wicked good skiffy.

I just finished “Blindsight” by Peter Watts.  For those of you who like their SF crunchy, this one may be worth a look.  It’s a First Contact story with a bite, and it manages something rare in SF these days: the aliens are truly alien.

Peter Watts doesn’t do light, fluffy, or cheery, so it’s not exactly a feel-good read, but if you like stories that yank you out of your comfort zone and make you think, his books are usually a good bet.  He’s also an excellent writer, stylistically speaking, and it’s a crime he’s not more popular or well-known in the SF world.  Blindsight was on the ballot for the 2007 Hugos, and knowing the field that year, I think it was the best pick.  (Alas, he didn’t win.)

Anyway, check it out if you’re looking for a good read and like hard SF.  Peter Watts has also made it available online under a Creative Commons license, so you can download it for free.  Just consider buying the print version if you like it.  I bought the paperback when I was about twenty pages into the e-book.


7 thoughts on “wicked good skiffy.

  1. og says:

    Scanning the feed, I read “Wicked good stiffy”. I was pretty sure this wasn’t this kind of blog.

  2. Krazmo says:

    I’ve read some of Peter Watts’ other work such as Starfish, and really enjoyed it.

    You may already know this, but he recently had some serious trouble with U.S. border guards that you might be interested in:


  3. Ken says:

    I enjoyed Blindsight too. Watts has some provocative ideas about individuality and consciousness (somewhere online is his short story, a sequel to the Kurt Russell remake of The Thing; it’s worth reading). Charles Stross touched on a similar theme in Missile Gap (not as good as his thoroughly chilling A Colder War, but still pretty durn good).

    It’s not in the same vein, but you might like The January Dancer, by Michael Flynn.

  4. hmmm says:

    Og, I misread the same thing.

    Now there might be a whole other level of MSTS, what with people talking about a wicked good stiffy, which I am afraid may derail the rest of the comments.

  5. Crucis says:

    From the Amazon synopsis, “and a genetically engineered vampire…”

    Nope. Not for me.

  6. Außenseiter says:

    Actually, it’s not as much of a vampire in the traditional sense(bloodsucking, supernatural), rather, it is something like a highly intelligent subspecies of man that used to hunt other men(and then eat their flesh.).

    They died out because of a genetic flaw, the so-called crucifix glitch that got fixed in them because of their small population size, and which was of little importance until people started building stuff and started using a lot of right angles.

    They’re supposed to be very smart, quite sociopathic (obviously, non-sociopaths have a hard time killing and eating other people).

    The justification for smarts is, that predators have to be smarter than their prey, and that was the reason for their ‘resurrection’ (from bits of our own dna).

    There just isn’t enough solid sf cosmic horror….

  7. perlhaqr says:

    Hrm. Pretty good. I likely won’t buy a copy of Blindsight, but I did just stick 4 or 5 of his other novels in my Amazon queue.

    Overall, probably a pretty good strategy for selling books.

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