Railsea – China Mieville

Everybody knows that there are two layers to the sky, four to the world. The downsky goes to two-three miles plus a biscuit above the railsea and after it comes the upsky, prowled by odd alien flyers. It is fortunate that dirt and mist hide that horrible scenery and only sometimes, when the clouds disperse, are you in danger of glimpsing any of those creatures. That Apt Ohm forbid one of them tumbling down dead on your head.

But we are not interested in the skies, we are interested in the four-layered world. The subterrestrial where the digging creatures dig and everything is trying to eat everything else. The mad iron squiggle that is the railsea lying on the flatland, long ago mapped out during the godsquabble, as if by a child scribbling haphazardly on a piece of paper. The third layer of hard rock islands, home to the human cities above the railsea. And above it the mountains, littered with danger and debris from the upsky, the destination of a handful of reckless updivers. Continue reading

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Ready Player One surprised me wonderfully. I started it after accidentally coming across its many high-starred reviews, not really knowing what to expect, and ended up spending every spare minute with it for a couple of days. This novel is such great entertainment in so many respects that, even though hardly more than guilty pleasure, it easily snatches a top place among my personal favorites for the year so far.

The year is 2044. The world has turned into a nasty place where resources are not enough for the feeding of the populace, citizen security is under constant threat and most people barely survive on state relief. Wade is an eighteen-year-old boy who lives with his addict aunt and about a dozen other tenants packed in a trailer that is just one of the hundreds stacked in giant columns outside of Oklahoma City. Wade is overweight, socially inept in the real world, his parents are long-gone, his future is a dead end. Continue reading