My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An inspirational read despite some rather dense science involved.
Carlo Rovelli does a good job and explaining complex scientific ideas to non-experts. His prose is well-written and quite beautiful. It isn’t all hard science as there is a certain element of story-telling as he recounts the journey of knowledge that has brought us to where we stand today with quantum gravity and loop theory.
That being said, you almost definitely need to have an interest in theoretical physics in order to persist through the more obtuse and complicated sections. I feel like I absorbed maybe 70% of the science explained in this book and the remaining 30% I suspect I may never fully grasp, although, as Rovelli argues science is all about butting up against those things we don’t know or don’t fully understand. I’m happy with what I did take away from the book.
Aside from the formulae and theories and equations, this is an enlightening and inspirational read that will provoke some philosophical questions in its reader. How much more might we know now if the science of antiquity had not been destroyed? What might we be able to do if 1400 years hadn’t been lost to the dominion of religion over science? It’s an interesting question to think on, when reading Rovelli’s accounts of how much science has advanced since 1900, when it was free to do so.
This was my 51st book of 2020.
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Did Murderbot just make a… friend? In as much as it can, wants or cares to.
Our anxious misanthrope of a free bot seeks out answers as to what happened to make it become Murderbot in this 2nd instalment of the series. Everything you loved about Mb in the first novella is still there now with added… hair? Thrown into the mix this time around is ART, the Asshole Research Transport Mb meets on the way to finding answers.
Once again this is a brilliantly witty and well-written story by Wells, told in a diarised style (hence the series name) from the point of view of the eponymous Murderbot. The experiences with social anxiety are cleverly done and accurate. There’s not too much ‘hard science’ involved in these books so if you’re not a fan of that in your sci-fi then these books are definitely worth a gander. They’re short, quick reads that are immense fun.
This was my 50th book of 2020.If you enjoy my content please consider supporting me via Ko-fi.