Posthumanism in future Manchester

2015 in Manchester is not a place and time you want to be, if you read Matt Hill’s book GRAFT. The story about Sol and Y is sometimes hard to get into, and sometimes really accesible. Although that might also be a personal thing, which depended on my own state of mind; I read the book in a few readings, and wasn’t always the most awake. Which might have lead to me DREAMING about someone with three arms! But I digress.

What I liked, but what others might not enjoy as much, is that many things stay vague. How has the world collapsed into something post-apocalyptic in just 10 years? How does the changing of humans into something else work? Where do they come from? How is the rest of the UK faring? The rest of Europe? The world? I enjoy the slowly finding out what there is to find out, and still having questions at the end, because that is how life works; you don’t get anything in a clearcut package.

I loved how the story was structured. How you got to read about Sol and his work in one chapter, and seem to be in a completely different world in the next, following Y after she wakes up and has no memory of what has come before. Different characters are introduced, and their tales connect. That does work well, except in one case. On the whole, I feel like the role Mel plays seems a bit too fabricated, like she was added on later because some of her functions were needed. However, I did like her as a character/person and would like to know more about her. The same goes for many characters in the book: The Irish, Roy, the Reverend, The Manor Lord.

This book only scratches the surface of this possible future. Will there be more? I’d like it if there was.

Graft by Matt Hill will be published on the 2nd of February by Angry Robot Books.


#boutofbooks starts TOMORROW!

… and as the picture shows, I am an expert this time, which means I’ll do my usual cheering, but now I will be OFFICIAL and stuff ;) I’ve been participating every time since I discovered this readathon about 2.5 years ago, and it’s one of my favourite things of the year, so I am happy to help the awesome Amanda and Kelly who have been organizing this read-fest for the past 14 (FOURTEEN!) times. This is the 15th. Will you join us?

I decided to not do ARC’s this year, so I am reading complete range free (which is weirdly paralyzing). I’ll have the following goals next week:

  • Read (or at last start) one of the books on feminism I acquired last year
  • Read a book made of paper
  • Read a book/anthology of short stories
  • Participate in at least one challenge (besides the intro one)

And besides this I’ll spend some of my commute on twitter, and reading and commenting on other blogs. So, if you want me to drop by this week, leave a link in the comments :)

The awesomeness of Sense8

V. and I finished the first season of Sense8 this weekend (and only when googling for the releasedate of the second season, did I read that title is a play on the word “sensate”…sometimes, my brain, sometimes…). We both absolutely loved it. There are 12 episodes, of 50 minutes each, which is about my ideal length for series/episodes. Long enough to have an in-dept story, not too long to make it too drawn out and slow.

Amazing characters (Capheus is my favourite, although I have a soft spot for Nomi and her girlfriend), being diverse both in gender, orientation, race, without those things being the focus of “their” story-line. They seem to use actors that are from the region they live in in the series (almost surely for the non-main characters at least), and the transwoman is played by a transwoman, which I think is awesome (and needed).

But the story has to be good too, to make a series memorable, and this one has it. The slow “show, don’t tell” explanation of how their mental connection works. The concept of that connection, how they learn to use this power, and how useful they make it, yum! The philosophical turn it takes sometimes, when it is about choices in life, about family, duty, honor, doing the right thing. The story-arcs for every single character are well thought out (although, looking at it from a distance, might be slightly cliché) and the overall arc builds up slowly but surely, without losing track of the “smaller” arcs.

10/10 would re-watch.

(yeah, this is technically not reading the thing, but watching the thing. Altough I did read the subtitles, so it totally counts as reading, puh!)

((And I did not find an actual release-date for season 2. There are mentions of march 2016, but also that it has been pushed back to 2017! I do hope that is not the case though…))

The Brontë Plot: a review

Wednesday was book day.

First sentence in The brontë plot.


I fell in love with this book: THE BRONTE PLOT by Katherine Reay. I craved something comfortable, something happy, and contemporary. Usually I read fantasy/horror/sf between non-fiction or more demanding reads, but I needed something different. This book has all the references to the great British women in writing: Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Beatrix Potter, all wrapped in a story that could be called coming-of-age.

Lucy, the protagonist, works in an antique and design shop, for a lovely boss, who trusts and mentors her. She takes especially good care of the books, since those are her first love. Then she meets a man and for a moment I was afraid this would turn into a sappy romance story, which is something I am somewhat allergic to, but luckily it didn’t. You hear about Lucy’s father, who was a conman, and disappeared when she was 7, but still sends her a  book every year. I won’t tell you how, but Lucy goes to the UK on an eventful trip, and learns about herself  and the readers gets pulled into London and the English countryside.

As coincidence wills it, I watched Miss Potter while Lucy was just mentioning Bowness-On-Windermere (where they have a Beatrix Potter museum and everything!), which gave me more texture to the book (and probably vice versa too). I think I’ll persuade my partner (who watched the movie as well, me at my home, he at his, while we communicated over text messages) to go on a visit in that area next spring or summer…

This book is perfect for any lover of Victorian literature, books about books, decorating (so much great detail and colour in this book), and strong women. And who doesn’t love at least one of those things?





