My thoughts on “Cibola Burn” [Expanse #04]

Cibola Burn

A very enjoyable read with a more focused plot. The action is basically in one place, surrounding a group of people and three ships orbiting everything.

A new planet with a breathable atmosphere: who doesn’t want to give it a try? And who owns it? Who can have the right to explore its resources? Who can research it? Who can give it a name? How to use its natural resources to feed everybody? How to build civilization from scratch in a an unknown territory, with unknown fauna and flora?

All these questions are intertwined in this story in a masterful way inspired by the old known power struggles of colonization and its dangers. But in space!

James Holden and the Rocinante crew are sent to try to solve escalating tensions between the original settlers of this new planet and RCE (Royal Charter Energy), a research company who claims the planet’s ownership. On top of the local tensions, bigger issues of an extraterrestrial nature begins to create an impossible life and death situation for everybody.

Naomi and Amos are badass as always, Alex is the best pilot in the universe and Elvi Okoye gives fascinating observations about microbiology.

“Apocalyptic explosions, dead reactors, terrorists, mass murder, death-slugs, and now a blindness plague. This is a terrible planet. We should not have come here.”
― James S.A. Corey, Cibola Burn

One of my favourite books in the series because it has the perfect balance between action, plot and character struggles.


Book info:

What I read in November 2019

  1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen: I first read this book in 2012 and it changed my life. GTD is a method that helps me organize myself and reflect on my goals, values and purpose. This the 4th time I read this book. Every time I feel like I lost perspective and/or overwhelm dominates me, I go back to this book to make sense of it all. And it helps!
  2. Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1): A nice urban fantasy. It’s got magic and gory murder scenes with a sense of humour. I want to know more about the wizard Harry Dresden.

#readinglist #books #reading

Winter is upon us

One day it’s bright and colourful then a gush of wind comes and all the leaves fall. Like that. Fall starts to give in to winter.

I enjoy this moment of the year that invites to introspection and reflection of what I have achieved so far. Time to slow down and enjoy.

Winter is coming!

What I read in October 2019

  1. Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse: Native American mythology meets urban fantasy with climate sci-fi. It gives a new twist to urban fantasy, where usually the fantastical beings are fairies, vampires or werewolves. This book brings monsters slayers and Navajo people clan powers in a post-climate change world.
  2. Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy by  James Williams: A reflection on our technology and how the attention economy is do omnipresent today.
  3. Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter: Good analysis of how some new technologies are addictive. It discusses the concepts of addition and how cues that are used in gambling environments (like casinos) are used in various technologies today to keep us hooked. That goes from cliffhangers at the end of a TV show episode to little rewards in a video game to notifications on our mobile devices.
  4. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik BrynjolfssonAndrew McAfee: An excellent account of the state of technology today and how it affects the work force. Full of new perspectives and ideas for the future.
  5. Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke: Classic sci-fi, so it’s full of ideas that can be dated back to the 50’s. What if an alien superpower reaches Earth? Will we fight them? Will they destroy us? I thought the humans were too complacent accepting the Overlords power. There were riots going on and opposing groups but they seemed irrevelant. This is basically a tale of how humans will disappear, eventually, lead by an alien super power.

#readinglist #books #reading

What I read in September 2019

  1. Medusa Uploaded (The Medusa Cycle, #1) by Emily Devenport , 317p: I loved the premise: a generation ship in a 100 years voyage to a new place, augmented humans, classical music references, lots of visits to airlocks, a rebellion, deep sleep units and awesome semi organic-semi synthetic artificial intelligent units, called Medusas.
  2. An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1) by by Sabaa Tahir, 446p : I felt there was a disproportionate level of violence on this one. And people being subdued by superior power structures. Impossibly dangerous trials that often result in death. But in the end it is a story about rebelling and destroying power structures, which gives a hint of hope when you get to the last chapters.
  3. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker, 368p: It’s an excellent reference about the science of sleep: our biological needs, what sleep does to our brain and, most importantly, what are the negative consequences caused by sleep deprivation.

#readinglist #books #reading