Monthly Archives: March 2014

March books

Non-fiction 4 (YTD 13) The Assassination of the Prime Minister: John Bellingham and the Murder of Spencer Perceval, by David Hanrahan The Big Finish Companion v1, by Richard Dinnick Essays on Time-based Linguistic Analysis, by Charles-James N. Bailey Companions: 50 … Continue reading

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Taking a tip from the spice men – cumin haddock

I caught a couple of episodes of The Incredible Spice Men last year, and while I haven’t yet tried any of their recipes per se, I’ve been thinking about how to make food more interesting. I bought three chunks of … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 29-03-2014

How climate change will acidify the oceans Horrifying.(tags: climatechange ) Time to Talk to the Russians A sensible suggestion.(tags: russia blogging ) Missing in Inaction: Where is the African Peace and Security Architecture? How the EU is getting it wrong.(tags: … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 28-03-2014

Cameron’s reality check on Europe Michael Emerson is upbeat that Cameron’s demands can be met.(tags: ukpolitics eu ) Why Cameron’s timing on EU reform is off Rem Korteweg thinks Cameron has a scheduling problem.(tags: ukpolitics eu ) Independence from Spain: … Continue reading

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Wednesday reading

CurrentBest Served Cold, by Joe AbercrombieAdventures with the Wife in Space, by Neil PerrymanBuddenbrooks, by Thomas MannTarzan and the Forbidden City, by Edgar Rice Burroughs Last books finished[Doctor Who] The Garden of Evil, by David Martin[Doctor Who] Mission to Venus, … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 26-03-2014

13 of 14 warmest years on record occurred in 21st century – UN Speaks for itself.(tags: climatechange ) What is the first example of a story in which people travel in time to the past? Discuss.(tags: sf ) “Stand Your … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 25-03-2014

Olli Rehn: in crisis, we also protected the weakest of society In his own words.(tags: eu ) Groping our way towards Grouping Inside a local Conservative campaign (such as it is).(tags: ukpolitics ) Everest born when Asia was squeezed like … Continue reading

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March Books 18) Anthem, by Ayn Rand

Second paragraph of Chapter 3: It is said. Now let us be lashed for it, if we must. The Council of Scholars has said that we all know the things which exist and therefore all the things which are not … Continue reading

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Scavenger, by Bill Gallagher

This is the climax to the current Big Finish trilogy of audios featuring Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor and Lisa Greenwood as new companion Flip, by William Gallagher (whose work has generally been pretty good, though I don't seem to have … Continue reading

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Brussels trivia question

Which EU member state is seventh (and last) in this sequence: SlovakiaLuxembourgCyprusFinlandAustriaPortugal???

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Links I found interesting for 24-03-2014

Can Europe survive without Russian gas? Yes, if we start planning for the winter now, says @bruegel.(tags: eu russia ) Catholic League president applies to march in Gay Pride parade Publicity stunt backfires.(tags: sexandgenderandsexuality ) The maggots that changed my … Continue reading

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BSFA Non-fiction

Last year I didn't actually vote for the BSFA Award for Non-Fiction; time was short, and I had read only one of the nominees; and though I very much liked it, I felt uncomfortable giving it a vote when I … Continue reading

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March Books 17) Companions: 50 Years of Doctor Who Assistants, by Andy Frankham-Allen

Second paragraph of the third chapter: During the rest of their travels with the Doctor, we learn very little about Ben & Polly, even though they continue with him for another six adventures. It is a curious thing that from … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 23-03-2014

Da li je BiH specijalan slučaj za EU? Nicholas Whyte misli da nije I am interviewed by Bosnian TV.(tags: eu bosnia ) Can Fianna Fail resist temptation? @jasonomahony thinks they might; I am not so sure myself.(tags: ireland ) How … Continue reading

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March Books 16) Essays on Time-based Linguistic Analysis, by Charles-James N. Bailey

Second paragraph of third chapter: There are two obvious reasons why minilectal approaches cannot explain or predict, why the fundamental concept of naturalness (see later) is so vague and shifting, and why linguistics faces something of a philosophical crisis. First, … Continue reading

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March Books 15) Salt of the Earth, by Trudi Canavan

Second paragraph of third section: The man was dressed formally in a long-sleeved white shirt with frilly collar and cuffs. Though his hair was white and bushy, his slim frame moved with an energy that suggested he wasn’t as old … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 22-03-2014

