Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker
andrewducker

A book recommendation, kind-of

Last week, Julie had a headache when we went to bed, and so couldn't face reading her own book, or watching something on TV, as is our usual winding-down method.

So instead she asked me to tell her about my book (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), and then to read a bit to her.

Which then turned into a fun tradition, in which I read her a bit more from wherever I was in the book at the time. Except that after four days of this I decided that I was enjoying reading to her so much (particularly doing all the voices), that it would be even better if I stopped reading it myself on the bus to work, and switched to reading something else, so that we could have the remainder of the book (and Deathly Hallows) as "our thing".

This meant that I needed a new book, and top of the list was Blindsight, by Peter Watts. I'd seen several recommendations from people describing it as a book about alien contact that felt actually alien. And I'd heard the ending was very good. And I really enjoyed his short story The Things, which is The Thing, seen from the other side.

So I wandered off to see where I could get it online. Google Play had it - but for £8.61. Which seemed like quite a lot (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms,to pick one of my favourite books of last year, is £4.35). I tried a couple of other sites, but either it was unavailable, or equally expensive.

And then I discovered that it was also available directly from the author's website, where his backlist is freely downloadable in a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license (the same one my journal is under, in fact!)

Oh, and there's a tip jar too, in which you can pay what you like in order to feed his cat. Who can resist an offer like that?

Which only made it better when I got an email this evening from Peter, saying thank you (and clearly a personally written one too).

The book's rather good, at least so far. It has the right level of tech-speak for me, producing a real feeling of alienness from the future society it's based in, with plenty of strangeness and mystery that I'm looking forward to uncovering as I go along.



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