So, it’s been a bit since I’ve updated the weekly readings. I’ve been reading quite a bit, I just have a really big post that needs to go up Sunday, so I’ve been occupied with research for that.

But right now, let’s run some blades.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick)

This is not Blade Runner. I want to make it clear, if you read this book, it is not very much like Blade Runner. In the novel, Rick Deckard is not retired, he’s married, and the world is filled with radioactive dust that reads more like a novelization of Fallout. The artificial humans are also called “andys” (short for “android”) as opposed to “replicants”. Overall, it’s really not much like the movie. That being said, it is a chilling adventure, with some great suspense.

Rating: 4/5— a Sci-Fi classic, of course.

The Martian (Andy Weir)

I read this one in a day. I had some time, and it’s a surprisingly quick read. This is a very, very hard science fiction book– meaning that the science is as close to real as one can make it while also making a compelling narrative. That being said, it’s hardly dry– the titular Martian is Matt Damon Mark Watney, who was picked for the initial mission because of his tendency to use humor as a defense in stressful situations. Being stranded on Mars after your crew presumes that you’re dead is, needless to say, a stressful situation.

Rating: 5/5— though I do want to know Watney’s reaction to listening to his first non-disco song.

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (Mary Shelley)

I wrote about this book at length recently, but still, it’s a good read. One thing I will add is that there are differences between the original 1818 release and subsequent editions, mostly in the words used. Maybe someday I’ll read the original text and see how it compares.

Rating: 4/5— very intense.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

I needed something light to read after all of that, plus it’s technically research for another post I’m working on (not the one on Sunday, that one is specific to what Sunday is). The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable, certainly the most successful, book ever to come from the imagination of one Douglas Adams. The Hitchhiker’s Guide is about the titular book and several people connected to it, including the constantly confused every-man Arthur Dent; Ford Prefect, who was not, in fact, at all from Guilford but a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse; Trillian, formerly Tricia McMillan, an astrophysicist who left Earth about six months before it was demolished; and Zaphod Beeblebrox, the inventor of the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, who is “just zis guy, you know?”. I’m currently on The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, so look for that in the near future.

Rating: 5/5— slightly cheaper than the Encyclopaedia Galactica, and has the words “Don’t Panic” in large, friendly letters inscribed on the cover.

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