Showing posts from September, 2021

A Review of Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis

Okay, wow. That was weird.  In the beginning, we, the readers, are given the impression that Axiom’s End is a novel which primarily concerns government conspiracies. We are introduced to Nils Ortega, a Julian Assange figure, and the trope of press statements, leaked documents, and interview segments scattered throughout the novel, revolving around Nils, with his signature catchphrase “Truth is a Human Right.” But the story quickly comes to revolve around Nils’ daughter Cora, a college dropout and former linguistics student. Yes, there is a government conspiracy centered around a group of aliens called the “Fremda” group, whose existence has long been covered up. Nils, of course, leaks the information to the public with various implications including falling stock prices (author Lindsay Ellis begins each of the four parts of the novel with Dow Jones and NASDAQ averages- those numbers fall as the situation gets more and more out of hand) and eventually the disconcerting resignation of Ge

A Review of Wolfpack: how to come together, unleash our power, and change the game by Abby Wambach

Okay, let’s just get this over with- it’s hard for me not to think about Zach Galifianakis’ character, Alan, from The Hangover making a certain toast, every time I pick up my copy of Abby Wambach’s Wolfpack . There, I said it. Abby is a champion, so I know she can take that one small piece of criticism (actually, it’s probably more self-criticism, but I’m...some guy who writes infrequent short, lame, book reviews, so I can take it too). Abby Wambach’s “Wolfpack speech,” originally delivered as a commencement address for Barnard College students, and this ensuing expansion, is inspiring, powerful, and necessary.  The essence of Wambach’s book is in her comparison between what she sees as the “old rules,” which codify a series of messages society has been directing towards women and girls, and her own “new rules” which admonish all of us to be confident, driven, and team-oriented.  Those new rules are: Create your own path (we can’t allow others to limit what our lives will amount to and

A Review of Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

“Who would have thought saving the world would be so boring?” thinks Dr. Ryland Grace, the protagonist of Andy Weir’s newest novel. Nobody who reads Project Hail Mary would think so. Employing the same strategem of interspersing scenes from space with scenes from Earth (in this case they are flashbacks)  that he did to such marvelous effect in The Martian , Weir has created another New York Times bestseller (as I write, it is currently number fifteen on the Hardcover Fiction list after fifteen weeks). The sun, as in the 2007 Danny Boyle film Sunshine , is losing energy. If this goes unchecked, of course, ecological disaster and mass extinction are not far behind. And this time just nuking the sun isn’t going to solve anything. In fact, the solution needs to be discovered outside of the solar system, and it needs to be discovered fast. The clock is running out and so the quarterbacks of Earth have this one last chance to heave a pass towards the end-zone. And far away from the Earth, so