Monthly Archives: December 2016

Can you identify this story?

An old friend writes: "I remember a short story (but not the title or the author) I read many years ago, in which a man travelled into the future; was surprised, when he arrived, to see the streets mostly deserted … Continue reading

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My books of 2016 – including poll

I read only 212 books this year, which is my lowest total since 2006. Basically this is because I got sucked into feeding from the information firehose of social media around the times of both the Brexit referendum and the … Continue reading

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December books and weekly reading blog

Books read this week: Last Exit to Babylon – Volume 4: The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny The Listener, by Tove Jansson Christmas Days, by Jeanette Winterson The Case of the Missing Books, by Ian Sansom Sex at Dawn: How … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 31-12-2016

Rogue One Really, Really Wants You to Like It—And That’s A Problem Emily Asher-Perton’s spoiler-filled review.(tags: films sf )

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The case of the missing books, by Ian Sansom

Second paragraph of third chapter: Back at the council offices Linda Wei had got him to sign several forms on the dotted line, and had issued him with papers and instructions as to his exact role and responsibilities, and details … Continue reading

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What should I read in 2017?

As usual, I’m asking advice from my collective readership as to what I should read next year. You should be able to participate in this poll with Twitter, Dreamwidth, Facebook or maybe even Google logins. Make the most of it … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 30-12-2016

Theresa May ‘lacks courage to admit complexity of Brexit’ A messy under-resourced process.(tags: ukpolitics brexit ) A slave mother’s love in 56 carefully stitched words An eloquent testimony in thread.(tags: race history ) The Strange Death of Municipal England: Assault … Continue reading

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Livejournal, you are reprieved – for now

Well, my resolution to shift to Dreamwidth has lasted less than a day. Several things changed my mind, of which the most important is that Livejournal seems to have started working again. But also Dreamwidth is really lacking in a … Continue reading

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The Listener, by Tove Jansson & Christmas Days, by Jeanette Winterson

By sheer coincidence, my Christmas goodies included two collections of short stories by two different lesbian authors, and I think it makes a neat pair to review together. Not, mind you, that the two collections have anything much more in … Continue reading

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My year on social media – Instagram

Instagram is just lovely. I wish I remembered to use it more often. The default behaviour is to be nice to people and say how much you like their picture. It’s much more difficult to work up the energy to … Continue reading

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My year on social media – Twitter

Most retweeted, a massive 412, well ahead of the field – and original content too! – was a comment on the Hugo awards, picked up particularly by Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths), The Grugq (@thegrugq), Cindy Gallop (@cindygallop) and Harper … Continue reading

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My year on social media – Facebook

This is my first time posting to Dreamwidth! Hopefully it will also crosspost to Livejournal seamlessly. Facebook has increasingly become my most used channel of interaction online. Most of my content is not expecially original – I repost links to … Continue reading

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Last Exit to Babylon, by Roger Zelazny

Second paragraph of third story (“Home is the Hangman”): I sat in a chair turned sidewise from the table to face the door. A tool kit rested on the floor to my left. The helmet stood on the table, a … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 29-12-2016

Europe’s (lack of) migration problem There are not enough migrants.(tags: eu migration ) A Sportscaster’s Secret Mission To Save Jewish Family At The ‘Nazi’ Olympics A historical vignette, but an important one.(tags: germany holocaust ) Chris Christie is isolated in … Continue reading

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The Star-Rover, by Jack London

Second paragraph of third chapter: Meanwhile Captain Jamie fretted his head off and prepared for the night, while Winwood passed the word along to the forty lifers to be ready for the break. And two hours after midnight every guard … Continue reading

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Apostata, by Ken Broeders

I got the first six albums of Ken Broeders' epic saga of the life of the Emperor Julian the Apostate, who I previously knew really from Chapters XXII, XXIII and XXIV of Gibbon. It's great stuff, taking some liberties with … Continue reading

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Livejournal acting up again

Can’t post-date entries, can’t see comments, can’t choose userpic, can’t select multiple spam comments for deletion; preparing my backup options… Maybe 2017 will be the year I finally abandon ship and find a new home for blogging.

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Interesting Links for 28-12-2016

Most powerful photographs of 2016 @tball’s choice for @PoliticoEurope.(tags: photos ) Garry Kasparov on why Vladimir Putin hates chess. Grim.(tags: russia uspolitics ) Nominate for the BSFA Awards Hurry! First round closes on 31 December!(tags: sf ) FirstSounds.ORG The earliest … Continue reading

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BSFA Awards – nominations close 31 December

Nominations are open for the first round of the BSFA Awards, until 31 December. You can nominate up to four works in each category (Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, Best Art, Best Non-Fiction) and you can do it here. You … Continue reading

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Tolstoy, by Henri Troyat

Second paragraph of third chapter: One hundred and thirty miles – a surface of packed, crusted snow going across barren plains and through frail birch groves. At every relay they drank scalding tea at the inn, hung thick with the … Continue reading

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Twilight of the Gods, by Mark Clapham and John de Burgh Miller

Second paragraph of third chapter: She woke in a sweat, her cotton nightshirt soaked and clammy. Her mouth was dry. Light streamed through the window, and there was the sound of raised voices outside. Morning. So much for a good … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 27-12-2016

Brexit: Six Months On (PDF) Comprehensive analysis from the LSE.(tags: brexit eu ukpolitics ) It’s the Settlements, Stupid: Security Council Failure Is Entirely Netanyahu’s @barakravid nails it for @haaretz.(tags: ) The Tom of Finland biopic “The whole Nazi philosophy, the … Continue reading

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Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past, by Paul Cartledge

Second paragraph of third chapter (parsing a contemporary report of what else was happening at the time of Alexander's birth): Philip and Parmenion we have already met. The Illyrians were Macedon's traditional enemies on their western border. The Olympics were … Continue reading

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Bullet Time, by David McIntee

Second paragraph of third chapter: A plane coming into Kai Tak took a perilous descent between Hong Kong's skyscrapers, pulled a 90-degree turn to avoid running straight into Diamond Hill, and then tried not to drop off the end of … Continue reading

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Marcassin De Flandres

We’ve had boar for Christmas for the last umpteen years, but this year I tried a new recipe, patriotically named Marcassin De Flandres. The marinade is much the same as previously, but boiling rather than roasting struck me as risky. … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 26-12-2016

Not the Christmas Poem You Were Looking For Jo Walton reflects.(tags: christmas poetry ) A Trump Christmas Carol by @rozkaveney, @PennyRed, @scalzi and @bluejowalton.(tags: Sf Uspolitics )

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Luke 2:1-20 in Aramaic

ܗܘܐ ܕܝܢ ܒܝܘܡܬܐ ܗܢܘܢ ܘܢܦܩ ܦܘܩܕܢܐ ܡܢ ܐܓܘܣܛܘܣ ܩܣܪ ܕܢܬܟܬܒ ܟܠܗ ܥܡܐ ܕܐܘܚܕܢܗ܀ 1 Now, it happened in those yawmatha {days} that a command went out from Augustus Qesar {Caesar} that the names of all the Ama {the People} of … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 25-12-2016

‘Tis the Season A dystopian Christmas™ story by China Miéville.(tags: sf )

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Saturday reading

Current Last Exit to Babylon – Volume 4: The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny Last books finished Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past, by Paul Cartledge Twilight of the Gods, by Mark Clapham and Jon de Burgh … Continue reading

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The Moomins and the fir tree

(The Moomins, who normally hibernate, have been woken by a well-meaning neighbour and are trying to get to grips with Christmas. They have worked out that everyone is very anxious about it and that a fir tree is involved.) ‘Now … Continue reading

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