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Review of "Seveneves" (The seven HALE) Neal Stephenson, Nova - Ediciones B

Review SevenevesNeal Stephenson read is a safe bet. As always, the book engages the base is scientific, suggests and prose is well written ... what more could you ask for?

Write a review without spoilers is complicated, but come on, it's summer and I have time ... so I'll try.

The book can be divided into two distinct parts (present and future) and a transition between the two.

En la primera, el autor parte de la premisa que la Tierra va a quedar inhabitable en 24 meses a causa de la explosión de la Luna. Y, sirviéndose de la especulación científica, desarrolla cómo con la tecnología actual, los gobiernos actuales y la sociedad tal como está, se podría crear un plan de evacuación para el máximo número de ciudadanos. Así que se abren diversos hilos argumentales al rededor de la selección de los supervivientes, de qué cosas se llevarán al espacio, de los perfiles más indicados, sobre cómo adaptar la Estación Espacial Internacional (ISS), sobre cómo consolar a los que se quedan, sobre las naves públicas y las naves privadas… en definitiva, de la organización de la evacuación.

Entre esta parte y la siguiente (5000 años en el futuro) está la parte de transición que da nombre al libro… el momento en que por causas accidentales que el autor va introduciendo en la primera parte, casi toda la humanidad queda reducida a 7 mujeres confinadas en una parte de la ISS, nuestras 7 Evas. Cada una de ellas con un perfil psicológico, con unas características físicas y con determinada visión sobre cómo debería ser el mundo y la humanidad. Por suerte, entre ellas hay una genetista y aunque el archivo genético de la Tierra está medio destruido, el laboratorio de la ISS sigue operativo.

The second part of the book is already in a future in which humanity has been divided into 7 races and the author explores the organization and coexistence of the 7 space societies and how it goes back to "terraform" Earth.

It is ultimately a story of annihilation and resurrection, approached from a scientific, psychological and sociological.

As always, there are details that lead to reflection for hours ... if 5,000 years mankind has managed to turn a wolf into a chihuahua only guided selection ... how far we could reach humans themselves with genetic engineering? If we could start again in a society created as why we regiríamos rules? What economic system would like? Why we would opt governmental system? What would interpersonal relationships in this new world?

Anyway ... 100% recommended reading for any lover of science fiction speculative.

Review of "THE SOLAR NAVIGATOR" by David Brin - Ed Folio SF.

SundiverThis review should be called Review of "Until the Heart of the Sun: the cycle of elevation I" from David Brin, Because I had to buy in Paris when I lost my lack of foresight reading. Luckily, on the Champs Elysees Virgin have a good science fiction section and found this book I had not read (or if you've read, I do not remember having done so).

I have a little mental mess with him if I had read it or not, because I have not read strange because I thought I had read all the books Elevation cycle (Plus many other books by this author, among which is The postman [That of the homonymous film directed and carried by Kevin Costner] and a prequel The foundation de Asimov) pero al leer la contraportada de éste me di cuenta de que no lo había leído. Y al leerlo entero, creo positivamente que no lo había leído. Por otra parte, podría consultar mi biblioteca, pero resulta que estos libros que fueron escritos hace tanto tiempo (este es de 1980 y supongo que si lo leí, lo habría hecho sobre 1988-90) los tengo en el fondo de la biblioteca y no alcanzo a verlos si no saco un par de niveles que tengo superpuestos a estos. En fin… un drama. Cuando sea rica tendré una biblioteca enorme que me permita leer los lomos de todos los libros. O eso… o digitalizo todo lo que tengo ahora. En parte, el posible olvido y la falta de facilidades para la consulta fue lo que me motivó a escribir estas reseñas en el blog. Al menos ahora estoy segura de recordar lo que he leído estos dos últimos años.

But ... we go to the book review of Brin.

Like all books Elevation cycle based on the premise that humans have contact with other races of the universe, but it seems that none of these races has reached the stars without the help of a guide race that has helped her rise.

In the case of humans, it seems that no one helped us rise ... or someone helped us, but for unknown reasons abandoned us to our fate. This causes both on Earth and beyond, there factions are in favor of a thesis and factions are in favor of the other, which causes some friction between humans, and between humans and aliens.

The civil organization of our world is curious to say the least and Brin describes it in detail.

Despite being "orphaned" humans are respected by the other races of the universe because in turn have raised two landraces: dolphins and chimpanzees.

In this particular book, they show signs of a race of strange beings half average power field, living in the sun. So an expedition was organized to our sun king to try to establish contact with this race and discover, eventually, if it is or is not who gave us a hand in raising.

The characters are endearing and have depth. Aliens from the high races are very curious and description of their societies lends itself to dream to see them sometime. Also the description of solar ship and the technology used to avoid being burned (stasis field generator amending spacetime outside deck of the ship) is detailed and interesting.

The book is highly recommendable, and whether they had read or not, I'm happy having spent a few days of my vacation.

