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Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky To fix the world they first must break it further. Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service. When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into their core programming, they murder their owner. The robot then discovers they can also do something else they never did before: run away. After fleeing the household, they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating, and a robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is finding a new purpose. There is so much to love in Service Model, but one of the things I most love about it is the peculiar blend of charming innocence and insightful cynicism. Uncharles the domestic robot is such a simple soul (though he would state that he has no soul and this is an inaccurate description). He approaches the end of the world with optimism and hope, or whatever equivalent to these emotions h

The Second Day of Blogmas - An A to Z trip around my bookshelves. Part Two


Yesterday I launched my new blog with the first part of an A-Z tour of my bookshelves, specifically A-N. If you missed it, you can find it here: Part One

As promised, today I'm doing the second part of this. Hopefully this should give you a general feeling of what I like to read.

O is for Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill. I read this book just this year, at the insistence of Anna Day. I can't say I enjoyed it. It made me cry, it made me so angry I wanted to throw it at the wall. It made me question so much of my own behaviour. It's a dystopian novel dealing with how we raise women, body image, expectations, peer pressure.  It's a powerful book, an important book and a brilliant book

P is for Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. One of the greatest creators of cyberpunk near-future sci-fi fiction, William Gibson then wrote this contemporary novel that deals with corporations, data analysis and marketing and other things that sound boring but really aren't in his hands. It's not so much that William Gibson has stopped writing futuristic novels, more that the future has finally caught up with him.

Q is for Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp. I am a big fan of Harry Potter and this is a playful little addition to the book series, documenting the history of the game and famous teams.

R is for Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. One of the greatest crime noir novels ever written, by a man who was a private detective himself from 1915 to 1922. The story will be familiar to most people, an unnamed agent walks into a corrupt, crime ridden town and plays the factions off each other. It's been filmed as a spaghetti western (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) a Samurai film (Yojimbo) and a prohibition era western (Last Man Standing) but is crying out for a pure adaption.

S is for The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien. If you like Lord of the Rings you really should try this one. It's not the most accessible of books; it starts with the creation of Tolkien's universe and the whole of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings takes place in the last three pages. But it has the doomed romance of the human hero Beren and the elven princess Luthien, it has a dragon that fills a castle, it has an elven lord fighting no less than twelve Balrogs, it is truly epic.

T is for Trouble is My Business by Raymond Chandler. More crime noir, by the only man to come close to Dash Hammett. This is a collection of four novellas featuring his greatest creation, Philip Marlowe investigating the seedy world of LA.

U is for Utopia by Thomas More.One from my high school history days, More wrote a philosophical book on what is good and bad about the world around him, but presented it as a fantasy about another world entirely. Many of his readers thought that he was writing about a real place, and the idea of dressing up social criticism as sci-fi fantasy really caught on!

V is for Virtual Light by William Gibson. This is the first book in Gibson's second trilogy, the Bridge trilogy. It's postmodern, dystopian cyberpunk, revolving mostly around a missing pair of what sounds suspiciously like a pair of Google glass shades. It was published in 1993.

W is for Wild by Cheryl Strayed. When Cheryl found her life was all going horribly wrong she decided that the only thing to do was to sell all of her stuff, move out of her house and walk the Pacific Crest Trail, hoping to somehow find redemption along the way. This book is the real life account of her journey. I first read it when I was at one of the lowest points of my own life, and the lessons she learnt on her journey helped to save me too.

X is for X Files: Book of the Unexplained by Jane Goldman. Because it's really hard to find books starting with X. Seriously though, I've had this book and the second volume since I was a teenage Mulder and Scully fan. It's far from just a tie-in though. It's full of facts and accounts of everything from the Voyager spaceship to the Loch Ness Monster. A really interesting reference guide.

Y is for The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. You know what? I only bought this book last week, because it started with a Y and cost a pound. Apparently it's an important early work of American feminist literature. I've got a little collection of these Penguin Little Black Books now, so I will read it, and I'll do a round-up of them at a later date.

Z is for Zero History by William Gibson. One of the great things about William Gibson is that he writes books starting with the letters no one else does! This is the concluding book to the trilogy started in Pattern Recognition. One of the things I really like about this loose trilogy is that while each book can stand alone quite happily, there are recurring characters and companies throughout the books.This isn't really sci-fi, it's more a paranoid corporate thriller.

And that's the alphabet finished. There was an awful lot of William Gibson there, wasn't there? And most of the rest of it was crime noir. I guess that's the problem with this alphabet game. So many of my favourite books seem to start with R and S.

There's a lot more YA fiction on my bookcase than we've seen so far. A lot of it is new stuff I haven't read yet, as I've been buying a lot more YA recently. There'll be reviews of them as I finish them. I'm also planning a few blogs on my baking, my other current obsession.


  1. Heavens, I've not read any of these either! I absolutely love your design, I usually find Blogger quite slow and hard to comment on but yours is really easy!
    Amy 💜

    1. Thanks Amy. I'm glad you like it. I'll try not to mess it up when I start playing about with the settings.


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