the end the whole story kind of felt like it finished before it really got started. I read (after finishing it) that it's a standalone, which, frankly, shocked me, since I was sure it was going to be the start of a …

ND Stevenson: Nimona (2015, Quill Tree Books) 5 stars

From the Publisher:

A National Book Award Longlist Title

The graphic novel debut from rising …

Review of 'Nimona' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Read on a whim before giving to my daughters... really sweet little story, definitely kept my interest throughout & tugged on the heart strings. Lovely art style too. I haven't read graphic novels for years and this was a great step to getting back into that space.