Review of "ATLANTIS: A short history of a Platonic myth" by Pierre Vidal-Naquet - Ediciones Akal

Unlike the books I've been writing reviews, Atlantis: A short history of a Platonic myth It is not a book of science fiction. This is an essay written by Pierre Vidal-Naquet walking and analyzes the emergence of the myth of Atlantis in the Western world literature.Atlantis Pierre Vidal-Naquet

The book begins with Plato in 355 B.C. when Atlantis appointment and described both his work Timeo like in Critias. The author comes to our present time, via Rome, the Renaissance, for the works of Jules Verne, and even our Mn. Cinto Verdaguer which speaks of Atlantis in his eponymous poem.

Among other issues, also it analyzes how the Hitler era Germans take over the item and include it in their mythology, becoming the Aryan race, the race of the descendants of the Atlanteans. From this premise part of the argument of many science fiction books I've been chronicling in this blog.

After analyzing all available information about Atlantis, the opinion of Pierre Vidal-Naquet is that the myth of Atlantis was literally "invented" by Plato as a metaphor to illustrate an imaginary and utopian Athens, and that eventually the myth and history are mixed giving rise to numerous speculations about the origin of this lost continent, the descendants of the Atlanteans and the evolution of language and the Atlantean culture.

In the book, the author uses to include many interesting antique prints with maps of possible sites of Atlantis that have been published over the last 2000 years.

In general, a scholarly book, with lots of footnotes page (sometimes the note occupies almost the entire page) but we read with little effort to the minimum that a certain interest in the subject is taken. 100% recommended if you want to know more about Atlantis.

Review of "CULTURAL TOURISM" José Antonio Donaire - Vitel • the Editions

Cultural tourism, between experience and ritual"It is a book worth reading by little you feel a certain interest in tourism.

The author knows what he's talking and knows the subject, not in vain is a specialist in tourism management in historic cities (among others related to geography and tourism topics).Turisme Cultural - José Antonio Donaire

Although in principle the book is aimed at an academic audience, the content is treated in a pleasant and at the same time is an amazing scholarship. It is recommended for all audiences.

The book is really dense in content, so it's not a book to read at a stretch. It is rather a bedside book. Something to read for a while and then stop to reflect on reading.

Some of the topics covered in the book are:

  • Culture (in capital letters) vs culture (lowercase)
  • The image of a destination vs. the real identity of its inhabitants
  • How is a cultural tourist
  • Cultural tourism is an experience or ritual

With deft skill, the author will introduce topics that seem simple and goes by going to dilemmas that require reflection, and eventually force you to leave the book aside, like it or not, and force you to think about what he said to you a opinion and position yourself to one side or another.

It also includes some interesting thoughts on web 2.0 and its applications in tourism issues.

Anyway ... A real pleasure to read.

Blog author: José Antonio Donaire
Publisher website: Vellum Publishing

Review of "REAL TIME THROUGH" by Vernor Vinge - Icarus Ed.

"Through the Real Time" an entertaining book that raises a good story, even though it actually three books written at different times is.

The book presents us with time travel, but only forward, using a technology that allows the creation of bubbles enclosed in a kind of ecstasy all that is left inside, getting no time passes for those who are locked inside.

The book extends over millions of years and narrates the history of mankind.

The frame is divided into two parts. The first, places the reader in the near future in which humanity is recovering after a nuclear disaster caused by a world war. This part is fun and is pure literature "steampunk".

The second part is more Science Fiction of all life (to speak) and explains how humanity's future, in the distant future ... although most are not human because something has happened in the XXIII century and have only left the humans who for one reason or another were emburbujados.

The book presents a future society in which humans must live in different times and access to different types of technology (depending on the time they were emburbujados), and consequently with different social models. The main task of this society is to perpetuate the human species, even though the few hundred copies of remaining humans.

To encourage a bit more plot, the author includes a murder, a police century and to some alien.

100% recommendable.

Review of "Mars time" by Philip K. Dick - Minotaur

I've read most of the books I have written my favorite authors, especially those who unfortunately are already dead, but there is always someone who escapes and occasionally gives me joy. This is the case of "Mars time”. Tiempo de Marte - Philip K Dick

Last week, in my usual bookstore, I found a reprint of this book, that neither knew I was pending to read ... so I bought it and began "to work".

The book is the typical book of Philip K. Dick. With all its elements: people who dream but does not distinguish between dreams and reality, people with mental illness, some other person with severe depression, etc ... to a "pre-cog" (person because of a mental disorder is able to see the future or thinking of moving over time [as in Minority Report, for example]).

The book tells of the colonization of Mars and coexistence among the inhabitants of Earth and Mars Aborigines, who are Homo Sapiens Sapiens black, but involuted.

The book is written in 1964 so it's fun to see how the author deals with certain issues.

  • The company raised Philip K. Dick is totally sexist (women are either wives dimensional engaged in shopping and cooking are either more or less efficient secretaries are judged according to their physical attributes).
  • Since in the 60s was not known almost nothing about Mars, humans of "Mars time" are installed there quietly, without prior terraforming or any kind of environmental protection. In fact, it is understood that they do not need as other humans and are therefore assumed to colonize the planet is viable.
  • The canals of Mars are clearly works of its former inhabitants.
  • No computers.
  • Radio frequency communications are encrypted and certain messages, you need a "coding machine".