Flexing my brain with THE FLUX [review]

Just so you know, that is the risk you run when you read THE FLUX by Ferrett Steinmetz. This book will be published October 6th of this year (only a month and a day away, guys!) by Angry Robot Books. This is the second book in the ‘Mancer series; the first book, FLEX, I reviewed as well.

This is how Goodreads summarizes it:

Love something enough, and your obsession will punch holes through the laws of physics. That devotion creates unique magics: videogamemancers. Origamimancers. Culinomancers.

But when ‘mancers battle, cities tremble…

ALIYAH TSABO-DAWSON: The world’s most dangerous eight-year-old girl. Burned by a terrorist’s magic, gifted strange powers beyond measure. She’s furious that she has to hide her abilities from her friends, her teachers, even her mother – and her temper tantrums can kill.

PAUL TSABO: Bureaucromancer. Magical drug-dealer. Desperate father. He’s gone toe-to-toe with the government’s conscription squads of brain-burned Unimancers, and he’ll lie to anyone to keep Aliyah out of their hands – whether Aliyah likes it or not.

THE KING OF NEW YORK: The mysterious power player hell-bent on capturing the two of them. A man packing a private army of illegal ‘mancers.

Paul’s family is the key to keep the King’s crumbling empire afloat. But offering them paradise is the catalyst that inflames Aliyah’s deadly rebellious streak…

I’ll try to give my opnion relatively spoiler free, but the fact it’s the second in a series, gives some spoilers of the first book in itself (but after my review of book one, I do expect you to have bought and read it. Right?). It took me a bit to get warmed up to THE FLUX. You get dumped right into the story from the first page, but I found it hard to get the feel back. Maybe because it seems to want to and get you back in the atmosphere and give clues to the past, and be action packed. My brain couldn’t do that.
After a bit, I did did find the right feel again and loved the descriptions of all the different kinds of ‘mancy, and could relate to most of the characters, who have to deal with their life not being as it once was, and change is always hard even for people in books. And the geekery. How I love the referencing in this book. To completely get all of it, you have to read FIGHT CLUB (or watch the movie, I suppose). There are even Pokémon-references! (and you’ll finally learn how life if inside of a pokéball). However, there was this sense of things being too easy for everyone, especially with some plottwist that felt like deus ex machina’s at times.

And then… there is another plottwist, but this one makes it all right again. It made me yell at the book (see the tweet at the beginning of this post), because shit got real, and real is often horrible. There is genuine chaos, destruction and emotion, and it made the first two thirds of the book much better in retrospect, because it made this changing view in the mind of the main character much more intense.

So. Again. Get this book. Read it. Be entertained.

The spoils of my UK vacation

So I went to the UK for 9 days. Back home with me I brought a bunch of B’s.





Books! (Duh…)


We spend most of our time Manchester, and I completely fell in love with this city. The openness of the people (everyone was so nice!), the alternativeness (the amount of tattoos and piercings we’ve seen, made me feel right at home), the shops (geekstores galore!), the places to get food and drinks (we had the best pizza with a sunny side up egg, full English breakfasts, a pink G&T, loads of coffee), the museums (we saw a TYRANNOSAURUS REX! And the Manchester museum did a lot of explaining how science is scienced and even had a whole panel on the archeological research of the past being male/white/upper-class-centric, which I’ve never seen in a museum before).

So, when can I go back?

[Review] Awakening Bullshit: Embracing Nonsense

Title: Awakening Leadership: Embracing Mindfulness, Your Life’s Purpose, and the Leader You Were Born to Be
Author: Christine Horner
Source: Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review
Tl;dr: All the woo-warning signs! The universe. Everything has a purpose. You are creation and creation is you. *runs away flailing*

Don’t read this book. If you want to know more about leadership and/or mindfulness, there are much better books to be read. However, do read these quotes and have a good, hearthy laugh:

“This book endeavors to fully awaken you to the natural, organic state of sovereignty you were endowed with.”

We are all natural and organic, when we are asleep and when we are awake. Also, sovereignty is a philosphical and political concept, with many views upon the matter.

“The third dimensional expression of the circle of life is a spiral.”

No. And if it’s the three dimensional expression you try to talk about, it’s called a sphere.

“Creation is organized in the relational self-similar patterns from the micro to the macro, just like families, called fractals.”


“Everything from sadness, depression, or suffering, to man-made poverty, attacks on others, and wars, stem from the root of self-denial.”

You do like blaming the victim, don’t you? Life and humans are way too complex to have One True Cause for all bad things in the world. That’s just not how stuff works.

“To preface, all form in out universe is made up of atoms. All atoms contain a positive and a negative charge. Therefore, in the third dimension, all human creation also contains both a positive and a negative charge.”

Talking about how stuff doesn’t work. This is an amazing example about how stuff doesn’t work. Go do a physics course. And a biology course. And a math course. And also some philosphy and critical thinking, while you’re at it.