Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties
resonant

FREE BOOKS: The Affinities, Life on Mars, The Mirror Empire, The Lives of Tao

The Affinities, by Robert Charles Wilson
Hardcover, released last weekend.

Neuroscience discovers how to identify what personalities would get along best with you. People get tested, and learn which strangers would make great friends. Large numbers of people then form groups of friends (or "affinities") based on their test results. The different affinity groups then end up in conflict with each other.


Life On Mars, edited by Jonathan Strahan.
Hardcover. Short stories about people and societies living on Mars.


The Lives of Tao, by Wesley Chu
Paperback.
65 million years ago, near-immortal intelligent alien parasites crash-landed on Earth. Weak and limbless, they crawled inside the nearest animal and started manipulating the nervous system of their new host. When humans came along, with their convenient opposable thumbs, the alien parasites infected some and used them to develop technology, in the hopes of eventually rebuilding their spacecraft. Throughout human history, many great leaders and inventors had an alien parasite inside them. Then in present-day Chicago, a host dies, and its alien parasite must leave the corpse and move into the nearest available creature - an overweight, out-of-shape computer programmer. The alien parasite nags the programmer to eat better and get into shape, and trains him to be a secret agent in a battle between opposing factions of alien parasites. Amusing in places. However, a few sections were totally implausible. I don't mean the whole immortal-alien-parasites thing, I mean the secret-agent-fight-scenes. So, one group of aliens-in-human-hosts wants to kill an opposing alien-in-human-host. They trail him to a nightclub full of witnesses and bouncers, and then try to kill him. By punching him in the nose. Surely if the aliens had been present for all of human history, they'd have picked up some techniques such as stabbing or shooting their enemies in the dark alley outside nightclubs, or at least poisoning the drink of an enemy in a nightclub. But still, not a terrible book.


The Mirror Empire (Worldbreaker Saga #1), by Kameron Hurley
Trade paperback.
A village in the middle of a forest uses biological magic to protect itself from wild creatures. Then enemies attack and kill everyone. At the last minute, a child's mother uses blood magic to open a portal and transport her to safety. The child is then raised as a slave in a temple. Then the genocide and slavery and racism got too overwhelming for me to continue reading.


If you'd like these, please comment. If multiple people want them, I'll give preference to the ones with lowest postage costs, and then flip a coin. If postage costs would exceed the cost of picking them up at your local used bookstore, I'll find a home for them locally. NOTE: US Customs requires me to get the full legal name, home address, and telephone number of recipients in the US.
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