April 06, 2020, 04:18:39 AM

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Re: What did you read in June 2018 @Eclipse  Thanks for the welcome! Fav. Fantasy authors would be Neal Stephenson (The Baroque Cycle qualifies as fantasy, I think) and Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson (The Illuminatus! trilogy). Scott Lynch is in the upper echelons for more traditional fantasy.

The plant pot is my dog's. It's supposed to have strawberries in it but it seems to be his favourite spot to sit when he's in the garden. A bit random as a tag line, I know, but I like random.

July 06, 2018, 12:42:19 AM
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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read? A recent great read for me was Peter Godfrey-Smith's Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Alien Intelligence. It's non-fiction but it's incredibly interesting. Godfrey-Smith examines the conditions under which octopuses evolved their particular kind of intelligence and, in the process, reveals how remarkably alien their minds are when compared to ours. He draws on the fossil record, current scientific research and his own experiences to illustrate just how intelligent octopuses really are (you will be amazed) while also pointing out the limits of their intelligence (they won’t be taking over the world for at least another 100,000 years or so).

The book deals with topics like perception, communication and aging (yes, current theory suggests the aging process plays a role in the evolution of intelligence) but never falls into dry academic-speak. Amongst his clear and cogent arguments, Godfrey-Smith intersperses tons of humorous, and even touching, anecdotes about octopuses refusing to cooperate with researchers, figuring out how to short-circuit lights and escaping their aquariums to go on nocturnal hunts in neighbouring fish-tanks.

Overall, I found it both highly enjoyable and informative.

July 08, 2018, 12:16:29 AM
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