Tag Archives: novels

Reading “American Gods”: The Longest Road Trip Ever

This past month I finally read a Neil Gaiman novel. I’ve been wanting to read his work forever, as he’s a sort of mythic figure in nerd culture for his comic books, his work on Doctor Who, and his fantastical stories and books. I know a lot of people who are huge fans, so hearing that his novel American Gods was being made into a Starz TV series, I settled in to explore what might be the most famous work from Gaiman.

American Gods poses a fascinating idea: What if pagan gods were trying to survive in modern-day America? Immigrants would bring their beliefs from their original countries to the United States, and the gods would survive through people’s belief — however long that lasts.

So what if the goddess Bilquis (the Queen of Sheba) — a divine being who eats men alive as they worship her during lovemaking — lived in the United States today? And how would the ancient Egyptian gods fare, if they made their livings as modern undertakers? The idea that their enemies would be today’s media and technology — the things we American are currently obsessed with — manifests into exactly those kinds of new gods, like Media and the Technical Boy. So a war is brewing between the old gods and the new.

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Rereading “Dune,” the Book That Made Me Love Science Fiction

When I was in middle school, I visited a tiny library in a very tiny town near where I lived with the intention of finding a new book to read. I visited a lot of libraries growing up. As an avid reader, I was always looking for some new book to devour, but I didn’t have a lot of recommendations other than whatever my teachers had me reading at school.

So on this occasion, I chose a book based on a few important factors: a.) how big it was, b.) how it felt when I picked it up, and c.) how it smelled. I liked long novels in crinkly covers that smelled like old musty parchment paper. I was a weird kid like that, though I have faith the rest of you who were also nerdy children can relate!

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My Current Sci-Fi Reading

After spending a couple of months obsessively listening to audiobooks of Nora Roberts’ future mystery romance series In Death, I decided to switch it up with a couple of other science fiction picks. Here’s what I’ve been “reading” lately. =)

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The Future of Chemistry in “Altered Carbon”

A couple of years ago, my blogger friend Sam Leung recommended a science fiction novel to me called Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan. (This author  also wrote the video game Crysis 2 and some comics, including Black Widow stories!) You can read Sam’s review of the book here on Robo♥beat. =)

Anyway, I read Altered Carbon, liked it, and put it away. I never went on to read the rest of the series.

But lately I’ve been looking for a new sci-fi series to read, and I heard Netflix is making an Altered Carbon show. It’s still very early to know what the Netflix version will be like, but it piqued my interest enough for me to pick up the novel and re-read it.

I’m liking it even more this time around. It’s one of the best sci-fi novels I’ve ever read. But at the same time, there are a lot of things about the book that rub me the wrong way, and they’re more noticeable as I get older and my opinions become stronger. All this has inspired me to write a review!

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