Room for All
On the room for all thread we sometimes talk about a book someone has recently found to be fabulous or even just a perfect mindless read
Starfish, Maelstrom & Behemoth by Peter Watts -- Hard SF taking place around the Pacific Northwet, aboot an ancient form of life that gets released and outcompetes our life. and his Blindsight book -- a really neet alien contact story.
Blindsight is the kind of s-f I need to find more of. Exploration, first contact, mysteries of the cosmos is what I love about s-f. I am quite sick of social s-f. Do Watts' other novels fill that bill?
Right now I'm reading 'Mercy' by Jodi Picoult. It's about a mercy killing, but in my opinion it is poorly constructed, poorly written. The only reasons I'm continuing is because I started it and don't like to quit and because I've got nothing else to read right now.
Blood Music, his trippy hard sf exploration of a singularity transhumanism rapture event.
Thanks to Arthur C Clarke's Childhood's End, where I became consciously aware of something called 'science fiction', my reading life changed for the better...
would you call Blindsight an idea-dense book?
Yeah, the book predates the Franklin expedition (sorry reverse order - I think they were close to the same time?) by a little bit (the book was set in 1700-something but was written in the 1800s). Perhaps it was all about exploring new frontiers of various sorts (the inspiration, I mean) that was going on at the time, and on Shelley's mind (just a guess).I love Frankenstein and wish that more adaptations would include that framing story about Robert Walton's Arctic expedition (Kenneth Branagh's version from the 1990s featuring Branagh as Victor and Robert De Niro as The Creature did but can't think of any others). The parallels to Franklin are intriguing but the novel actually predates him so I'm not sure what inspired that part of the story.
As for Frankenstein and AI, it is considered to be one of the first true s-f novels and could arguably be the first transhuman s-f novel, given that is about humans creating an intelligence that matches/exceeds (the monster is quite intelligent in the book) our own.