Monthly Archives: August 2015

August Books

Non-fiction: 8 (YTD 35) 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear, by James Shapiro Building Confidence in Peace, by Erol Kaymak, Alexandros Lordos and Nathalie Tocci Resolving the Cyprus Conflict: Negotiating History, by Michális Stavrou Michael A Visitor's Companion … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 31-08-2015

Johan Wets: ‘De toekomst brengt meer migratie of nog meer migratie. Of een politiestaat.’ My friend Johan speaks out. (In Dutch.)(tags: eu migration dutch ) BBC Two announces The City And The City, an adaptation of China Miéville’s novel Hooray!(tags: … Continue reading

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Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories, by Michael Moorcock

Sorry to say that I was a bit disappointed by this volume, the first of a new presentation of Elric in internal chronological order. About half of the book is the script of an Elric-before-he-was-King graphic novel, which is OK … Continue reading

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Letters to Tiptree, eds Alissa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce

This is yet more evidence of the Australian surge in feminist sf commentary (which, let's be very clear, is a Good Thing) spearheaded by the Galactic Suburbia team, two of whom have assembled this volume of (mostly) letters in tribute … Continue reading

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Reading short fiction for the Hugos

I am one of those people who, until this year, let the Hugo nominations guide my reading of short SF rather than the other way round. Clearly that was one of the factors that allowed the recent unpleasantness to develop, … Continue reading

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Apparently it’s #WorldFrankensteinDay today

And the first science fiction book with a partly Irish setting was…

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The Land of Green Plums, by Herta Müller

A grim but very effectively told tale, of being an ethnic minority (in this case, German speakers) in a totalitarian Nationalist state (in this case, Ceaușescu's Romania) told in a bleak style of low-level horror. Our unnamed protagonist sees one … Continue reading

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Predicting the Hugos: How it worked out

My survey of bloggers called two out of four fiction categories correctly, the No Awards for Best Novella aand Best Short Story, with two near misses; The Three-Body Problem was essentially level-pegging with The Goblin Emperor in my survey, as … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 29-08-2015

College student would be sole voter in sales tax decision When gerrymandering backfires.(tags: uspolitics elections ) The Research Is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies So why do we do it?(tags: lifehacking ) The World Happiness Report … Continue reading

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Penric’s Demon, by Lois McMaster Bujold

After ten years away, we are back to the world of The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls and The Hallowed Hunt, with a novella about a young lordling who, much to his dismay, is possessed by a demon with … Continue reading

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The Story of Kullervo, by J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Verlyn Flieger

This was just published today, though not for the first time: Tolkien's treatment of the Kullervo story from the Kalevala, Finland's national epic, was previously published in the Journal of Tolkien Studies, so is not (as I at first hoped … Continue reading

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Thursday reading

Current Watership Down, by Richard Adams (a chapter a week) 11/22/63, by Stephen King Letters to Tiptree, eds Alissa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories, by Michael Moorcock Last books finished Space Helmet for a Cow, … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 27-08-2015

Jeremy Corbyn is a stranger to responsibility and will loathe leadership What lies ahead.(tags: ukpolitics ) Kosovo and Serbia sign ‘landmark’ agreements Great news. (And cadastral records?)(tags: serbia kosovo ) Whoa, Hugo: Women and Minorities Aren’t New to Sci-Fi From … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 26-08-2015

Ways to think about cars The future of motoring.(tags: technology ) I looked at the best evidence for banning prostitution. It’s absolutely terrible. Interesting!(tags: sexandgenderandsexuality ) Greek elections: a new opportunity to refresh the political body A view from Athens.(tags: … Continue reading

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Space Helmet for a Cow, by Paul Kirkley

Yet another history-of-Doctor-Who book, but one with a difference: rather than analysing the stories for content or cultural context, Kirkley tells the story from the production point of view, including inside details of how each Doctor was hired and how … Continue reading

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Transition, by Iain Banks

I’m sorry to say that this late Iain Banks work didn’t really grab me. The idea of people with access to different parallel universes trying to pull off politically convenient changes to their timeline is not original to him, and … Continue reading

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Next year’s Hugos: What I’m going to do

Mike Glyer over at File 770 has a tremendous assembly of reaction to the Hugo Awards, including some truly epic whining from the Sad Puppies (and my own post from Sunday morning). The votes were clearly cast against the slates … Continue reading

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Naamah’s Kiss, by Jacqueline Carey

Having finished the second of Carey’s Kushiel trilogies a few weeks ago, it’s time to get started on the third. But we are a hundred years on now; everyone we knew from the previous six books has faded into history, … Continue reading

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Erimem: The Last Pharaoh, by Iain McLaughlin and Claire Bartlett

Two spinoff series of books about Doctor Who companions have started this year – one is a secret history of the Brigadier between The Web of Fear and The Invasion, the other is a “What Happened Next” set of stories … Continue reading

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Tomato and tuna pilaf

Another recipe from Delicious magazine. Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges 300g basmati rice Pinch of cayenne pepper 400g can tomatoes 400ml chicken or vegetable stock Knob of butter 200g green beans, trimmed and … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 24-08-2015

Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters | WIRED Tremendous.(tags: sf sadpuppies ) No ‘Puppy’ Love at Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards – WSJ Shorter.(tags: sf sadpuppies ) Asking the Wrong Questions: The 2015 Hugo Awards: Thoughts On … Continue reading

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History, by Elsa Morante

This is one of the 100 greatest books ever according to the Norwegian Book Clubs, but I note that none of my friends on LibraryThing and nobody who I actually know on Goodreads has read it, so it’s likely that … Continue reading

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The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri

I see that this has had mixed reviews, but I very much enjoyed it – a story of an Indian immigrant to America, whose political brother is killed by state violence in Calcutta, leaving his pregnant wife to be adopted, … Continue reading

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Hugo Awards 2015 – full analysis

There were very few close results this year. Hugo voters delivered decisive verdicts on what they wanted and didn't want to win. Outside the Dramatic Presentation categories, not a single Puppy nominee beat No Award. No Award won five categories, … Continue reading

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While we are waiting for the full stats, a thought on how the #SadPuppies failed

It all could have been more difficult. The campaign to No Award the Puppy slates this year was made much easier by two factors, both of which were eerily predicted by Cat (I think ) in a comment on Brad … Continue reading

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Buffy: The Lost Slayer, by Christopher Golden

Buffy: The Lost Slayer: Prophecies, by Christopher Golden Buffy: The Lost Slayer: Dark Times, by Christopher Golden Buffy: The Lost Slayer: King of the Dead, by Christopher Golden Buffy: The Lost Slayer: Original Sins, by Christopher Golden I remain a … Continue reading

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Selected Essays, by Virginia Woolf

A classic selection of non-fiction by Woolf, in four sections: writing about literature, writing about life and death, writing about women, and observational pieces. It’s all very good, and each section has a standout piece. “Character in Fiction” has a … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 22-08-2015

Victory Points, or, Xanatos Was a Punk Jim Henley rates Hugo outcomes.(tags: sf ) And The Hugo Goes To… Matt Foster calls the possible Hugo outcomes.(tags: sf )

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A Visitor’s Companion to Tudor England, by Suzannah Lipscom

A gazetteer presentation of important places in the history of Tudor England, as far as they can still be seen. Slightly frustrating that Ireland, Scotland and even Wales are omitted. The geographic order of presentation means that incidents from the … Continue reading

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An Age of License: A Travelogue, by Lucy Knisley

An autobiographical graphic novel about being a young comics artist on a European tour. Knisley is a very good artist, and there are a couple of lovely character moments, but there isn’t really a lot of story here other than … Continue reading

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