User Profile

Soh Kam Yung Locked account

Joined 1 year, 3 months ago

Exploring one universe at a time. Interested in #Nature, #Photography, #NaturePhotography, #Science, #ScienceFiction, #Physics, #Engineering.

I have locked this account. If you would like to follow me, please fill in your Mastodon bio and post at least one toot (a simple introductory toot will do), so I have an idea who you are and that you are a real person, not a robot or a spam account.

This link opens in a pop-up window

Soh Kam Yung's books

Currently Reading

View all books

User Activity

Judge Dee and the Mystery of the Missing Manuscript (EBook, 2022, Tor Publishing Group) 3 stars

Even vampire Judges must answer to authority over unreturned items

3 stars

Next in the series of stories about the Vampire Judge Dee and his human assistant, Jonathan, this one starts with Judge Dee being judged by a monastery of vampires with arrears over an item he had earlier borrowed, before getting into the murders, which may be over the contents of a book rumoured to be about the dead.

Compared to previous stories, there is not much detective work in this one, which has an obvious suspect and a 'MacGuffin' vampire, who just happens to know how to deal with the protections surrounding the rumoured book. In the end, the story is more about the author's world of vampires than a real mystery.

Clarkesworld Issue 194 (EBook, 2022) 4 stars

A better than average issue

4 stars

A better than average issue, with interesting stories by Isabel J. Kim, Nadia Afifi, Yang Wanqing and Ann LeBlanc

  • "The Rhythm of the Soul" by Michelle Julia John: a boy (and others) develop a special skill that causes them to be imprisoned and beaten 'for their own good'.

  • "Accountability, and Other Myths of Old Earth" by Aimee Ogden: aliens arrive to put the world in order, whether humans like it or not. But some people don't like it and do small acts of rebellion and, in the end, one big act of rebellion while the aliens still wait for humanity to take account of their actions.

  • "Calf Cleaving in the Benthic Black" by Isabel J. Kim: two scavengers are first to a derelict colony spaceship, only to discover something that may prevent their salvage rights, unless they are willing to kill for it; or come up with a different plan …

avatar for Soh Kam Yung boosted
Elder Race (EBook, 2021, Tom Doherty Associates) 4 stars

Lynesse is the lowly Fourth Daughter of the queen, and always getting in the way. …

Technology *is* magic, but it can't solve all your problems

4 stars

Arthur C Clarke famously once wrote that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", and this story is the living embodiment of that, presenting the idea from both perspectives. I enjoyed how the book regularly switched between those perspectives, showing how conversations were perceived differently by the protagonist who controls the technology and his more primitive, magic-fearing counterpart. The struggle to communicate is one of the themes of the book.

Besides that, this is a book that also tries to deal with the concepts of loneliness and isolation, and the profound depression that can spring from this. I found it interesting that the book depicts a technological solution to these human problems, but one that is deeply flawed.

Overall, I enjoyed the book a lot. It's not action-packed, nor is it full of intrigue or plot twists; it prefers to focus instead on the thoughts and feelings of the …

avatar for Soh Kam Yung boosted
Good Omens (Paperback, 2010, Corgi) 4 stars

Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don't let you go around again until you …

My favourite apocalypse

5 stars

How would you feel if you were a supernatural being enjoying the XX century on Earth when Heaven and Hell decide it's time to bring on the Apocalypse? Angel Aziraphale enjoys his bookshop on Earth very much and after so many centuries of companionship he even learnt to appreciate the bon vivant demon Crowley. In this way, they are both very disappointed to learn that the Antichrist was born and that in eleven years' time the Earth will be destroyed. Since they both believe they know more about humans than their counterparts (above and below), they take it to themselves to try and stop the Armageddon. But the Antichrist seems to be missing and people, being people, are not keen on letting the Earth go just yet.

I've loved this book since the first time I read it so many years ago and it's amazing that it keeps growing on …

The Rise and Reign of the Mammals (2022, Pan Macmillan) 5 stars

Though humans claim to rule the Earth, we are the inheritors of a dynasty that …

A fascinating book about how mammals rose and dominate the large animal world

5 stars

A fascinating book about mammals, starting with their origins in the Carboniferous, alongside the group that would become the dinosaurs, then following their development through the various ages before becoming the dominant large animals after the downfall of the non-avian dinosaurs. The book makes clear that mammals did not develop from dinosaurs, nor were mammals prevented from diversifying during the age of dinosaurs (some common myths). Instead, mammals may be small, but they diversified and occupied various ecological niches before the asteroid strike gave mammals the opportunity to get large. Even then, it was not a given that our kind of mammals (placentals) would dominate the Earth, as placentals shared it with other kinds of mammals before eventually dominating the Earth. The book closes with a look at the current extinction crisis being faced by mammals (and other animals).

What follows is a chapter by chapter summary.

  • Mammal Ancestors: the …