Social Justice Atheist Geekery

Book Review: The Grace Of Kings by Ken Liu

“Sometimes it was hard to tell where the performance ended and the real self began – but what was this ‘real’ self other than a set of performances?”

This book was very different narratively from most that I read, but it was all the better for that. I loved the interlocking characters and clash of personality & philosophy.


Review: The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett

HOLY SHIT you guys

This was amazing. Pratchett wrote an action thriller that critiques the tropes of action thrillers RIGHT THERE IN THE TEXT. Discworld’s own John McClane says RIGHT THERE that the kind of people who follow killing with quippy one-liners are just murderers.


I think this book finally locked in my dream cast for some of the Watch – Bruce Willis for Sam Vimes, young!Eric Idle for Nobby, and young!John Cleese for Colon. Not sure about Carrot yet… leaning towards Chris Evans, but the Snowpiercer Chris Evan just as much as Captain America.

Review: Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

For some reason I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one as much – probably because it was one of the few Discworld books I *hadn’t* heard people rave about, and because the market is rather glutted with vampires nowadays…

I should have known better.

On top of the standard Pratchett greatness (satire + puns + thrilling conflict and epic climax), this book takes an honest and respectful look at the interplay of faith, religion, and reality. It finds a balancing point with these themes that most stories don’t, and that was unexpectedly refreshing.

Review: Jingo by Terry Pratchett

It took me a little longer to get into this one than previous Discworld books. But once I did, it was as clever and hard to put down as the rest.

I like that (like with feminism/gender relations in Feet of Clay) Pratchett doesn’t tackle racism/xenophobia & jingoism by presenting characters who are perfect social justice warriors. Instead, we get a full cast of variously flawed characters who don’t have after-school-special resolutions, but just wind up as slightly more decent people at the end.


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