Monthly Archives: March 2013

March Books

Non-fiction 2 (YTD 7) The Unfree French, by Richard Vinen What’s Up With Catalonia? The causes which impel them to the separation, translated and edited by Liz Castro Fiction (non-sf) 3 (YTD 5) A Rag, a Bone, a Hank of … Continue reading

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March Books 24) The Lady and the Unicorn, by Tracy Chevalier

‘Is Brussels always so quiet?’ Nicolas asked, picking bits of wool off his tunic. Not a lot of best-selling novels set in fifteenth-century Belgium, though I have to say I wasn’t hugely satisfied with this one; bad boy artist Nicolas … Continue reading

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March Books 23) Fugitive, by Tony Lee

A collection of linked Tenth Doctor graphic stories, the first two issues set in Hollywood in 1926 with the Doctor collaborating with film star Archie Maplin (an obvious duplicate of Charlie Chaplin) and the following four taking him through a … Continue reading

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March Books 22) Saucer Country, vol 1: Run, by Paul Cornell

Rather than wait for the Hugo Voter Pack to become available, I downloaded a few of the nominated works available in electronic form after last night’s announcement, and selected this nominee for Best Graphic Story to read first. Paul Cornell … Continue reading

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Four “How To Train Your Dragon” books, by Cressida Cowell

I asked young F the other day if I might borrow his Cressida Cowell collection. He went and rummaged in his shelves, and came back with three books, apologising that the fourth in the series was missing. "Are these the … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 31-03-2013

Irish EU Presidency, EU Presidency : 100objects Free ebook about Irish history (until 31 March)!(tags: Ireland ) Why dinosaurs are the ultimate childhood companion They’re like dragons, but real.(tags: books children ) 2013 Hugo Awards | The Hugo Awards Nominations … Continue reading

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Hugo Best Novel nominee stats

Goodreads Librarything number average number average Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi 11000 3.82 729 3.85 Blackout, Mira Grant 4453 4.20 277 4.09 Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold 2167 4.19 348 4.17 Throne of the Crescent Moon, … Continue reading

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March Books 17) Sky Pirates!, by Dave Stone

‘You’ve had more experience with the man. It doesn’t always end like that, does it?’ She realized that Benny was of a sudden looking slightly nervous. ‘Does it?’ ‘Um,’ said Benny. After some very downbeat New Adventures in my recent … Continue reading

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March Books 16) Bruss. Brussels in Shorts, ed. Ilke Froyen and Piet Joostens

These are the ten winning entries of an international competition for graphic short stories set in Brussels, and specifically using the setting of the Oude Graanmarkt (aka the Vieux Marché aux Grains), a city centre square which I occasionally wander … Continue reading

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March Books 15) What’s Up With Catalonia?, translated and edited by Liz Castro

Catalonia, our country, is a nation. A nation that, in order to maintain its identity and to move forward, needs tools of state. This nation has existed for many centuries. It has its own identity, culture, and language, and its … Continue reading

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March Books 14) The Castle, by Franz Kafka

Nirgends noch hatte K. Amt und Leben so verflochten gesehen wie hier, so verflochten, daß es manchmal scheinen konnte, Amt und Leben hätten ihre Plätze gewechselt. Nowhere else had K. ever seen one's official position and one's life so intertwined … Continue reading

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March Books 13) Observatory, by Daragh Carville

Jon: You can’t be in two places at once.Nicola: I’m not. I’m in one place twice. The ancient Observatory at Armagh has always been a place of mystery and wonder to me – I worked there for a couple of … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 28-03-2013

British heroes: The doctor and the spy The Economist on Who and Bond.(tags: doctorwho ) Where Are We Going? Nic Clarke reviews Barbara Demick’s book on North Korea(tags: northkorea ) British minister quotes from Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (tags: … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 25-03-2013

What will become of the May 2015 UK Parliament if Scotland votes ‘Yes’ on Independence? Many questions, no answers.(tags: scotland ukpolitics ) Tales from the Coffeeshop:The terrible price of pride and stupidity Commentary from Cyprus.(tags: cyprus ) Top Ten Unionist … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 24-03-2013

