Monthly Archives: May 2014

Best Novella Hugos 2014

This was one category this year where none of the stories quite grabbed me, and I feel a bit uncertain about my rankings. The fact that I read them all in one go lying outside in a hammock on a … Continue reading

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May Books

I’m pretty far behind with bookblogging at present. This has basically been the case since Worldcon commitments started to dominate my free time; I’ve also been trying to develop a policy of writing lots of bookblog entries at the weekend, … Continue reading

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Three books set on Mars

May Books 11) The Finches of Mars, by Brian Aldiss May Books 12) The Empress of Mars, by Kage Baker May Books 13) Out Of The Silent Planet, by C.S. Lewis I have read not one, not two, but three … Continue reading

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May Books 10) The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who, by Paul Cornell

This is one of this year’s Hugo nominees – the first I have read in the Best Graphic Story category – and it is utterly lovely. The Eleventh Doctor slips through a gap between universes and finds himself in a … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 30-05-2014

Under Ex-Googler CEO, LiveJournal Gets A Revamp, Promises New Services, Apps And More In 2014 Where there’s life, there’s hope…(tags: livejournal ) What is LinkedIn for? And can we do better? Dunno. Probably.(tags: linkedin ) What Is This Europe That … Continue reading

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Best Short Story 2014 Hugos

My first write-up for the 2014 Hugos, as opposed to the 1939 Retro Hugos. I found this ranking fairly easy, though I also confidently predict that fandom will disagree with me. 5) “The Ink Readers of Doi Saket” by Thomas … Continue reading

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Best Novelette 2014 Hugos

1) “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” by Ted Chiang This really blew me away. I wasn’t sure at first; Chiang’s trademark is to tell us of emotionally complex material with an apparent air of academic attachment, and that … Continue reading

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The Berlin novels by Christopher Isherwood

May Books 8) Mr Norris Changes Trains, by Christopher Isherwood May Books 9) Goodbye to Berlin, by Christopher Isherwood I've never seen the movie Cabaret, though I did see a stage production of the musical many years ago in Belfast … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 29-05-2014

“Be Skeptical of Both Piketty And His Skeptics” says @NateSilver538 The traps of data.(tags: economics )

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Best Novel 2014 Hugos

My votes are as follows: 1) Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie I voted for this for the BSFA Award without any hesitation, and I'll do the same for the Hugos. 2) Neptune's Brood, by Charles Stross Excellent stuff, but wears … Continue reading

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Wednesday reading

Current Het Verdriet van België, by Hugo Claus Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog, by Ysabeau S. … Continue reading

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Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) 1939 Retro Hugos

There were a couple of categories where there was a pretty clear front runner as soon as it was decided to hold the 1939 Hugo vote, and this was one of them – though I must admit it was surprising … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 28-05-2014

That Northern Ireland election result in full (PDF) #fb(tags: northernireland elections )

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May Books 7) Parasite, by “Mira Grant”

Another Hugo nomination for the eminently successful Seanan McGuire, no longer in the zombie mode but now portraying a near future California where everyone’s life has been transformed by ingesting bio-engineered tapeworms. The presentation is rather similar to her zombie … Continue reading

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May Books 6) The Death of Art by Simon Bucher-Jones

The Seventh Doctor, Chris and Roz end up in Paris all involved with the Dreyfus case and Ace. I'm afraid I thought this wore its historical research a bit too heavily, without compensating gains in characterisation or plot. Ah well; … Continue reading

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That Northern Ireland European Parliament election, then

It seemed to take a very long time to get the first results through for the European election yesterday at the King's Hall. Having originally arranged to help out with the BBC's coverage from 2.15 to 4.15 pm, I was … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 26-05-2014

A different look at the 2014 local election results Countering the media narrative with facts.(tags: ukpolitics ) ‘Chocolate King’ Poroshenko wins Ukraine presidency: exit polls The other election.(tags: ukraine ) Turkish Cypriots denied vote in Cyprus Cockup? Hmmm…(tags: eu cyprus … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 25-05-2014

Re-examining Somaliland’s relations with neighboring states A former foreign minister writes.(tags: somaliland ) Statistical detection of systemic election irregularities …especially in Russia and Uganda.(tags: elections mathematics ) What the 1960s Got Right—and Wrong—about Today’s Tech Arthur C. Clarke scores best.(tags: … Continue reading

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Northern Ireland #LE14 The story so far

This is an election with few dramatic changes. The major parties have pretty much stayed as they were, as far as we can tell given the changed boundaries. The DUP, SF and Alliance have perhaps slipped back a little, and … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 24-05-2014

J.R.R. Tolkien Reveals TRUE Meaning Of ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ In Unearthed Audio Recording Fantastic!(tags: tolkien )

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Links I found interesting for 23-05-2014

Why we should all be worried about complacency in Madrid Typically lucid from Edward Hugh.(tags: catalonia ) NI21 implodes amid allegations against Basil McCrea Crumbs.(tags: northernireland ) Court Slams Azerbaijan for Rights Abuses Latest on Ilgar Mammadov’s case.(tags: azerbaijan ) … Continue reading

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Me on TV for the elections

If the travel gods are kind I shall be on BBC Northern Ireland this evening to discuss today’s elections starting 2235 UK time: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04403dh edited to add: The travel gods have not been kind, and it looks like I won’t … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 22-05-2014

Morland-Jones and Morland-Jones v Taerk and Taerk See esp para 23.(tags: funny law )

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Wednesday reading

Current Het Verdriet van België, by Hugo Claus The Road To Middle-Earth, by Tom Shippey The Eleventh Hour, ed. Andrew O’Day Last books finished [Doctor Who] The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who, by Paul Cornell Goodbye to Berlin, by Christopher Isherwood … Continue reading

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The Memory Box, by Jonathan Morris

This is the pilot episode for a new (well, new-ish now) Big Finish range featuring Chase Masterson as interstellar bounty-hunter Vienna Salvatore, who ruthlessly kills anyone who discovers her name and previously featured in the last story of the Drashani … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 21-05-2014

10 Phrases Great Speakers Never Say *wince*(tags: lifehacking ) What has the EU ever done for us? @captain_europe speaks!(tags: eu ) Millennium Development Goal 4: Accelerated declines in child deaths Child mortality has almost halved since 1990 – in absolute … Continue reading

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May Books 5) The Rise and Fall of Languages, by R.M.W. Dixon

A brief book about language change, which again must have been recommended to me in Facebook comments as I can't find another source; dates back to 1997 but I don't know how fast the field moves. The author has two … Continue reading

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The War To End All Wars, by Simon Guerrier

I am one of those who has been hoping that we would some day get a story telling us what happened to Steven Taylor after he was left behind to rule the planet of the Savages, and Simon Guerrier, who … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 20-05-2014

Hungary and the End of Politics A grim read.(tags: hungary ) Life and death in Chernobyl’s ghost forest No bacteria!(tags: science ukraine ) Stalinism on the Installment Plan Paying for injustice.(tags: usa humanrights )

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May Books 4) Warbound, by Larry Correia

This was nominated for the Hugos as the result of a campaign by the author, which also brought several other controversial nominees to the ballot. I’ll have more to say about that when I do my Best Novel category roundup, … Continue reading

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