Monthly Archives: April 2015

Take the A Train

It’s International Jazz Day today, and though I don’t think of myself as a jazz fan, there’s something incredibly exhilarating and actually revolutionary about the best of it. I remember committing grievous harm against “Take the A Train” in the … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 30-04-2015

A brief list of misused terms in EU publciations Updated September 2013.(tags: eu english )

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Links I found interesting for 29-04-2015

Why a Labour deal might be a better bet for the DUP after the election I think they’ll go with the winners.(tags: ukpolitics northernireland ) Banned from Tristan da Cunha A confession.(tags: writing )

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Links I found interesting for 28-04-2015

Anger Translator Luther at the White House Correspondents Dinner This is funny.(tags: uspolitics funny ) What Central Europe Really Thinks About Russia Ivan Krastev writes.(tags: bulgaria poland russia eu ) In Which Edmund Schubert Withdraws From the Hugos Respect.(tags: sf … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 27-04-2015

Choosing “Sides” Jim Hines critiques the rhetoric.(tags: sf sadpuppies ) An American Dad Takes Belgian Citizenship So His Expat Son Can Play High-Level Golf I know the dad.(tags: eu usa belgium sport ) Mustafa Akinci wins northern Cyprus presidential election … Continue reading

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The BBC schedule of 26 April 1967

Thanks to the BBC making all back issues of the Radio Times available online, you can now see what the Beeb put on air on any day since Edwin H. Lemare and Harry Goss-Custard played the organ at Steinway Hall … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 26-04-2015

I am Big Bird “I’m still playing a 6-year-old, although I’m 81.” Aww!(tags: tv ) Come to the Clarke Award ceremony, and get 20% off the shortlisted books! On 6 May.(tags: sf ) Britney Spears, Beyonce & Pink – We … Continue reading

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Kushiel’s Justice, by Jacqueline Carey

It’s more than ten years since I read the first Kushiel trilogy, and just over five years since I read the first book of the second trilogy, but I found myself enjoying this just as much, despite the relative lack … Continue reading

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Hugo short fiction categories: my votes

I have often whined about the quality or suitability of some of the Hugo finalists in previous years. For instance, I considered that two of last year’s short fiction finalists were not very sfnal, and I voted them down accordingly … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 25-04-2015

The 900 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean were killed by British government policy Kudos to @telegraph for getting it right.(tags: ukpolitics eu migration ) How To Win An Election In The Roman Republic Bribe the voters!(tags: elections history ) Sasquan … Continue reading

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Best Graphic Story 2015: My votes

Before I go into this year’s choices, I want to observe that the Best Graphic Story category has really improved. I was dismayed by the dominance of one particular series which won the first three awards made in this category, … Continue reading

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Sex Criminals, vol 1: One Weird Trick, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

The last of the Hugo nominees for Best Graphic Story, this is a rather cool account of Suzie and John, who have discovered separately that time freezes around each of them whenever they have an orgasm, and together realise that … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 24-04-2015

Puppygate Winners and Losers Cheryl’s thoughts.(tags: sf sadpuppies ) How election maps reveal the politics of geography Also that 18 seats are missing in most cases!(tags: ukpolitics maps ) Hugos and Class Scalzi again.(tags: sf sadpuppies ) An SNP takeover? … Continue reading

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Thursday Reading

Current Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (a chapter a day) Watership Down, by Richard Adams (a chapter a week) Scales of Gold, by Dorothy Dunnett Last books finished ζ5 – 50 pages η5 – 50 pages θ5 – 50 pages … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 23-04-2015

Should Western Leaders Attend Moscow’s WWII Parade? Experts think not.(tags: russia politics ) Another Greek tragedy in four short acts How Syriza screwed up.(tags: greece eu ) Suddenly, there’s hope for Cyprus Interesting election this weekend!(tags: cyprus )

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Here’s One I Wrote Earlier, by Peter Purves

Growing up, I knew Peter Purves as one of the presenters of Blue Peter two afternoons a week. It wasn't until after he had left, I think, that I became aware before I was born he had been a regular … Continue reading

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Rat Queens, vol 1: Sass and Sorcery, Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch

Another one of the Hugo finalists for Best Graphic Story, this time about a gang of four warriors, women of assorted races, in a High Fantasy environment. They go on a quest, they uncover a plot, they kick ass and … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 22-04-2015

Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons: An Analysis of Theodore Beale and his Supporters Brilliant. (Though long.)(tags: sf sadpuppies ) A Digital Model of Asteroid Vesta Beautiful.(tags: astronomy asteroids )

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Links I found interesting for 21-04-2015

Father Ted’s legacy, 20 years on: up with this sort of thing That would be an ecumenical matter!(tags: ireland tv funny ) Keeping Up With the Hugos Scalzi returns to the fray.(tags: sf sadpuppies )

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Links I found interesting for 20-04-2015

Remembering Roger Zelazny (by George .R. Martin) I wish I was nearer Santa Fe!(tags: sf zelazny ) The Man Who Made Obama Viral Presidential social media strategy.(tags: uspolitics internet ) Black Gate Withdraws From Hugo Consideration Another withdrawal, endorsing No … Continue reading

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The Longest Afternoon: The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo, by Brendan Simms

I bought this as a result of attending a presentation by the author in Brussels in January (you’ll hear me contributing to the discussion from about 58:48 onwards). It’s lucid, enjoyable and moving – an account purely of one action … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 19-04-2015

America’s lobbying addiction An appalling vista.(tags: lobbying ) If only the sci-fi writers who hijacked the Hugo awards had the wit to imagine a world beyond the Good Old Days The Hugo awards hijack is nasty and dishonest – but … Continue reading

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Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson et al

To a happier part of the 2015 Hugo discussion. I really enjoyed this graphic story about a teenage Pakistani-American girl in New Jersey who acquires super powers. It deftly combined a number of familiar tropes, from Buffy and urban fantasy … Continue reading

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On crowdsourcing Hugo nominations

Someone sensible has looked at how the available data compares with Brad Torgerson's claim to have drawn up his Hugo nominations slate with “the democratic selection system of the Hugo awards… No “quiet” logrolling. Make it transparent.” It’s clear from … Continue reading

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William Hartnell as Cliff Richard’s father

Thanks to the brilliant Twitter-sleuthing of Gareth Roberts, we have William Hartnell playing Cliff Richard's father in an episode of a 1969 series called Life With Johnny, so obscure that it is absent from IMDB (which generally seems to include … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 18-04-2015

Some comments on the Hugos and other SF awards Eric Flint. (& Mercedes Lackey, & George RR Martin)(tags: sf sadpuppies ) Zebras on the loose in Brussels Life in the capital of Europe!(tags: belgium ) Improving employee productivity: On your … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 17-04-2015

Eulex report exposes EU failure in Kosovo But is there a way forward?(tags: eu kosovo ) Why not voting is such a pitifully ineffective form of protest Because it increases the power of those who *do* vote.(tags: politics elections ) … Continue reading

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Thursday reading

One thing I’ve been doing this week is polishing off the Clarke Award backlist, reading the first 50 pages of books that I had not got around to earlier in the process. One of them was so enjoyable that I … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 16-04-2015

The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest How to wreck your society.(tags: uspolitics economics ) Rabid Puppy voter admits he didn’t read the stuff on the slate before nominating it. Yep.(tags: sf sadpuppies )

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On the disintegration of the Hugo slates

Marko Kloos withdraws his novel Lines of Departure from the Hugos. Annie Bellet withdraws her story “Goodnight Stars” from the Hugos. As I said previously, both authors had my sympathy for being dragged unwittingly into Beale’s campaign to destroy the … Continue reading

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