Jocelyn Bell Burnell The connection between the discovery of pulsars and Joy Division.(tags: historyofscience ) Mark Kermode reviews Good Vibrations I am ridiculously excited about this film.(tags: films ) Everything Will Be Fine In Just One Chote Unit Chote is … Continue reading

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The Oscar poll

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March Books 12) The Spear of Destiny, by Marcus Sedgwick

‘You’re taking us to see the Vikings?’ asked Jo incredulously. ‘I know! Wonderful, isn’t it?’ said the Doctor with a grin. For the first time this year, I am actually up to date with book-blogging. And you can’t be much … Continue reading

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BSFA Short Fiction – my vote

Not going to justify these in detail, but wanted to record my thoughts anyway. 6) “Limited Edition”, by Tim Maughan 5) The Flight of the Ravens, by Chris Butler – some details rather threw me. 4) “Immersion”, by Aliette de … Continue reading

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Things that jarred me in Chris Butler’s “The Flight of the Ravens”

“It had been almost a century since the French emperor Napoleon had obliged the Dutch to take surnames, against their own custom”– this is protagonist Elizabeth’s inward response to learning that her acquaintance Doctor Huginn Raaf wishes to be known … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 23-03-2013

Syria and the United States: Intervention options on the two-year anniversary of the conflict Non-violent options to help.(tags: carneross syria ) Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe The Economist reports this sordid story.(tags: azerbaijan ) Common / People – a … Continue reading

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March Books 9) A Rag, a Bone, a Hank of Hair, by Jonathan Gash

'These aren't padpas, Doshie,' I said. 'They're tsavorite.' A tsavorite is properly green grossular, a sort of garnet discovered some seventy years ago near Kenya's National Park at Tsavo. Its lovely green lies between deep Sri Lankan emeralds and a … Continue reading

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BSFA Best Novel: My vote

Not very difficult for me to rank them: 5) Empty Space: A Haunting, by M. John Harrison – possibly jetlag while reading it, but apart from Anna Waterman I found the characters unengaging, and I had difficulty following the plots … Continue reading

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March Books 8) 2312, by Kim Stanley Robinson

She was looking at the sun, now four fingers high over the jagged black horizon. “Oh my God, look at it,” she said. “Just look at it.” Wahram tried, but it was too bright, too big. A rambling combination of … Continue reading

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SJA first season (2007) and Time Crash

So, I reach the first full season of the Sarah Jane Adventures. Absolutely excellent stuff, and if you haven’t watched it you should. The episodes are 30 minutes long, which again is a bit awkward for my commute (two 20-25 … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 21-03-2013

Freedom Fighters A plea from Azerbaijan.(tags: azerbaijan ) Could you drink beer instead of water and still survive? Answer: probably not.(tags: health ) About PhDs A different perspective.(tags: postgraduatehell )

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The Players trilogy, by Terrance Dicks

Players, by Terrance Dicks “We don’t know your name either,” said Peri. She glanced at the Doctor. “At least, I don’t. My friend the Doctor seems to think he knows you already.” “Churchill,” said the war correspondent. “Winston Churchill, very … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 19-03-2013

The Island of Surpyc Daniel Davis walks us through the Cyprus crisis, choose-your-own-adventure style.(tags: ) It’s like money in the bank Pete Birks outlines the consequences in Cyprus.(tags: Cyprus economics ) Nick carrying the can for the village idiot My … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 18-03-2013

The press is throwing a toddler’s tantrum over Leveson Comment from a pro-Leveson journalist – hurray!(tags: media )

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Doctor Who Season 3 (2007), second half

I actually finished these a couple of weeks ago, but am only now getting round to writing them up… After a somewhat uneven first half of the season, we are onto much better stuff in the second half. It was … Continue reading

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The Five Leaf Clover (how an Irish space trader outsmarted the Daleks)

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