Highlighted reviews

Science Fact

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Extraterrestrial Languages: Daniel Oberhaus *** 15 November 2019 - A somewhat technical tour of attempts to produce communications that could be understood by aliens. Interesting, but probably should have been more critical.
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Deep Learning: John Kelleher ** 5 November 2019 - Unlike other entries in MIT's Essential Knowledge series, this book plunges into far too much technical detail without addressing the issues that are of interest to ordinary readers.
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Fire, Ice and Physics: Rebecca Thompson ** 2 November 2019 - The science of Game of Thrones could have been fun with a strong narrative, but unfortunately here there's a lot of facts but little storytelling. Perhaps most interesting on dragons - but gets the palaeontology wrong.
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Ship of Strangers: Bob Shaw *** 11 November 2019 - A solid piece of writing in this 1978 collection of linked novellas/long shorts - what makes it stand out is the cleverness of the challenges faced by the crew of a survey ship.
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Helene: Karl Drinkwater **** 20 October 2019 - A novella filling in some of the backstory to Drinkwater's Lost Solace novels provides an interesting portrayal of the socialisation of an AI.
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World Engines - Destroyer: Stephen Baxter **** 15 October 2019 - Baxter is very much a modern equivalent of Asimov or Clarke, providing SF with lashings of science and really meaty setting that makes for an enjoyable read. Loses one star as the characters are rather Asimovian too.
Classic reviews:
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The Royal Society Book Prize 2018

Congratulations to Sarah Jayne Blakemore, who won the 2018 prize with Inventing Ourselves: the secret life of the teenage brain
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