MedianCodex Books and Projects

2017 Book Roundup

28 books this year, listed roughly in chronological order of when I read them. I was on track to read one book a week for the first few months of the year. But I got sidetracked over the summer, and didn’t read at all. But I picked up the pace again towards the end of 2017 to sort of average it out.

... continue reading

2016 Book Roundup

Here’s a list of notable books I’ve read in 2016, that didn’t quite warrant a review, but deserve a mention nonetheless. I’ve taken the liberty to group them into broad genres that represent what I’ve been interested in this year.

... continue reading

The Three Body Problem Trilogy

Book by Liu Cixin(刘慈欣)

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Liu Cixin(刘慈欣) and his Three Body Problem trilogy. I gave the first two books a glowing review in my 2015 book roundup, and his seminal work in that series is single-handedly responsible for rekindling my childhood love of science fiction. Since reading the first two works, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the end of the trilogy in Death’s End. With that having come out on September 20th, and after I breezed through it in a few days, I decided it’d be a proper time to review the series in depth.

The Three Body Problem The Dark Forest Death's End

What initially drew me to this series is the unual combination of genre and author-nationality. Liu Cixin is a Chinese science fiction author. There are barely any Chinese science fiction books, certainly none that I’ve heard of. Moreover, his translated work won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel. His book is just too unique and becoming too famous to ignore.

... continue reading

Book Recommendation: Hillbilly Elegy

Book by J. D. Vance

This new release initially caught my attention from an article that explains why the working-class white demographic is so ardently pro-Trump. The argument: this group feels completely left out of an increasingly ethnic, urban, and educated America. Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again” is the first in decades to offer anything to a largely marginalized group.

Hillbilly Elegy

J. D. Vance is a principal at Mithril Capital in Silicon Valley, previously a biotech executive, and a Yale Law graduate. But his success veils a surprising upbringing. He comes from the “hillbilly country” of Jackson, Kentucky, and his life is a series of lucky breaks and unusual circumstances that allow him to break free from the fate of his demographic. His people are one of the only groups whose children are predicted to be poorer than their parents, a group increasingly succumbing to drug addiction, alcohol, broken families, and welfare.

... continue reading

Hard-SciFi Shorts: Compelling Science Fiction

A few months ago, I stumbled upon Liu Cixin(刘慈欣)’s Three Body Problem and found myself enthralled by a new subgenre, hard sci-fi, which has revived my childhood love of science fiction. I describe the genre as SciFi, but firmly grounded in real physics and relatable technologies, with detailed and plausible explanations when necessary. These are generally narratives that could take place now, or perhaps within the next 100 years. I find myself excitedly applying concepts from my intro theoretical physics or astrology courses in college1. They tend to leave me pondering the situations and concepts long after I finish them because I feel so much more grounded in their world.

  1. Or just check out the Universe and Space Stuff YouTube videos by Kurzgesagt 

... continue reading