Monthly Archives: February 2010

Books acquired February

What Made Now in Northern Ireland by Maurna Crozier Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter by Russell T. Davies The Essential Rumi The End of the Third Age (The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part 4) … Continue reading

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February Books

Non-Fiction 4 (YTD 12) Fiction (non-sf) 2 (YTD 9) SF (non-Who) 9 (YTD 18) Doctor Who 4 (YTD 9) 6/18 (YTD 11/48) by women (Carey, Austen, DWJ x 2, Le Guin, Mendlesohn) 1/18 (YTD 5/49) by PoC (Deng) 3/18 owned … Continue reading

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February Books 18) One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey

This is a pretty tough book, in many ways: the violence and abuse perpetrated by the staff of the mental institution where the story is set is uncomfortable to read (and I have a daughter who is permanently institutionalised, so … Continue reading

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Poking my nose in

I’ve been following the activism of Maura McHugh / with interest and sympathy, but I think I now need to de-lurk and do so in practice – sparked by her correspondence with SFX here (a long read but worth it). … Continue reading

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February Books 17) A Short History of Fantasy, by Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James

This book is precisely what it says on the tin, with a first chapter taking the genre to 1900, a second taking it to 1950, and then individual chapters for each subsequent decade, with two extra chapters for a) J.R.R. … Continue reading

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I may not know much about art…

…but I know what I like. Actually, I’m often not really sure what I like, especially in the visual arts, where many years of experience have demonstrated to me that I just don’t really care enough about good graphic design … Continue reading

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February Books 16) Lavinia, by Ursula Le Guin

Well, it is a pretty easy decision in the end: my vote for Best Novel in the BSFA awards goes to Lavinia, by Ursula Le Guin. (Second: The City & The City, by China Miéville

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Βύρων Θεοδωρόπουλος / Viron Theodoropoulos, 1920-2010

Sorry to see that the venerable Greek diplomat Viron Theodoropoulos has died at the age of 90. I only met him once, a few years ago at a conference, but he made a vivid impression: in the late 1970s he … Continue reading

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February Books 14) Charmed Life & 15) The Magicians of Caprona, by Diana Wynne Jones

When I was about twelve I read all I could find of Diana Wynne Jones’ books – of course in those days she had not written so many, so it was easier – and loved them: Wilkins’ Tooth, The Ogre … Continue reading

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Online reviews and ownership of social spaces

I’ve seen several weird online reviews and weird reactions to online reviews recently, but the case recounted by Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber is pretty incredible. The editor of the European Journal of International Law is to be tried for … Continue reading

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European Parliament challenges Western Sahara fisheries

EU assembly report questions Morocco fishing deal Lawyers urged the EU on Tuesday to review its 2007 fishing accord with Morocco, saying it may be illegal to allow European fishermen to work off disputed Western Sahara. (tags: westernsahara)

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February Books 13) The Pirate Loop, by Simon Guerrier

The Tenth Doctor and Martha find themselves on a luxury cruise spaceship under peculiar attack; a scenario which the TV version of Who did rather better a few months after this came out (though with Kylie Minogue instead of Freema). … Continue reading

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The Three Companions

Big Finish have been releasing this story at a rate of a ten-minute episode a month at the end of their regular releases, the twelfth and last episode being released last weekend. I have to say that I am not … Continue reading

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Gibbon Chapter XVIII

reading_gibbon: Chapter XVIII: Constantine and his successors This is a very good narrative chapter. Most of the first half is about the reign of Constantine and the rather bloodthirsty way he dealt with his own family; the second half then … Continue reading

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Cooking 1) Boiling

This is the first in an occasional series of posts about How I Learned To Cook. Practically the first thing I learned to cook was pasta. And also rice. They are both very easy. You put them in boiling salted … Continue reading

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New Who?

Do we have a definite start date for the next series of Doctor Who yet?

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February Books 12) Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen

I think this brings me to the end of Jane Austen’s novels. It is a peculiar case: some very interesting characters and family dynamics, with a wealth of layered detail, but I found the basic social message of the book … Continue reading

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Dentistry again

My tooth saga continues. Last week I had my long-awaited operation at the endodontist’s; she peered into my second upper left molar with a microscope and deftly rooted out all four canals (if that is the right terminology). Of course, … Continue reading

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BSFA Short Fiction nominees

While waiting for my copy of Ursula Le Guin’s Lavinia to arrive, I worked my way through the short fiction nominated for this year’s BSFA awards. (I have been a BSFA member since the 2005 Worldcon, and am now kicking … Continue reading

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Greek wingnut

Nicholas Whyte’s review of Fields of Wheat, Hills of Blood: Passages to Nationhood in Greek Macedonia, 1870-1990 follow reviews Fields of Wheat, Hills of Blood: Passages to Nationhood in Greek Macedonia, 1870-1990 by Anastasia N. Karakasidou edit Nicholas’s review http://www.incore.ulster.ac.uk/services/ecrd/new/reviews/102.html … Continue reading

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February Books 10) The City & The City, by China Miéville

I rather gave up on Miéville after not really grokking his Iron Council, but I think I have changed my mind again. The City & The City is set in the peculiar circumstances of Besźel and Ul Qoma, two cities … Continue reading

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…and I complained about Amazon…

A Greek nationalist wingnut has discovered my GoodReads review of Fields of Wheat, Hills of Blood: Passages to Nationhood in Greek Macedonia, 1870-1990. Note my careful point-by-point rebuttal of the arguments made by ‘Mike’. Please don’t feel under any obligation … Continue reading

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Big Finish latest

The first two Lost Stories released by Big Finish, The Nightmare Fair and Mission to Magnus, had both been destined for Season 23 before the BBC pulled the plug on them for Trial of a Time Lord. Leviathan was originally … Continue reading

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Linkspam for 16-2-2010

A Mixed Constitution provocative thoughts on constitutional reform (tags: ukpolitics)

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I am unharmed and far from the scene

Thanks for the kind messages enquiring about my involvement or otherwise in this morning’s train crash. At 0830 this morning I was at Brussels airport, checking in for my flight to Switzerland. It’s not my sideof town anyway – I … Continue reading

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Linkspam for 15-2-2010

reading_gibbon: Chapter XVII: Constantinople and Constantine’s system of government The first quarter of the chapter is about the layout of the city of Constantinople; a good description, but hampered by Gibbon’s not having his own personal experience of being there, … Continue reading

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A book I am unlikely to read

I suspect I may skip Blackout, Connie Willis’ latest, given what has been saying about it (here and here).

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February Books 9) The Bodysnatchers, by Mark Morris

The Eighth Doctor and Sam turn up in Victorian London where they have an adventure which largely retraces The Talons of Weng-Chiang, complete with Litefoot (but not Jago) and with added Zygons. It actually would have worked rather better as … Continue reading

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February Books 8) Ark, by Stephen Baxter

This is the second book in a series; its predecessor, Flood, which I haven’t read, saw the near-future Earth threatened by catastrophically rising sea levels, and Ark follows the story of a group of young survivors sent to colonise a … Continue reading

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February Books 7) The Nature of the Universe / De Natura Rerum, by Titus Lucretius Carus

This is one of the best-argued cases for atheism I have read (speaking as a non-atheist). Millennia before Dawkins, Hitchens, or even Bertrand Russell, Lucretius argued the nature of the universe from first principles, concluding vigorously that there is no … Continue reading

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