Monthly Archives: January 2005

China Miéville’s 50 sf works for socialists to read

Thanks to – original list here. Usual drill, those I’ve read in bold: Iain M Banks—Use of Weapons Edward Bellamy—Looking Backward, 2000–1887 Alexander Bogdanov—The Red Star: A Utopia Emma Bull & Steven Brust—Freedom & Necessity Mikhail Bulgakov—The Master and Margarita … Continue reading

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Arts latest

A cultural millstone milestone: Joe Jackson and William Shatner singing “Common People” – on the Tonight Show.

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Opportunity knocking?

Just had a chat with a chap setting up his own new independent organisation working on international diplomacy. Sounds very interesting…

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Unwelcome ally?

I noticed from random googling that Senator Edward Kennedy said nice things about my employers in a speech last week. So I expected to hear a jubilant reaction from one of my liberal American colleagues when I told him about … Continue reading

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“May You Live In Interesting Times”

Not in fact an ancient Chinese curse at all, but (it seems) an invention of sf writer Eric Frank Russell in 1950. See here for details.

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Awards

Unusually, there is only one book in common between the shortlisted novels for the BSFA Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. It is Ian McDonald’s excellent River of Gods. I have previosuly found that these two awards come prety … Continue reading

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January Books 9) The Chick is in the Mail

9) The Chick is in the Mail, ed. Esther M Friesner Not much to add to Susan Stepney’s review. Effectively a one-joke book.

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Seen in passing

A couple of interesting articles that caught my eye: Kenneth Tynan’s profile of Johnny Carson, from the New Yorker, 1978. I have very little idea who Johnny Carson was, but this was a fascinating though very long article about America … Continue reading

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My Celebrity Love Matches

Jill Goodacre 99% Dawn Marie Bytch 99% Emily Mortimer 98% Jennifer Garner 98% Natalie Appleton 98% According to www.celebmatch.com. Problem is, the only one I’ve actually heard of is Natalie Appleton, though I admit she is good-looking. Is Dawn Marie … Continue reading

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Ljubljana musings

Intense meeting for most of the day. In one of the lighter moments I asked our host if he agreed with my alternative history thesis, that if Serbia and Slovenia had done a deal in the late 1980s, then they … Continue reading

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Sociology research

High school sex. With a diagram.

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Hotel woe

Actually it’s quite a nice hotel. But their internet terminal has now eaten the entry I wrote about the Nebula award nominees. So I shall giver it another try when I find a different computer. I got picked up by … Continue reading

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Pleasant stuff!

I think it time for Dr Nicholas Whyte to be honest with himself and to the people he preaches too. I have a sneaking suspicion he is from the same school as other lobbyists and self named people helpers from … Continue reading

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Travels again

Off to Ljubljana this afternoon. Back early Sunday.

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Alan Moore interview

Was lucky enough to catch most of the Alan Moore interview on BBC Radio Four as I drove home. For those of you (like ) who are interested and may have missed it, the programme as broadcast appears to be … Continue reading

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M * A * S * H without the laugh track

From , here.

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Wingnut rant

He’s good enough to criticise me by name, here. Actually for once I actually agree with a lot of his analysis, though not the conclusions, and if my colleagues have been conspiring with Commissioner Rehn and Congressman Lantos they haven’t … Continue reading

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January Books 8) The Star Factory

8) The Star Factory, by Ciaran Carson Ciaran Carson is one of Northern Ireland’s best known poets, but this book is a prose rambling through the streets of Belfast, both geographically and literarily, interspersed with meditations on the English and … Continue reading

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Headline

Nobody else on my f-list has linked to this yet, so I will: U.S. Children Still Traumatized One Year After Seeing Partially Exposed Breast On TV

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…and another thing

The fact that my boss spent far too much time on the margins of yesterday’s first meeting swearing at us because one small detail in the preparation had been screwed up makes me all the more determined to move on. … Continue reading

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Hectic couple of days

Monday: Kosovo report published (as subscribers to will be aware). Yesterday morning: Big launch event for report, with my boss, also with Chris Patten, etc etc. Yesterday lunch: meal with Balkan government officials discussing Kosovo. There was not a real … Continue reading

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ART for The World

I had a couple of hours to kill before dinner last night, and wandering through the European Parliament I bumped into a reception to celebrate an exhibition called “Playgrounds and Toys” exhibition from an outfit called ART for The World, … Continue reading

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My Giant Battle Monster

nhw is a Giant Robot that lives Underwater, Glows in the Dark, dislikes Modern Architecture, and is Easily Confused.Strength: 7 Agility: 3 Intelligence: 6To see if your Giant Battle Monster candefeat nhw, enter your name and choose an attack: fights … Continue reading

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Ev’rybody’s doing it…

You scored as Verbal/Linguistic. You have highly developed auditory skills, enjoy reading and writing and telling stories, and are good at getting your point across. You learn best by saying and hearing words. People like you include poets, authors, speakers, … Continue reading

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January Books 7) The Twelve Caesars

7) The Twelve Caesars, by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus What do you do if you’re the Emperor Hadrian’s secretary and have a certain amount of spare time? You write a racy popular account of the lives of his predecessors as emperor … Continue reading

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Pastoral care

One of my work colleagues was having a bad day, so I decided to cheer him up. He’d sent me a cross text message, so I replied with a message saying “There were two old men sitting on a park … Continue reading

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Cybercast authors

here, including Catherine Asaro, Ben Bova, Lois McMaster Bujold, Neil Gaiman, Frederik Pohl, Neal Stephenson, Connie Willis and Patricia Wrede, from the Library of Congress 2004 book festival.

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News from Moldova

One step forward, two steps back.

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January Books 6) Nebula Award Stories Number Three

6) Nebula Award Stories Number Three, ed. Roger Zelazny This collection has been recently (2001) reprinted, and reviewed it, as did Peter Tillman. There's not a lot I can add to their two reviews (which, contrasted with each other, amusingly … Continue reading

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Me in the media

Again.

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