Monthly Archives: October 2007

October Books 19) The Uncrowned King of Ireland

19) The Uncrowned King of Ireland: Charles Stewart Parnell – His Love Story and Political Life, by Katherine O’ Shea (Mrs Charles Stewart Parnell) This is the ultimate primary source for the private life of one of the towering figures … Continue reading

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Tun tomorrow

I shall be there. Will see some of you, I expect.

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October Books 18) The Full Cupboard of Life

18) The Full Cupboard of Life, by Alexander McCall SmithMore laid-back Botswana tales, with lots of incident and little plot – indeed, the only actual bit of detection for the detective agency peters out half-way through, as if the author … Continue reading

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October Books 17) The Shore of Women

17) The Shore of Women, by Pamela Sargent Classic feminist sf, or at least that is how it is usually labelled: women live in hi-tech urban enclaves, while men are consigned to a nasty, brutish, short life of scrabbling in … Continue reading

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My sister asks…

… Are they related? I think we should be told. Above: Yeti from Doctor Who, 1967/68; below, Boohbah from the same stable as Teletubbies, 2004. (NB that the creator of Boohbah and the Teletubbies, Anne Wood, first got involved professionally … Continue reading

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October Books 16) Alternate Worldcons

16) Alternate Worldcons, ed. Mike Resnick Not really a lot to say: a short anthology of very short stories about fantasised Worldcons. Also a moving poem about fans in a war zone by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. A couple of recurring … Continue reading

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October Books 15) Blind Voices

15) Blind Voices, by Tom Reamy Picked this up two years ago at Worldcon after very much enjoying Reamy's collection, San Diego Lightfoot Sue and Other Stories, and to be honest there's something tragically compelling about the story of the … Continue reading

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Download the original attachment WHYTE OF LOUGHBRICKLAND  John Henry Whyte, of Loughbrickland, Co. Down, b. 30 April, 1928, educ. Ampleforth, and Oriel Coll., Oxford (B.A. 1949, B.Litt. 1951, M.A. 1953).  Lineage – The following is derived partly from a pedigree … Continue reading

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WHYTE OF LOUGHBRICKLAND. WHYTE, JOHN, Esq. of Loughbrickland, со. Down, J.P., high sheriff 1862, m. 1st, 1855, Ellen-Mary, last surviving dau. of Thomas-L. Kelly, Esq. of Dublin, and by her (who d. 1857) has an only dau., Mary-Jane-Elizabeth. He m. … Continue reading

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October Books 13) A Time of Gifts and 14) Between the Woods and the Water

13) A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor14) Between the Woods and the Water, by Patrick Leigh Fermor Two brilliant, brilliant books of travel writing: the first describes Leigh Fermor’s journey on foot through the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and … Continue reading

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October Books 12) Writers of the Future vol XIX

12) L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future volume XIX, ed. Algis Budrys I bought this way back when Jay Lake’s story “Into the Gardens of Sweet Night” got its well-deserved Hugo nomination a couple of years ago, but … Continue reading

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October Books 11) Steppenwolf

11) Steppenwolf, by Herman Hesse I woke this morning feeling very groggy, and gradually realised that I was not even going to make it late to the office; so managed to read this (recommended to me by way way back) … Continue reading

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October Books 10) Stardust

10) Stardust, by Neil Gaiman A very enjoyable fairy tale by Gaiman. As ever I find myself spotting similarities with Sandman (in this case, the supernatural siblings, and the half-human heir), but I felt he had rung the changes here … Continue reading

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Doctor Who meme

What will happen when you meet the Doctor? Name DOB Favourite Color You live In a quarry in the Home Counties Your companions are You live alone The Doctor arrived because He was chasing the Master You first met the … Continue reading

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October Books 9) MMR: Science & Fiction: Exploring the Vaccine Crisis

9) MMR: Science & Fiction: Exploring the Vaccine Crisis, by Richard Horton Got this at the recommendation of thette , and it’s obviously on a subject in which I have a personal interest. Richard Horton (at least, this Richard Horton) … Continue reading

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October Books 8) Vineland

8) Vineland, by Thomas Pynchon Sorry, this just doesn’t do it for me. Writing style too convoluted, characters wacky in a rather uninteresting way, plot non-existent. One or two flashes of good description among the plodding.

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Dear Jeremy Paxman

“Unity” is in fact the same as “one” or “100%”, at least if asking what the terms in a binomial add up to. (Liverpool were a much more charming team, but I accept that this was the second last question … Continue reading

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Pleasant visit

Just had our first non-family visitor here for a meal since April, what with Bridget now being elsewhere. Our lunch guest is a former intern of mine who is in transit between Burma and Southern Sudan, having gone into the … Continue reading

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Agreement and dissent

I’ve been a member of the Lib Dems since they were founded, and before that was in the Liberal Party from my arrival in Cambridge in 1986. I’m likely to stick with them unless my views or theirs fundamentally change; … Continue reading

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Trivia answer

I asked: So, what covered Venezuela for just over half of the twentieth century, and returns this month (or possibly at the end of December) after more than forty years? secritcrush   got it right. The answer is: The UTC … Continue reading

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Trivia question

So, what covered Venezuela for just over half of the twentieth century, and returns this month (or possibly at the end of December) after more than forty years?

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October Books 7) A Load of Old BoSh

7) A Load of Old BoSh: serious scientific talks by Bob Shaw As a fan of Shaw’s writing who never actually met him, I remember reading David Langford’s obituary back in 1996 with sadness, but also with considerable curiosity; I … Continue reading

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October Books 6) Pile: Petals from St. Klaed’s computer

6) Pile: Petals from St. Klaed’s computer, by Brian Aldiss, illustrated by Mike Wilks A rather peculiar conjunction of Aldiss (writing in verse for once) and Wilks (later famous for The Ultimate Alphabet) supplying a superb depiction of the crazed … Continue reading

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October Books 5) The Kalahari Typing School for Men

5) The Kalahari Typing School for Men, by Alexander McCall Smith This is the fourth I’ve read, and the fourth in the series, though I have been reading them out of sequence. As usual, the homely wisdom of the old … Continue reading

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An appropriate use of this icon, for once

It has been widely reported that Al Gore is the first person to win both an Oscar and Nobel prize in the same year, though apparently this is technically incorrect (as the Oscar did not go to him personally). Here … Continue reading

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Versions of Mack the Knife on YouTube

I was going to do a serious post about the new EU reform treaty, and how the UK’s political discourse around it is totally absurd and lopsided. But then I decided to write about this important topic instead (I have … Continue reading

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October Books 4) Wintersmith

4) Wintersmith The latest Terry Pratchett to appear in paperback, continuing his Tiffany Aching series after A Hat Full of Sky. This is a tremendously accomplished novel. Thirteen-year-old Tiffany’s struggles with her own imminent adulthood are beautifully contrasted with the … Continue reading

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Facebook in my work

A couple of people today (including Tony Keen) have linked to this article in the Independent about Facebook, academics and students. The Independent should not be surprised that it is a popular phenomenon in universities – after all, that is … Continue reading

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Lib Dem Leadership: The (Facebook) scores on the doors

These are the current levels of support for the likely Lib Dem candidates on Facebook. Nick Clegg for Lib Dem Leader: 299 The Nick Clegg Appreciation Society: 97. Nick Clegg is more of a hottie than David Cameron any day: … Continue reading

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Macedonia in mourning

Today is an official day of mourning in Macedonia: their great singer Toše Proeski was killed in a car accident in Croatia yesterday. I saw him perform at a Macedonian cultural/diplomatic event in 2005, an event I described here

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