Blindsight / Dreamlander (books 3 and 4)

Blindsight / Peter Watts

Synopsis – Future transhumans chase after a signal through outer space, find a planet, capture some of its inhabitants, and torture them to learn sciency stuff.* In the process, the planet does a number on their perceptions, and they freak out about the meaning of life, the universe, and everything, but mostly about the definitions of “humanity” and “consciousness.”

Reaction – A hard sci fi story with hard sci hypothesis formulation. I’m already one to seek out and twist my mind with the deepest of the deep questions, and this book twisted my mind to the point of shearing. Along the sheared edges, new crystals grew. Lucky for me, I’m fond of fractals. Read this book if you’re ready to think about the meanings of perception, evolution, and morality unconventionally and logically. Hal lives.

Recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.

Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Blindsight-Peter-Watts-ebook/dp/B003K15EKM

*Of course, the storyline is much more sophisticated than my synopsis, but in the interest of omitting a multitude of spoilers, I kept it unsophisticated.

*

Dreamlander / K.M. Weiland

Synopsis – Future Hero gradually discovers his nightmares are actually real life in an Other Dimension. Future Hero crosses over into the Other Dimension and becomes Reluctant Hero, falls in love with Ice Princess, and leads an Epic War, via fate. Then Reluctant Hero becomes Fabled Hero when his continued presence in the Other Dimension causes Both Dimensions to plunge into Catastrophic Global Climate Change.

Reaction – The “real life” scenes were peppy and punchy. The transitions and the “dream life” scenes were full of contradictory descriptions and disjointed cause and effect, even for a dream world. Choppy, shuffled sequence of events within many scenes. The “dream life” scenes summoned an army of halting proper nouns, as often found in fantasy novels, and long, drawn-out political, tactical, and battle descriptions. It’s rare that I enjoy the historomantasy genre, and this proved no exception. A chore to get through. I did, however, slog through to the end, just to give it a full chance.

Recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.

Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Dreamlander-K-M-Weiland-ebook/dp/B00A9WU99Q

*

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8 Comments

  1. I reread Blindsight about a month ago. Watt’s books are hard going, but worth it. Dreamlander sounds like something to avoid at all costs.

    Reply
    • I loved Blindsight, and I’ll be reading more of Watts. I picked up Dreamlander because I’m a fan of Weiland’s Helping Writers Become Authors blog.

      Reply
      • I generally check out an author if I liked one of their books. Doesn’t mean I’ll want to read anything else. Blurb, sample would have told me that wasn’t to my taste.

  2. Every once in a while I make myself read outside of my liking. I’m not quite sure why…

    Reply
    • I read outside my preferences now and then, usually by accident, though. :-) And not if I have to pay for it. Plenty of freebies on Amazon for when I’m feeling masochistic. I’m not normally a fantasy fan, but I’ve found a few good novels here and there. It helps a lot of there aren’t any orcs, goblins, talking animals, etc. It’s mind powers that fascinate me, even though the ones in fantasy don’t exist. I don’t remember what got me interested in Victoria Strauss’s The Arm of the Stone, but I bought it, read it, and liked it very much. I didn’t care for the sequel quite as much because I think she attempted too much and it went on forever. But I wasn’t sorry to have bought it. And I reread Arm of the Stone, and enjoyed it just as much the second time. Look her up. You might just get hooked.

      Reply
  3. It’s funny; I’m a science geek but I don’t particularly enjoy hard sci-fi. I always find myself skimming through the hard sci to get to “the story”. Your review of Blindsight intrigues me, though…

    Reply
    • I find a hard sci fi story requires a specific zone. As long as I’m well-rested, calm, and have no urgent distractions, I can immerse myself in hard sci fi. The more I read of Blindsight, the more into it I got. Maybe the other, more in-depth reviews on Amazon could help you decide . .

      Reply

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