Home MiscellaneousMonday Chatter Monday Chatter: Urban Gods and the Hard (and Creepy) Life of an A.I.

Monday Chatter: Urban Gods and the Hard (and Creepy) Life of an A.I.

Happy Monday, all! We’re back to summer weather here, which has been great for hiking and kayaking but doesn’t bode well for the actual summer months. And to the joy of all you tennis enthusiasts (*crickets chirping*), Roland Garros has started! Now, half the fun of watching grand slams is making fun of the outfits that sports brands design for their players, and I just want to highlight the ones for Nike, which includes skeletons playing tennis and a goth roses-and-tulips pattern. For both the shirt and the shorts. I just…

 

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Anywho, onto the books!

Last Week – Books

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Gather the Fortunes (A Crescent City Novel 2) by Bryan Camp:
An urban fantasy set in New Orleans starring Renaissance Raines who collects and escorts souls to the Underworld. I compared Camp’s style to Neil Gaiman’s and I don’t regret it one bit; his interpretation of afterlife and all the different mythologies is just so intelligent. [Review here]

 

The City of Lost Fortunes (A Crescent City Novel 1) by Bryan Camp:
I liked this better than the second book and I’m chalking that up to the pacing, which was a lot tighter, but it also might have something to do with the fact that I read this after Book 2, so I was more familiar with the characters.

 

Hazel and Holly by Sara C. Snider (DNF):
I loved the premise (and the cover) for this–a New Adult book featuring two sisters in a fairy tale setting is a dream come true–but everything about the execution was a disaster. The plot is chaotic nonsense (things happened and I had no idea why they were happening) and the main characters are unbearably immature. I don’t know about you, but there’s just something not right about using “mewled/mewling” to describe a 17 year-old girl.

 

This Week – Books

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Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey:
Twin sisters. A magical boarding school. A noir-esque murder investigation. I’m SOOOO excited!

Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky:
A novella about an astronaut stranded out on an alien rock! I’ve had trouble connecting with Tchaikovksy’s characters in the past, so maybe a story with first-person PoV would help.

The Chain by Adrian McKinty:
I’ve never heard of this author before and I mostly picked it up because Don Winslow and Stephen King blurbed it. And also this synopsis:

YOUR PHONE RINGS.

A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.

TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD.

YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM’S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.

IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON’T HAPPEN:
YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.

YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN

I’m 20% into it and it’s uh…quite the thing.

 

 

Last Week – Games

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Observation (developed by No Code) is a sci-fi thriller/mystery that has you playing as S.A.M, the artificial intelligence of a space station. Your job is to assist Dr. Emma Fisher in figuring out what the hell has happened to the ship, where the rest of the crew is, and where they go from here.

Two things I learned from playing this:

1) Being an A.I. is HARD. Constant busywork and humans complaining when you don’t complete something on time.

2) There should be more scifi games that are set from the PoV of an A.I. It adds the extra dilemma of “Am I the villain in this story?” that I find really compelling.

There are some wonderfully tense, hair-raising moments in the story and I loved mostly everything about it until the ending which was…open-ended, to say the least. I’m crossing my fingers for a sequel.

And mad kudos to Emma’s voice actor who conveys everything from “Fire! Fire! There’s fire!” panic to weary resignation to absolute perfection.

(Available on Epic Games (PC) & PS4)

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16 comments

Bailey May 27, 2019 - 6:46 pm

I just started Magic for Liars this evening, it’s so good!!

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Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky June 3, 2019 - 2:50 am

I know right! I’m halfway through it right now and it’s suuuper addicting!

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Sarah May 28, 2019 - 3:08 am

Walking to Aledbaran was great- but I don’t know if it’s relatable. I hope you enjoy it anyway!

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Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky June 3, 2019 - 2:49 am

I was totally thrown off by the tone of the narration–I was expecting a more serious protagonist–but overall I liked it!

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Norrie May 28, 2019 - 8:39 am

Oh, i like that pattern with the roses a lot! I just wish they made some non-sporty clothing with it too 😀

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Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 31, 2019 - 2:08 pm

Yeah I think it’ll look nice on casual clothing! Seeing it on athletes is just sooo weird and jarring lol

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Nicole Evans May 29, 2019 - 10:56 am

Observation looks really interesting! I may have to give that one a shot, at some point.

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bitsnbooks May 29, 2019 - 11:31 am

Magic for Liars and The Chain sound so good!! I haven’t read a thriller in ages!

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Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky June 1, 2019 - 7:21 am

I really don’t read thrillers often but the premise for this one was too weird and interesting to pass up! 😀

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PerfectlyTolerable May 30, 2019 - 1:15 pm

The Chain sounds super creepy 🙁 I don’t think I would like it haha but I hope you do! And those shorts and shirts are really something 😂😂

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Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky June 3, 2019 - 2:42 am

Thank you! And I think I would like the skeleton pattern as like, a scarf or a tote bag, but NOT on a sporty tshirt! 😀

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waytoofantasy June 1, 2019 - 6:14 pm

I’m so glad summer weather is here too, even though it’s hot the SUN is out and I love it so much.

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Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky June 15, 2019 - 6:58 pm

We’ve been nearing 30 degrees this week (~86 F) and it’s not even “officially” summer yet. I would NOT survive places like California lol. 😀 And sorry for replying so late! I’ve been dealing with some health stuff lately and ended up dropping every blogging-related thing.

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waytoofantasy June 15, 2019 - 7:34 pm

No worries, hope everything is okay!

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@lynnsbooks June 10, 2019 - 4:35 am

Ooh, Walking to Alderbaran – I love Tchaikovsy (well, the few books I’ve read by him) so will look out for your review for that with eager anticipation.
Lynn 😀

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Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky June 15, 2019 - 5:25 pm

Ohhh confession time! I actually don’t have the best history with Tchaikovsky’s work. I think he writes wonderfully and his stories are super intelligent and thought-provoking, but there’s just something about the style that just doesn’t fully click with me. That being said, I did have fun with Walking to Alderbaran. 🙂

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