Monthly Archives: May 2015

May Books

Non-fiction: 2 (YTD 19) Doctor Who and the Communist, by Michael Herbert Wisdom from My Internet, by Michael Z. Williamson (not finished) Fiction (non-sf): 9 (YTD 13) Jar City, by Arnaldur Indriðason The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz … Continue reading

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The Painted Man / The Warded Man, by Peter V. Brett

Somehow I acquired two free copies of this book with different titles. It’s not bad first-book-of-a-fantasy-series; the world where humans are besieged nightly by deadly demons, and must ward them off with hastily-drawn magical sigils, is well realised, and the … Continue reading

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Revisiting past Hugos: No Award’s previous victories

Below are the Hugo categories in which “No Award” has won (plus one John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer). How would you have voted?

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Links I found interesting for 31-05-2015

Transnistria: West Berlin of the post-Soviet world Slightly misleading headline; good piece.(tags: moldova transdniestria ) Burnout in Brussels: When the fire goes out Andy’s story.(tags: eu work health ) Noel Whelan: We had been blind to prejudice facing gay community … Continue reading

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The Voters of Sasquan, updated

A couple of weeks back I crunched some numbers to look at the question of whether this year's Worldcon voters might be measurably either more liberal or more conservative than last year's, comparing the membership figures for Sasquan with those … Continue reading

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Amoras: vol 1, Suske + vol 2, Jérusalem, by Charel Cambré & Marc Legendre

This comics series is described as a spinoff from the classic Flemish strip Suske en Wiske – but it's a bit odd to describe it as a spinoff when the main characters are the same, only a bit older than … Continue reading

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Transit of Earth [sf stories from Playboy]

This is a collection of thirteen sf stories by eleven authors (Clarke and Bradbury are in there twice) published in Playboy between 1958 and 1971. Given the dates and authors, there's not much beyond the usual two-fisted action story here, … Continue reading

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The science fiction of 1967

Over at Mike Glyer's File 770, there has been extensive discussion of this year's Hugo nominations every day for the last seven weeks, varying from erudite to lyrical to argumentative. A couple of days ago several contributors took a neat digression to look at … Continue reading

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The Egyptian, by Mika Waltari

Published in 1945, this was apparently a huge classic in the middle of last century, described as the best known book written in Finnish (Tove Jansson wrote in Swedish), the only Finnish book ever adapted to become a Hollywood movie, … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 29-05-2015

Labour moves to support Tories’ lower benefit cap despite ‘children on breadline’ warnings The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which … Continue reading

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Thursday Reading

Current Watership Down, by Richard Adams (a chapter a week) The Complete Robot, by Isaac Asimov The Charterhouse of Parma, by Stendhal Last books finished Amoras v2: Jerusalem, by "Willy Vandersteen" [Marc Legendre] The Egyptian, by Mika Waltari City of … Continue reading

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Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

Back in October, a group of us started reading Anna Karenina at the rate of a chapter a day

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Links I found interesting for 27-05-2015

The Telescope that Disproved Liberalism, Part II True story.(tags: ireland historyofscience ) A New ‘Wrinkle in Time’ Cut passage more nuanced in critiquing Communism and U.S. Security.(tags: sf ) FIFA officials arrested on US corruption charges Dramatic!(tags: football ) Tumblr … Continue reading

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City of Death, by Douglas Adams and James Goss

We’ve waited a long time for this! Back in the days before video recorders, let alone DVDs, Doctor Who stories lived on after first broadcast only in the novelisations published by Target Books (and later by Virgin). In the fullness … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 26-05-2015

Shetland and Orkney and Alistair Carmichael I agree with Jane.(tags: ukpolitics libdems )

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The Battle of the Moy: Or How Ireland Gained Her Independence in 1892-1894

This is one of the small subgenre of Irish Home Rule future histories published towards the end of the 19th century, most of which forecast disaster for both Britain and Ireland as a Consequnce of Irish self-government; There are a … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 25-05-2015

If Michael Gove listens to Daniel Hannan’s honeyed polemic on Human Rights he really will get into a muddle An excellent fisking!(tags: eu ukpolitics humanrights ) So you’re related to Charlemagne? You and every other living European… Good summary.(tags: genealogy … Continue reading

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My votes in the Hugo Artist categories

Best Fan Artist is the only category which was left un-piddled on by the slatemongers. As usual, it's a mixture of familiar names and new; also as usual, I find the new ones more interesting. And they managed to get … Continue reading

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The Evolution Man, by Roy Lewis

I have on the shelf another of Lewis’s novels, The Extraordinary Reign of King Ludd, set in an alternate history where the 1848 revolutions succeeded and the crowns of the British and Mughal Empires were united in marriage. Eighty years … Continue reading

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Write It Right A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults, by Ambrose Bierce

A style guide for American writers in 1909, some of which must have seemed absurdly pedantic at the time and much of which seems obsolete now (though in a few cases I can regret that the battle has been lost). … Continue reading

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Wages of Sin, by Andrew M. Greeley

This is the last of seven books by Greeley set in and around Irish Chicago in the late twentieth century; the only other one I had read was the first in the series, Virgin and Martyr, which I thoroughly enjoyed … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 23-05-2015

The Serbian key The EU and NATI still have work to do.(tags: eu serbia )

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The Startup of You, by Reid Hoffmann and Ben Canocha

I do like to read the odd personal development book sometimes, but in general I like them more than this one, which summarises its approach thus: How do you survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy? You need a … Continue reading

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Bételgeuse, Tome 2 : Les survivants, by Leo

Something of a middle book in this five-part series: our heroine Kim continues to lead her expedition of a group comprising different human factions deep into the interior of the planetary jungle of Bételgeuse, to try and find the secret … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 22-05-2015

Thoughts on the Hugo Award Nominees: Fan Artist Close to my own views.(tags: sf ) The Extraordinary Story Of “The Crystal Maze” Hooray!(tags: tv ) The Penfield Mood Organ in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Chris Beckett on a … Continue reading

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Thursday reading

Current Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (a chapter a day; getting very near the end now) Watership Down, by Richard Adams (a chapter a week) The Egyptian, by Mika Waltari Last books finished The Evolution Man, by Roy Lewis Mating, … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 21-05-2015

Marriage referendum: In the name of equality Irish Times leading article urges Yes vote.(tags: sexandgenderandsexuality ireland ) The great migration of Brussels lobbyists I too have migrated!(tags: eu lobbying )

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The Jonah Kit, by Ian Watson

I’m sorry to say that I bounced off this 1977 BSFA Award winner pretty thoroughly. The basic scientific hook, imprinting a dead cosmonaut’s mind onto the brain of a child, is interesting enough, but the general setting of decaying contemporary … Continue reading

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Getting the Buggers to Behave, by Sue Cowley

A teacher training textbook, which is basically full of sensible advice about managing children of differing levels of ability in the classroom. Useful background information, some of which is directly applicable to other areas of professional life too.

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Links I found interesting for 20-05-2015

The Telescope that Disproved Liberalism: Part I First installment of a three-part essay on the Leviathan of Parsonstown.(tags: astronomy ireland historyofscience ) ‘Gay cake’ row: Judge rules against Ashers bakery Hooray!(tags: northernireland sexandgenderandsexuality ) If you didn’t see defeat coming, … Continue reading

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