Monthly Archives: November 2015

[Doctor Who: The Glamour Chronicles] Deep Time, by Trevor Baxendale

This season’s Doctor Who novels are a set of three linked narratives featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara, pursuing an alien intelligence called the Glamour through space and time (hence the series title, The Glamour Chronicles). I can’t recall a … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 30-11-2015

Ranking the Writing Debuts of the Capaldi Era Makes the fair point that they have all been strong.(tags: doctorwho )

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November books

Non-fiction: 2 (YTD 45) The Battle for Gaul, by Julius Caesar Bits of Me are Falling Apart, by William Leith Fiction (non-sf): 8 (YTD 40) Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro Kai Lung Beneath the Mulberry Tree, by Ernest Bramah … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 29-11-2015

What really happened on Thanksgiving Fascinating, and not what kids are taught!(tags: uspolitics history ) Spam has fallen to a 10-year low and is unlikely to make a comeback Hooray!(tags: spam ) Supreme Court judge could rule a ‘cuckoo in … Continue reading

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#RetroHugos1941 Twice in Time, by Manly Wade Wellman

At last, another novel that I feel I can nominate for the Retro Hugos alongside The Ill-Made Knight and Kallocain. It’s a short book about a time-traveller who goes back to Renaissance Italy and finds that he cannot return to … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 28-11-2015

Paris attacks: Is bashing Belgium justified? Not entirely, says the BBC.(tags: belgium waronterror ) One fifth of Stormont Assembly members are ‘unelected’ or appointed by parties I am quoted.(tags: northernireland elections ) The true cost of becoming British A first-person … Continue reading

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Monkey Planet / Planet of the Apes / La Planète des Singes, by Pierre Boulle

I confess that I haven't seen any of the films based on this book, but this is still a very interesting read (or rather reread; I had first bought it around thirty years ago). Of course, the reversal of human … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 27-11-2015

Trump’s tirade mocking journalist with disability @steveddaunt reacts.(tags: uspolitics disability ) An EU-wide constituency: Be careful what you wish for! Who really won the 2014 European Parliament election?(tags: eu elections ) Seven Condoms Don’t Equal 21 Orgasms, German Court Rules … Continue reading

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Thursday reading

Current Waiting for Elizabeth, by Joan Rosier-Jones Babes in a Darkling Wood, by H.G. Wells Keeping it Real, by Justina Robson Last books finished Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol 1, ed. von Dimpleheimer The Battle for Gaul, … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 26-11-2015

Sorting Out What Russia and Turkey Say Happened in the Sky (tags: war russia turkey ) The Serial Swatter Harassment online, again.(tags: internet ) An Alarming New Escalation in the Syria War *gulp*(tags: russia turkey syria ) Satellite launch accident … Continue reading

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#RetroHugos1941 A Million Years to Conquer, by Henry Kuttner

One of the less obscure novels of 1940, this concerns a survivor of a dying extraterrestrial race who comes to Earth and superintends the development of human civilzation over the millennia. There's a nice flashback technique between the world of … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 25-11-2015

The Unbearable Lightness of European Defense Not a rosy picture.(tags: eu waronterror ) Peter Capaldi, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat came third in a Doctor Who pub quiz and were mortified (tags: doctorwho ) What people in 1900 thought the … Continue reading

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Oblivion, by Dave Stone

A Bernice Summerfield novel, reuniting her with her ex-husband Jason and her New Adventures friends Chris and (from a younger part of her timeline) Roz, and the rather excellent shapeshifter Sgloomi Po. Apart from this last, however, not much of … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 24-11-2015

Britain needs to start doing favours to win EU friends Excellent analysis by Paul Taylor @ReutersAyataylo.(tags: ukpolitics eu ) Doctor Who: Steven Moffat finally reveals the truth about the 50th anniversary Some of it, anyway.(tags: doctorwho ) Brussels Lockdown: X-Ray … Continue reading

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Brussels report

I’m very grateful to all of you who have expressed concern about us in the last few days. In fact we live far enough outside Brussels that the situation had almost no impact on us, except that my visiting mother-in-law … Continue reading

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Somewhere! / هُناك, by Ibraheem Abbas

