There’s lots of sci-fi and science to broaden our horizons this month with two new international sci-fi anthologies and a trip into the murky world of black holes and time itself. And we get to revel in the world of jet-setting super-spies with a Bond-related science read!
Mathematical Intelligence: A Story of Human Superiority Over Machines by Junaid Mubeen
Will robots take over everything? Perhaps not says mathematician Mubeen. And it turns out that what could give us the crucial edge is math itself or, more precisely, our humanity as applied to the mathematical process. Estimating, assuming, questioning–these are all skills that will be needed to complement robotic computation. A fascinating read whether you’re into math–or maths.
The Best of World SF: Volume 2 edited by Lavie Tidhar
If your sci-fi reading has been in a bit of a rut lately, this could be the collection to pull you out! Author and editor Tidhar presents twenty-nine stories from twenty-six countries including Bahrain, India, Korea, and The Philippines to name just a few. A great snapshot of current international sci-fi.
Influenced: The Impact of Social Media on Our Perception by Brian Boxer Wachler
In these days of multiple social media channels and an avalanche of “news,” it’s not uncommon for people to spend several hours a day “liking” and sharing content. But what is this doing to our brains? Dr. Boxer Wachler–ironically, an influencer himself, but also an advocate for credible health information–investigates the latest science, including the addiction factor and why it’s so hard to leave social media alone.
Interface by Scott Britz-Cunningham
Imagine if we were all linked via brain implants, part of a mandatory government network. What could possibly go wrong? 🙂 Plenty, of course. When the creator of Interface decides to use his invention to spread a deadly virus, it’s up to NYPD captain Yara Avril to try and stop him. This near-future techno-thriller promises to be an entertaining– and scary–read.
A Brief History of Black Holes : And why nearly everything you know about them is wrong by Dr. Becky Smethurst
Accessible astrophysics? Yes, it’s possible! Black holes get a makeover in this fresh and fun take on the topic. Dr. Becky, as she’s known on her YouTube channel, explains why black holes are so crucial to our understanding of our universe, and along the way disproves many typical assumptions, such as black holes are black or that they function like big cosmic vacuum cleaners.
Africa Risen: A New Era of Spectulative Fiction edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, and Zelda Knight
A wide-ranging anthology of over thirty sci-fi and fantasy stories showcasing authors from Africa and the African diaspora. As with the World SF collection, it’s great to finally see more diverse voices being exposed to a wider audience, which can only help to enrich and enhance the sci-fi genre.
Superspy Science: Science, Death, and Tech in the World of James Bond by Kathryn Harkup
Whether your preference is for Connery or Craig, if you love all the cool gadgets in the Bond books and movies, you’re sure to enjoy this science-based analysis of the technology used by 007 and his dastardly foes. Would it work in the real world, and would Bond really have managed to escape every time? Kathryn Harkup has the answers!
Blindspace by Jeremy Szal
High-stakes, high-tech action focused around Vakov Fukasawa, an elite soldier who’s been injected with the DNA of a dangerous alien race. As Vakov and his crew battle an enemy cult, he’s also facing a battle for his mind. Military sci-fi with great characterization and depth. If Szal is new to you, start with book 1, Stormblood.
Time: 10 Things You Should Know by Colin Stuart
Pondering time can be a daunting task. Thankfully we have astronomer and author Stuart who has broken down this huge subject into ten bite-size chapters. For anyone who’s been fascinated by the idea of time travel or the ancient images coming back from the JWT, this is a compelling read and a great way into a complex topic.
That’s all for now. The name’s Kelly…David M. Kelly… Happy reading!