Embassytown by China Mieville

Science fiction can stretch the understanding of ideas which one might never otherwise consider. In Embassytown China Mieville provides a stimulating, entertaining story of the importance of language (eat this Pinker!).

We are introduced to an alien culture which is out of sync with the way in which we humans communicate even though the common denominator for species communication is through sound. Our protagonist, Avice, was brought up in the one human town “Embassytown”-an outpost of a human-dominated world “Ariekei” which is not a very amenable place to live in.

Avice brings to light the culture of the synergy between humans and aliens by narrating certain parts of her childhood at Embassytown. Only human genetically engineered linguists (Ambassadors) can communicate with the “Extos”-aliens. Extos on the planet are screened, with an important exception, extos can only settle on Ariekei if their sociologic and genetic makeup (to communicate, to move comfortably in a human-run world & thought processes are similar enough to allow integration with humans.)

The human and exto population of Ariekei long struck a balance. They are always problems, but Embassytown is an almost disturbingly cordial society. The Hosts do their best for Ariekei, and the Ambassadors keep the peace and essentially run the society.

But when a new Ambassador arrives, the delicate balance is lost.

As with all excellent science fiction stories one might have to have two readings to be fully appreciated, first for orientation to the new world and to understand the plot, the second for the sheer delight of finding all the subtleties the author includes in the book.

If you enjoyed King Rat and Perdido Street Station you might enjoy Meivelle’s quantum leap to science fiction.

Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction,Embassytown by China Mieville , China Meivelle, Goobes Book Republic, Great Science fiction books in Bangalore, Great Science fiction books in Bangalore ,

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I am number four by Pittacus Lore

Nineteen souls manage to escape the total destruction of their home planet Lorien, Nine children, little more than toddlers, sent to Earth to remain in hiding until their Legacies – special awesome powers and abilities that will allow them to fight Lorien’s conquerors – develop. All the hope for that lifeless planet but once beautiful, is wrapped up in these children, now teenagers who barely remember Lorien at all.

Those who sent the nine to Earth were well aware that the evil, dark and menacing destroyers of their planet, warriors of the Mogadorian race, would surely follow. The children are each hidden on Earth with an adult chaperon, someone who can guide them about their powers. They are separated, each moving frequently and having absolutely no contact with each other for their own saftey. The senders did all they could to protect the precious group, binding them and shielding them with the most powerful of Loric charms. The children can only be killed in a specific order. If a Mogadorian attempts to harm a child out of sequence the damage will bounce off the intended victim and destroy the Mogadorian instead.

Number One died four years after reaching the Earth, when Number Four was nine-years-old. Number Two followed three years later. Now Number Four is fifteen, attending high school in Florida and living under the name Daniel Jones. A new scar has just appeared on his ankle, the third such scar. It means Number Three has died. It means Number Four is next. It means it’s time to run – again…

The dialogue is stilted and overall the level of the writing (is above average). This book could be compared to some of the better works of Michael Crichton. One could quite become completely lost in the world of the book.

I am number four Pittacus Lore

I am number four Pittacus Lore

Madeleine L’Engle – A Wrinkle in Time

A children’s book, an adventure story, science-fiction, magic, family story,

Meg’s parents are scientists who are researching Time and Space. Dr. Murray takes a time trip and so do the kids.

There is a trio of “witches” – Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, and they take Meg, her brother Charles-Wallace, and their new friend Calvin on an epic adventure.

It’s also the story of a family with a deep trouble who nonetheless stay together, the story of a young girl who is just coming into adolescence with all the awkwardness and confusing feelings, and the story of a special little boy who is thought to be retarded by townspeople.

The symbology L’Engel uses is powerful and original; a giant brain who seduces those around it into surrendering their free will as an ultimate dictator; a shadow-like smog around planets that represents the presence of Evil, and a special young boy who is more than a genius; who is “something new” who nonetheless can be tempted to his own destruction by vanity.

Wrinkle in Time has a lot of fertile subjects for discussions between parents and children about good, evil, how we treat each other, and the choices we make. Ms. L’Engel often uses moral themes in her books and this one contains excellent subjects for discussions about kindness, good, evil, God, and being different, and about the destructiveness of gossip.

Wrinkle in Time is like the Potter books in that it is about boys and girls in a magical or fantasy setting. It is unlike the Potter books because it does not focus on wizardry as a craft. Instead it presents the universe as full of wonder, and united by a titanic struggle of Good against Evil. Like the Potter books, there are sequels to Wrinkle in Time, and the story of the Murray kids continues.

Madeleine L'Engle - A wrinkle in Time

Neil Gaiman – American Gods

Just out of prison, Shadow finds his his reality before prison inverted. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming — a battle for the very soul of America . . . and they are in its direct path.

Mystery, satire, sex, horror, poetic prose….

Winner of:
* Hugo Award for Best SF/Fantasy Novel
* Bram Stoker Award for Best Horror Novel
* Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel
* Nebula Award for Best Novel

Neil Gaiman - American Gods