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zerode has commented on (3) products.

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

zerode, January 1, 2013

The best science fiction book of the year. Kim Stanley Robinson returns triumphantly to the future he sketched out in the Mars Trilogy. 2312 is not necessarily sent in the same universe/time line as those books, but it is very strongly linked in terms of ideas of the future, of society, etc. The goldsworthys of Mercury, the settlement of the outer solar system, the lives that people have constructed for themselves out of the tools of the future... All will seem very familiar to anyone who has read the Mars books. But for anyone who hasn't, 2312 presents a completely self-contained vision - no previous experience required - and one that is completely engaging and rewarding.

There was a lot of great science fiction and fantasy published this past year. Cory Doctorow's "Pirate Cinema" was terrific. New Iain Banks, Ken Macleod, Terry Pratchett, Charles Stross, China Mieville. But Robinson's 2312 was the standout.
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Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

zerode, August 12, 2012

Hedges got ferociously slammed in the anarchist community recently from some very limited and thoughtless criticism of anarchists in the Occupy movement, but overall his reporting in The Nation has been some of the more insightful - and inciteful - on the new wave of revolt that seems to be sweeping the world.

(Funny to think that just as we have been having another Great Depression, another turn of that historical wheel, we've been having another 1968/Prague Spring/etc. But with important differences. It's an Arab Spring this time, and it's not a foreign war that is fueling anger but social and economic inequality at home. In a way it's the same thing though - another face of globalization.)

This along with David Harvey's superb Rebel Cities should be a starting place in thinking about what is going on with the new 1968 in the developed nations of the Anglo-American sphere.
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Sewer, Gas & Electric: Public Works Trilogy by Matt Ruff
Sewer, Gas & Electric: Public Works Trilogy

zerode, June 7, 2012

I'm reading this for perhaps the fourth or fifth time - it's such rollicking good fun. When you see what Thomas Pynchon and Neal Stephenson said about it, it's a wonder that this book isn't MUCH more widely known than it is. It really is brilliant: funny, political, satirical, witty, smart, bizarre. It often feels more magical realist to me - like Garcia Marquez's "100 Years..." or Mark Helprin's "Refiner's Fine" - the bit in the NY sewers most obviously - than science fiction. Some of the futuristic stuff is dated now, as happens more and more with SF - real developments in things like computers have vastly outstripped most authors' imagined scenarios. At times, though, it is disturbingly prescient: it has an airplane crashing into the Empire State Building to destroy it. Not so prescient: an end to AIDS in 1999. That probably seemed like a reasonable thing when the book was written - what a horrible situation that that prediction couldn't have been proven right or even out-paced.
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