Soft Science

Soft Science

Soft Science explores queer, Asian American femininity. A series of Turing Test-inspired poems grounds its exploration of questions not just of identity, but of consciousness―how to be tender and feeling and still survive a violent world filled with artificial intelligence and automation. We are dropped straight into the tangled intersections of technology, violence, erasu...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Soft Science
Author:Franny Choi
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Soft Science Reviews

  • Samantha

    I have waited maybe a year for this book and it didn't disappoint, I love it so much and everything in it that intersects and converses. Franny Choi has mastered the poetic mashup of AI and emotion and gender and science and queerness.

  • Danielle

    This book is like one long poem and should probably be read in such a way -- some of the poems are significantly more fractured/experimental than the others and work best within the context of the rest of the book. There are a few poems, such as "Perihelion: A History of Touch" and "Introduction to Quantum Theory," that stand alone. (Maybe I'm biased, as "Introduction" is one of my favorites.)

    A lot of the poems in this book play with language, language as a technology and a kind of machine, itse

    This book is like one long poem and should probably be read in such a way -- some of the poems are significantly more fractured/experimental than the others and work best within the context of the rest of the book. There are a few poems, such as "Perihelion: A History of Touch" and "Introduction to Quantum Theory," that stand alone. (Maybe I'm biased, as "Introduction" is one of my favorites.)

    A lot of the poems in this book play with language, language as a technology and a kind of machine, itself. And the title, Soft Science, puts the poems in contrast with hard science/hard sci-fi. These are poems concerned not with the technical details of existence but the "soft science" behind it -- the psychological, sociological, emotional world.

    The speaker is a cyborg, a being made of flesh and machine. Separation from the body becomes a way to live "correctly" by living performatively: "I made all the right awful sounds slid the knife / between the skin touching him and the rest of me." There is a disconnect between the "machine" of the body and what the speaker feels.

    In this book, the cyborg speaker is trying to learn how to survive as an Other. Each section starts with a Turing test poem. The Turing test, literally a measure for testing humanity, is used here to interrogate the speaker, whose humanity is questioned because of her "otherness" (as an immigrant, as an Asian-American woman, as a queer person).

    This is a book that really deserves multiple read-throughs.

  • Angela

    What else can I say? Franny Choi is an absolute fav, and will likely always be. Her poems are stunning, shocking, fantastic, and visceral. Please read these poems, forever and always.

  • Keith Taylor

    I really liked this first full length collection. It is ambitious, and Choi has found a way to move into the space beyond the purely personal without abandoning the search to define identity. Here's a little thing I wrote for a local paper:

  • Ellie Botoman

    “my face / is a game of telephone gone sour, our south. / fleshy marionette in the window, dancing / her awful crooked dance. & isn’t that / what you paid for? isn’t that what you came / to see? a god, on loop, failing”

  • Sarah

    3.75 stars, even though I’m unsure how to star-rate this.

    I am a cautious poetry reader. I sometimes find it inaccessible or difficult to understand. But I’m committed to broadening my poetry canon, and anyway I’m a huge fan of the VS podcast, which Franny Choi co-hosts with Danez Smith, so I wanted to read her work. (The podcast is wonderful and you don’t have to identify as a ‘poetry person’ to fully enjoy it.)

    Alice James Books was kind enough to send me a digital ARC of this collection, and I

    3.75 stars, even though I’m unsure how to star-rate this.

    I am a cautious poetry reader. I sometimes find it inaccessible or difficult to understand. But I’m committed to broadening my poetry canon, and anyway I’m a huge fan of the VS podcast, which Franny Choi co-hosts with Danez Smith, so I wanted to read her work. (The podcast is wonderful and you don’t have to identify as a ‘poetry person’ to fully enjoy it.)

    Alice James Books was kind enough to send me a digital ARC of this collection, and I read it over the course of a busy day, in chunks between appointments an workouts and jobs. In a way that’s a fitting way to consume it, because the book itself felt a little chaotic, like life in this tech-y age. As the title implies, the themes here are very much centered on the blur around the organic and inorganic, the futuristic and the literal earth. Choi repeats many words throughout, including compost, slug, bacteria, chicken, thumb; and cyborg, please, human, monster. Each section starts with a different Turing test, and cyborgs are coded as womxn.

    Some of the poems were difficult for this poetry noob to decipher, I think because of their structure and punctuation on the page which (I’m sure purposefully) was disjointed at times. As someone who mainly reads prose, this is where I struggle. But it just means I have to work a little harder, nothing wrong with that! Other poems were breathtakingly lyrical, and that kept me engaged. I especially loved Bad Daughter and the Perihelion: A History Of Touch series. (I had to google perihelion- it’s the point in orbit when a planet is closest to the sun, and it’s a perfect title for what follows it.)

    There are definite themes of outsiderness around race and gender, of fear and resilience. Overall I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to read more poetry and challenge themselves a little bit (if they’re not already into poetry).

    Thank you Alice James Books for the ARC!

  • Kristin MB

    Like all poetry collections, I didn't "get" some of the poems, but I was excited to read this collection and liked the science/sci-fi lense.

  • Hannah

    I was drawn to this poetry collection because of the concept: queer, Asian American femininity wrapped in the symbolism of the body as a machine. SOFT SCIENCE by Franny Choi blends science fiction and poetry, paying particular focus on the language of the earth with the language of the future.

    A part of me just didn’t feel smart enough for this collection and a majority of the poems went a little over my head. But the ones I did understand were fantastic. There’s a deep isolation, a sense of with

    I was drawn to this poetry collection because of the concept: queer, Asian American femininity wrapped in the symbolism of the body as a machine. SOFT SCIENCE by Franny Choi blends science fiction and poetry, paying particular focus on the language of the earth with the language of the future.

    A part of me just didn’t feel smart enough for this collection and a majority of the poems went a little over my head. But the ones I did understand were fantastic. There’s a deep isolation, a sense of withdrawal, and a rotting violence that’s explored here. It snarls and claws and grips hard, demanding your attention. While I don’t think the collection inspired intense emotion, it did make me think deeper about consciousness and alienation.

    Choi’s collection questions what humanity we have left and examines our desire for connection. It’s existential and sinister and even bitter but it’s also lyrical and elegant and fearless.

  • B. Mason

    Soft Science is so goddamn seering! Choi's concept is high but she pulls off the interweaving of technology and scientific vocabulary with vulnerability and (as much as one can) raw all too human experiences.

  • Kassy Lee

    Franny Choi's poems are intoxicated, tactile, fertile, and fresh. This collection interweaves the language of science, most notably biology, physics and anatomy, to explore questions of being, attraction, and self-definition. Questions swirl in the background such as: how do we know we are 'real,' 'human,' 'conscious'? I saw the poems also taking up lexicons of contemporary Korean poetry in the concept of the grotesque "girlesque" of poets like Kim Hyseoon. Highly recommended!

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.