Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Book of the year

The book of the year award has a different meaning this time and goes to my Kindle device which I started using a few month ago and which promises to greatly reduce the physical size of my library. They made a good job at making the e-book readable in almost any kind of light, at it's very nice to be able to have a library in your pocket at any time. The first books I read on my Kindle were some poetry by Eminescu and two novels by Phillip K. Dick: Minority Report and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A long time ago I read Time Out of Joint by Phillip K. Dick and I found it one of the most fascinating SF books, very different from the usual settings of robots and wars among empires from the SF stories. The same are the two books that I read recently (there were also movies made starting from them Minority Report and Blade Runner). The author imagines hypothetical worlds and then asks fundamental questions about these worlds. In world where one can see the future, should we imprison the ones that will commit crimes before they actually commit them? Or in a world where robots are so advanced that look and behave like humans should we have anti-Turing tests (i.e. tests that try to distinguish a robot from a human) and "retire" the robots that fake their identity and pretend to be real humans? It's easy, you see. And then you just start to write characters and captivating stories which analyses your fundamental questions. I'm just getting started with my Kindle, so there will be many more books to talk about in the year to come. Stay tuned!

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