An sf novel by Saudi writer Ibraheem Abbas, which the author signed for me at Loncon last year. It’s short and digestible, about a young man who finds himself in a Somewhere which could be a dream world, could be … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 23-11-2015

Cyprus: Where Does The Solution Lie? Esra Aygin @esraaygin explains to her neighbours.(tags: cyprus ) Niall Ferguson slammed for saying the West is in danger of falling like the Roman Empire Poorly thought-out nonsense.(tags: history waronterror ) The Threat Is … Continue reading

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#RetroHugos1941 The Ill-Made Knight, by T.H. White

The Sword In The Stone won a convincing victory in the Best Novel category for last year’s 1939 Retro Hugos. The Ill-Made Knight, which is the third part of The Once And Future King, will have it tougher this year … Continue reading

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Mysterious poem

A relative found this poem written inside the back cover of her copy of George Bernard Shaw’s The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God (and Some Lesser Tales), and wondered if anyone can identify its origin? … Continue reading

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Sleepyhead, by Mark Billingham

I picked this up via BookMooch after it was picked for World Book Night four years ago, despite one disrecommendation, and have finally got around to reading it. It’s a very gruesome crime novel, of a serial killer who is … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 21-11-2015

Non-standard English on the Islands of the South Atlantic Falklands, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha(tags: linguistics english ) Sir Ian McKellen’s Monologue: Shakespeare’s Sir Thomas More speech Chilling.(tags: sexandgenderandsexuality migration ukpolitics shakespeare ) Syrian Refugees Don’t Pose a Serious Security … Continue reading

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To The Slaughter, by Steve Cole

Penultimate book in the Eight Doctor Adventures range of novels, written (as the author explains in an afterword) to explain away a minor continuity error in Revenge of the Cybermen, but actually quite successful in its own terms as a … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 20-11-2015

The Failures of Belgium Tim King casts a cold eye.(tags: waronterror belgium ) US gives Russian newspaper grammar lesson over ‘fake letter’ Funny, also awful.(tags: russia ) Anne Frank Was a Refugee In case you had forgotten.(tags: wwii uspolitics migration … Continue reading

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Thursday reading

Current Dodger, by Terry Pratchett Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol 1, ed. von Dimpleheimer The Battle for Gaul, by Julius Caesar Last books finished Sleepyhead, by Mark Billingham The Ill-Made Knight, by T.H. White Somewhere! / هُناك … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 19-11-2015

Why are terrorists drawn to Belgium? Sober assessment from @KristofClerix.(tags: waronterror belgium ) Second Volume of Free Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos Hurray!(tags: sf ) Are Referenda Blocking the EU’s Progress? Good question.(tags: eu nothinglikedemocracy ) Falling for our … Continue reading

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#RetroHugos1941 The Invention of Morel, by Adolfo Bioy Casares

Another of the books that I identified as potential Retro Hugo material, originally published in Spanish in 1940, by a protégé of Jorge Luis Borges (who contributed a foreword). I’m pretty sure that this is a novella. The English translation … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 18-11-2015

Congratulations! First same-sex marriage takes place in Ireland Hooray!(tags: sexandgenderandsexuality ireland ) Northern Ireland power sharing saved Hooray!(tags: northernireland ) The Rennard debacle: better to rock the boat than have the tail wag the dog @jamesgraham nails it.(tags: libdems ukpolitics … Continue reading

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The Summer Before the Dark, by Doris Lessing

I did not get on well with the only other Doris Lessing book I have read, The Grass is Singing, but I thought this was excellent – a short novel about a woman in her mid-40s who suddenly gets an … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 17-11-2015

Belgium’s Terrorism Problem The interior minister explains.(tags: belgium waronterror ) Why is English so weirdly different from other languages McWhorter on form as usual!(tags: linguistics english ) Teach peace How to fight terror, by @IrinaBokova.(tags: waronterror education ) Free Collection … Continue reading

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#RetroHugos1941 Kallocain, by Karin Boye

This is a short Swedish novel published in 1940, set in a near-future totalitarian state, where the narrator, Leo Kall, invents a drug that compels people to tell nothing but the truth. Naïvely committed to the regime, he observes its … Continue reading

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