Disaster at Xichang The worst space launch accident in history.(tags: space ) Request for Blogs, Answered Alex Harrowell’s reading list.(tags: blogs ) Microsoft just exposed email’s ugliest secret They’re reading your hotmail.(tags: internet privacy ) Twitter usage SOARS in Turkey … Continue reading

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BSFA Short Fiction

An all-female shortlist for the BSFA Short Fiction Award this year, which is refreshing. I had little difficulty in raking the four nominees as follows: 1) March Books 14) Spin, by Nina Allan Second para of third section of narrative: … Continue reading

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March Books 13) Tales of Trenzalore, by Justin Richards et al

Second paragraph of the third chapter of the first story: “If he’s so keen to find these fireballs,” Mattias grumbled, “Why isn’t the Doctor with us?” Four stories from the Eleventh Doctor’s climactic centuries of battle against the bad guys … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 21-03-2014

The Book Smugglers The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein Two reviewers give a harsh judgement.(tags: sf race sexandgenderandsexuality ) Tomb of Doom? A *very* small exclave of Turkey in Syria.(tags: maps syria turkey ) Aphra Behn … Continue reading

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March Books 12) Unearthed, eds. John J. Johnston and Jared Shurin

Second paragraph from the third story: “Seeds of some unknown Egyptian plant,” replied Forsyth, with a sudden shadow on his dark face, as he looked down at the three scarlet grains lying in the white hand lifted to him. [from … Continue reading

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March Books 11) Mad Dogs and Englishmen, by Paul Magrs

Second paragraph of the third chapter: Great age ought to have meant being greater and wiser than ever. It should have been about becoming the one to lead others on a wonderful quest. This was hilarious. A group of Cambridge … Continue reading

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Wednesday reading

Current Brick Lane, by Monica Ali Best Served Cold, by Joe Abercrombie Last books finished [Doctor Who] Mad Dogs and Englishmen, by Paul Magrs Unearthed, eds. John J. Johnston and Jared Shurin [Doctor Who] Tales of Trenzalore, by Justin Richards, … Continue reading

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Arthur C. Clarke Award: GoodReads / LibraryThing stats

See announcement here. Goodreads Librarything number average number average Ancillary Justice, by Anne Leckie 2432 4.00 351 4.10 Nexus, by Ramez Naam 2041 4.13 179 3.74 God’s War, by Kameron Hurley 1430 3.61 377 3.73 The Adjacent, by Christopher Priest … Continue reading

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March Books 10) The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman

The second paragraph from Chapter 3: Meanwhile, she [Serafina Pekkala] looked down at the melting ice-cap, the flooded lowland forests, the swollen sea, and felt heartsick. Sometimes you shouldn’t revisit former favourites; I have to say that I have been … Continue reading

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March Books 9) The Big Finish Companion vol 1, by Richard Dinnick

The second paragraph of the third chapter: "Big Finish was looking for a way to do stories with the First, Second, Third and Fourth Doctors, and Nick [Briggs] came up with the inspired idea of telling stories from the perspective … Continue reading

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March Books 8) Sigurd and Gudrún, by J.R.R. Tolkien

The second paragraph from the third section of the Völsungakviða en Nýja: Long ruled Sigmund, sire and uncle; Sinfjótli sat at his side proudly. There towered the tree, tall and ancient, birds in the branches were blithe again. One (well, … Continue reading

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The Liberator Chronicles, vol 1

The Turing Test, by Simon GuerrierSolitary, by Nigel FairsCounterfeit, by Peter Anghelides Big Finish had a special offer on last month for the first three sets of Blake’s 7 audios, which after a little reflection I decided to go for. … Continue reading

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A St Patrick’s Day story by classic SF writer Murray Leinster

Murray Leinster, whose real name was William Fitzgerald Jenkins, was one of the major figures of mid-twentieth century science fiction. His story “Exploration Team” (1956) won the second ever Hugo for Best Novella; his “First Contact” (1945) established a humorous … Continue reading

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March Books 7) Christmas on a Rational Planet, by Lawrence Miles

The second and third paragraphs from Chapter 3: They fed from the ship’s structure in the boot-cupboards, and played dice with the universe in the cloisters. Creations, phantasms, aberrations… … why be coy? Monsters. They were monsters, that was all. … Continue reading

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