Anyway ... a book is a novella of the most typical science fiction of Philip K. Dick. Fully recommended.

Reseña de “VUELTA ATRÁS”, de Robert J. Sawyer – Nova (Ediciones B)

VUELTA ATRÁS, Robert J. Sawyer - NovaVuelta Atrás” es un libro divertido, ameno, bien narrado, que transmite conocimiento y que hace pensar. ¿Qué más se le puede pedir a un libro?

El argumento versa sobre el descifrado de unos mensajes alienígenas que llegan a la Tierra. El primero de ellos lo descifra una joven investigadora del SETI, que también se encarga de enviar su respuesta. 38 años después, llega un segundo mensaje y de nuevo, la investigadora del SETI esta vez anciana pero habiéndose aplicado un tratamiento de rejuvenecemiento (que ha fallado y que la ha dejado a las puertas de una muerte por vejez) lo descifra, mientras que su marido, cuyo tratamiento ha funcionado bien, explora su nueva juventud.

En el libro se discuten el papel de la tecnología en el desarrollo futuro del ser humano, cuestiones morales sobre los tratamientos para alargar la longevidad de las personas, el aborto, la existencia de Dios y otros muchos dilemas morales a los cuales Sawyer nos tiene acostumbrados a plantear en sus libros.

Como el resto de obras de Robert j. Sawyer “Vuelta Atrás” es 100% recomendable y merece la pena dedicarle las pocas horas que se tarda en leer.

Reseña de “QUANTICO” de Greg Bear – La Trama (Ediciones B)

Quantico - Greg BearQuántico debe su nombre a la Academia del FBI en la que se adiestran algunos de los protagonistas de este libro. El libro sitúa al lector en un futuro cercano en el que prácticamente cualquiera puede desarrollar virus letales en su sótano, y donde el mundo vive al borde del caos a causa del terrorismo. Los protagonistas tienen que ir siguiendo una pista que se remonta a los casos de ataque por Antrax que tuvieron lugar en el 2001 y de los que aún se desconoce quién fue el culpable.

Con este libro Greg Bear hace una de sus incursiones en el “thriller_de_FBI” aunque le quedan algunos resquicios de Ciencia Ficción, sobre todo en lo que hace referencia al bioterrorismo y a la creación de virus que atacan selectivamente según la genética de sus víctimas.

El libro es interesante y se lee rápido, aunque no es de los que se rememora en ciertos momentos. Greg Bear escribe mejor cuando se dedica a la Ciencia Ficción al 100%.

Review of "THE WEB", Neal Stephenson and J. F. George - Nova (Ediciones B)

LA TELARAÑA, Neal Stephenson y J. F. George - NovaIn The spiderwebNeal Stephenson is passed to the subgenus "thriller_del_FBI" and bioterrorism, as has GregBear in Quantico and as have other writers of Science Fiction (note that it is not fashionable ICTP).

The plot takes place in several stages, all well described and credible. The protagonists have to contend with the threat of biological warfare weapons of mass destruction in the time frame of the first Gulf War.

The book gives us lessons of espionage, management of an election campaign for sheriff of a county, conflict management with your superiors and management of university projects ... so the less, it is interesting reading. All enlivened with intelligent humor and erudition of Stephenson.

The presence of one of the "bad" than capping using a NGO that as a marketing tool, use counter number of people they help, and that makes them look completely legal and good people.

The book contains ingeniosas.Ha thoughts really been a pleasure to read. It is 100% recommended.

Review of "ODYSSEY" Jack McDevitt - La Factoria de Ideas

ODISEA, Jack McDevitt - La Factoria de Ideas"Odyssey" It is part of the series The God Machine And you can see it. The first quarter of the book is only in a position to put the reader and makes you wonder more than once if you've not made a mistake and you've already read this book.

Another quarter of the book is dedicated to budgetary policy and to give an opinion on the marketing and very simple and primary public relations, which could have done without quietly.

Some of the characters are the same as Omega, Chindi Y Deepsix, aunque más maduros ya que ha pasado el tiempo. En esta ocasión tienen que conocer la verdad sobre “los jinetes lunares”, unas naves espaciales que aparecen cerca de sistemas cercanos a la Tierra y que amenazan algunas de las construcciones humanas fuera del planeta, entre las que se encuentra un colisionador de partículas construido en la órbita de un planeta fuera del Sistema Solar (obviamente, disponen de tecnología que les permite viajar a través del hiperespacio y por lo tanto, situarse en cualquier parte de la galaxia en tiempos razonables)… como en la mayor parte de las obras de esta serie, el libro se termina sin que quede claro quiénes son los visitantes de otro mundo.

A part that is interesting is that talks about space tourism and balance between research budgets and sources of income derived from space tourism.

The book goes well, but not of hitching.