Permutation City by Greg Egan

In Egan’s version of the future, society has developed technology which allows one to create a precise one-for-one digital Copy of themselves. This Copy is identical in every way to the original person, and is often used by the rich and wealthy as a way to obtain partial immortality following death. Those of the upper middle class may be able to afford a scan on their deathbed… but may not be able to afford to actually be simulated due to the price of computing power and server time, or may have to “live” with extremely slow processing speeds.

On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee

On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee is dystopian science fiction for people who have never read any dystopian science fiction and would prefer to keep themselves at arms-length from anything “genre” fiction. While I enjoyed the prose, that was about the only thing I enjoyed. I got the sense while reading that this novel was intentionally light on science fiction and character-driven elements not because they would have harmed they novel (they wouldn’t have), but because the author didn’t want to be associated with the genre.

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm is an odd mix of heartwarming and bittersweet themes that boasts having won the 1977 Hugo, Locus, and Jupiter awards. Her prose is lovely, evoking the deep connection between humanity and the natural world and subtly juxtaposing it with the destruction of civilization as we know it. Wilhelm crafts a narrative surrounding the end of the world which is timeless and alien, dealing with concepts such as personhood and individuality. While I felt that certain portions of the narrative missed an opportunity for additional nuance and exploration, Wilhelm nevertheless brings us a thoughtful novel that will retain relevance for years to come.

The Redemption of Time by Baoshu – A Three-Body Problem Novel

While I think there’s a lot for Three-Body fans to enjoy in this novel, I felt that Baoshu’s contribution to the universe lacked the urgency and depth of the main trilogy. Where Cixin had a set, specific danger within each of his books, Baoshu takes on more of a historian role; the first third of the book is entirely contained within a conversation between two characters, Tianming and AA, discussing what has already happened to them.

This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

This book is poetic, romantic, strange, and violent – a whirlwind of emotion, fear, and firsts. Two soldiers fighting on opposite sides of a war up and down through the strands of time find that their greatest joy lies in each other, and thus begin a correspondence. They are two parallel lines that never meet despite having shaped one another through each of their interactions.