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Books Recommendations

5 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Novellas For When You’re in the Mood to Fly Through a Book (Or You’re Trying to Catch Up On Your Goodreads Goal)

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I can’t believe it’s December already!! This year has been such a whirlwind but I still feel like my brain is stuck in 2019 even though we’re almost in 2022.

Now, as we close in on the final month of the year, I know that there are some of you out there frantically reading books to try and catch up with your Goodreads goals if you’ve fallen behind. So I decided today I’d recommend four sci-fi novellas and one fantasy novella for some quick reads that you can pack in before the end of the year.

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

Remote Control
Image: Cover of Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

I’ll kick things off with Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor. This is 160 pages long and follows Fatima, a young girl who has become Death’s adopted daughter. Ever since the day she forgot her name, she has gone by Sankofa. Death, and a fox, have been her constant companions. I really want to recommend going into this book as blindly as you can. It’s eerie and intriguing and heart wrenching all at once. I was captivated from page one and rated this four stars.

You can add it on Goodreads here.

And if you’d like to buy a copy for yourself, you can find Remote Control at the following:

Bookshop // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository //Libro.fm // Amazon // Indiebound (if you want to find a local store to shop through)

The Seep by Chana Porter

The Seep
Image: Cover of The Seep by Chana Porter

Another sci-fi novella that explores the topic of grief is The Seep by Chana Porter. The Seep is 216 pages long and follows Trina Goldberg-Oneka, a trans woman living in the aftermath of an alien invasion called, The Seep. This is an alien book that is different than any other I’ve read before and it was absolutely fascinating. In the years following the initial invasion, Earth has drastically changed. Capitalism has fallen and barriers are broken down, essentially anything is possible in this Seep filled world. As the book opens, Trina’s wife makes a life altering decision to be reborn as a baby and the rest of the story follows how Trina tries to accept what has happened. This was a really unexpected story and I rated it four stars.

Add The Seep on Goodreads here.

And you can pick up your own copy at the following links:

Barnes & Noble // Bookshop // Book Depository // Libro.fm // Amazon

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

This Is How You Lose the Time War
Image: Cover of This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Everyone has been raving about this book since it came out and I’ve picked it up more than once but never ended up finishing it. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone follows two agents, Red and Blue, who are on opposite sides of a war that spans across time. This book is beautifully written and there are so many quotes that stole my heart. It’s captivating while I don’t think that the writing style will be for everyone it’s such a unique story and I highly recommend it. It’s 209 pages long and I rated it five stars.

You can add This is How You Lose the Time War on Goodreads here.

And if you’re interested in purchasing a copy of your own, you can find it at the following links:

Bookshop // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository // Libro.fm // Amazon

A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson

A Dowry of Blood
Image: Cover of Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson

Here is the one fantasy novella I have for this post. A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson is a fantasy horror retelling of Dracula. Written as a letter to an unnamed vampire, one of Dracula’s wives reclaims her power as she recounts her time with him. It’s an immaculate story about surviving abuse and I was pulled in from the opening page. Moments were hard to read as Constanta was pushed and pulled through her narrative because even though the ending was told at the very beginning, it still had me nervous for all the victims of Dracula. This book was 248 pages long and was a five star read for me.

Content warnings for this include emotional and mental abuse, war, plague, famine, gaslighting, blood, and violence.

You can add A Dowry of Blood on Goodreads here.

And if you’re interested in picking up a copy of your own, you can find it at the following links:

Bookshop // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository // Libro.fm // Amazon

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)
Image: Cover of All Systems Red by Martha Wells

I’m going to end the post with a novella that’s part of a series, just in case you want a bunch of books you can devour. All Systems Red is the first book in The Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells. I sped through this book the first time I read it. It’s such a unique concept following a robot that’s supposed to be used only to murder but instead has become sentient and really just wants to watch TV. Not only was it action packed, there were moments that were genuinely laugh out loud funny. I can’t wait to reread this and finally keep going with the series! It’s 144 pages long (and it so didn’t feel long enough!) and I rated it five stars.

You can add All Systems Red on Goodreads here.

And here are some links in case you’re interested in picking up your own copy:

Bookshop // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository // Libro.fm // Amazon

And with that, happy reading! I hope you make your Goodreads goal, or at least find a new favorite book in the process.

Other Places You Can Find Me

Twitter: nihilisticactus

Readerly: sideofespresso

You can add me on Goodreads here.

For review requests or inquiries: adventuresandespresso@gmail.com

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Categories
In Medias Res

Our Final Invention: AI

So do scientists really think that super intelligence is a good idea? Or are they just really really stupid?

Like honestly. In any way shape or form does it even seem okay to have technology be smarter than we are? People may think it’s okay, but I’m going to drag some movies into this.

Exhibit A:

Smart House, made by Disney. Here’s a promo for it:

And oh, what’s that? Some of the technologies are in our everyday lives now?!

Okay, cool. All seemingly harmless pieces of technology, right? Well how long until something is invented that will actually control an entire house, something that is intelligent on its own… And how long until that piece of technology turns bad?

Exhibit B:

So I don’t know if you’ve heard this or not, but scientists have supposedly isolated dinosaur DNA… WHAT

AND THIS

Like I can only see this taking one path

jurassic-park.jpg

There are literally four movies now that show how dumb of an idea this is.

I just honestly cannot comprehend how anyone could want to create something that could have the potential to kill us all?

I take that back. People are really that stupid; as can be seen with all of the nuclear technology the world has created.

Well…

Okay. So I’ll just move on past the stupidity of the invention of strong AI and just talk a little bit about some fun (?) things.

So first off, my professor was talking about how if we were to invent robots that were lifelike then we would create them as adults. Then he asked if we could imagine little seven pound robots and all I could think about was this:

Robots.jpg

I then took way too long thinking about how what if this movie was like some weird post human world that could actually exist someday. And then I made myself stop thinking about that and just enjoy this children’s movie as is.

Because honestly? This movie is freaking hilarious. And the world concept is so cool. As can be seen in this scene.

Next, I wanted to share with you a thought provoking video from Crash Course involving AI and personhood.

I thought it was quite interesting to think about. And also a topic that I really don’t like thinking about either. It’s just so confusing and mindboggling.

Okay, so lastly, I want to recommend a book that I read earlier this year called Illuminae. This book is so uniquely written and also had a very central character that is AI. I would highly recommend it if you’re interested in science fiction and AI and really unique books!

After seeing all this information, what do you all think about the seemingly inevitable invention of this insane technology? Will it blend in? Or will it destroy us all?

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Don’t let the inevitability of a robot takeover get you down.