Tag: Evolution

Terry Pratchett – A Blip of the Screen | Review

Title: A Blip of the Screen

Author: Terry Pratchett

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 322

Rating 4/5

 

 

This book is beautiful, a hardback collection of some of Terry Pratchett’s short fiction from throughout the years as it was published by newspapers, anthologies and more. The book is a beautiful artifact in and of itself, especially because of the colour illustrations that are included inside of it, but the artifact is just the beginning.

What I liked about this is that it really was a comprehensive look at Pratchett’s entire career throughout the years, featuring early versions of stories like the Nomes books. There are some Discworld stories here too, although I felt like I’d read at least one of those before. Regardless, they were a great addition to his body of work, and there wasn’t a single story that I didn’t enjoy.

I guess the main criticism that I’d level at it is that a lot of the pieces that were included were pretty much just fragments. That was counterbalanced by the fact that Pratchett wrote short introductions to each piece to give them some context, but then it led to some strange situations where the introductions were as long as the pieces themselves.

If you’re a serious Pratchett fan then this one definitely deserves a place on your bookshelves. There’s a lot to love here, and I also like the way that it makes you feel like you’re heading behind the scenes. It does a great job at showing the evolution of Pratchett’s career, and it also does a great job at showing the huge breadth of his imagination. I got my copy used and so it didn’t cost too much, making it a cracking read that didn’t cost a lot of money. So if you like Pratchett anywhere near as much as I do, I suggest you grab a copy.

 

 

Click here to buy A Blink of the Screen.

 


Richard Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker | Review

Title: The Blind Watchmaker

Author: Richard Dawkins

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 350

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Richard Dawkins - The Blind Watchmaker

Richard Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker

 

This book has been on my TBR pile for a while, but I finally picked it up as my bedside book and quickly got hooked. Even though it’s a non-fiction science book about evolution, and even though it gets kind of dry times, it was a delight.

Of course, it felt a little outdated at times because Dawkins talked about some computer software he’d created which used a 1989 Apple Macintosh, but it was only the technology that was old. The concepts themselves still hold up today, and while it’s hard for me to pinpoint any specific part of the book that stood out to me, I do feel as though my understanding of evolution as a whole has been dramatically improved.

That’s because Dawkins basically takes all of the arguments against evolution and systematically debunks them, in the same way that he railed against religion in The God Delusion. The Blind Watchmaker is used as an analogy for the way that evolution can build complex physical mechanisms without requiring a designer. So in evolutionary terms, if a watch was a living animal then it could evolve piece by piece over time without requiring a watchmaker (such as an omnipotent god) to design it.

 

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

 

For example, some people will point to eyes and say that you can’t have half an eye and therefore they must have been designed. Dawkins points out that that’s not how eyes developed. It’s easy to see how just having the ability to tell the difference between light and darkness, for example, could make a big difference to an animal’s survival rates. And if the animal is more likely to survive then it’s more likely to pass its genes on.

It’s all fascinating stuff, but it’s not necessarily easy reading. It’s the kind of book that forces you to think, but I like books like that and I’m looking forward to continuing to read through Dawkins’ back catalogue. I always learn something new from his books.

 

Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion

 

Click here to buy The Blind Watchmaker.

 


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