Brain Wave - Book Review

 Brain Wave, by Poul Anderson, is a pretty old SF novel (1954) that is a what-if - what if people and animals suddenly became much smarter? It covers pretty much what you'd expect - people not handling it well and trying to go back, people really enjoying it, some losing their emotions, animals revolting, etc. Of course, tech is sometimes obviously outdated - but it doesn't get that much in the way. There is a silly looking bit about the ship being manually handled, but that is the biggest one. I guess if this was written today, there would be a whole lot more about the super intelligent terrorists. Overall, good, considering the size.

The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag - Book Review

 The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag is a novella by Robert Heinlein. I'd say it is not SF (as typical for Heinlein) but horror. **SPOILERS FOLLOW** This was mentioned to me as the first story about simulation theory. It follows the story of a man who doesn't remember what he does, and then hires a detective to figure it out. Naturally, a lot of weirdness follows. The ending is adequate, and the tone of the novel is suitably creepy for an horror story. I'd say the conclusion does not fit simulation theory, but it is adjacent - they live in a world created by others, from another universe.

Blackfish City - Book Review

 Blackfish City, by Sam J. Miller, is a SF novel that takes place in a relatively near future. In the book, a lot of the world has been very, very, messed up, from many human mess-ups, but mainly global warming. The city where the story occurs is built in the sea, mostly existing because of geothermal energy. It is run by software, with mostly powerless politicians. The software was built by and for the shareholders, who actually made the city. The economical/political aspect pops up a lot. My favorite parts are the spreading disease (which has other people's memories built in) and the nanobonding, which connects certain people to animals and other people via nanobots. The ending was just somewhat satisfactory for me, though. PS: First 2021 post!

STAR WARS Jedi Fallen Order - PC Game Review

 STAR WARS Jedi Fallen Order is, obviously an action game on the Star Wars universe. You play as a Jedi in training who escaped after most Jedi have been eliminated, and the remainder is being hunted. Graphics are excellent, but it is heavy in exposition, and sometimes paths are not very obvious.  Lots of clever stuff, though, including nice enough combat mechanics, and some interesting movement stuff. I probably wouldn't have gotten it, but it was included in EA Play, and I really liked many of the (now very old) Star Wars Jedi games. As predictable, the control schemes seemed to be greatly simplified, as the others were made to be used with mouse/keyboard. I do really hate that they sometimes lock the camera, while still allowing you to move. Overall, I like it so far, I guess I will see how it goes.

Destroy all Humans! - PC Game Review

 Destroy all Humans! is a cute action game with two different components - in part of the levels, you are an alien with several powers - such as telekinesis, mind reading, mind control, as well as weapons and a cloaking device. On the other part you drive your flying saucer around, creating havoc. It has a whole lot of story (which I really wish I could fast forward through), and a very comical tone. It is supposed to be a remake of an older game, but I don't recall playing it, so I have no opinion on that. Graphics are pretty good, and the gameplay is fun so far. Overall, pretty good fun for the price.

Merge Tactics - Android Game Review

 Merge Tactics is an Android strategy game. It is freemium, with a strong pay-to-win component. Graphics are pretty nice (music is very, very repetitive), and I like the start gameplay. You face enemies coming down on a grid, and you fight them with a large possible range of blocks, which can be merged (when identical) to form stronger blocks. Some are just melee, some have ranged attacks, and some are support - they can heal, provide money or boost stats for the other blocks.  Each block type has a range (sometimes quite irregular), and you only get to choose 4 blocks per game.  You also have a commander, and you lose when he is defeated. There are many possible upgrades, including the blocks, commanders, buying commanders, as well as buildings, such as a mine, tax office, castle, etc. As usual with heavy freemium games, the first upgrades are very cheap, but soon it will be hard to get these by just playing. Merge Tactics goes the extra mile and there is a lot of stuff you just have

The Testaments - Book Review

 I just finished reading The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood - the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. It covers narratives by 3 women, which later come together, with big consequences. It starts really slow, but the end is nice.  Overall, well worth reading, specially if you liked The Handmaid's Tale.