Monthly Archives: March 2022

March books

Pressure of work and Hugos meant I only read 15 books this month, the lowest since March 2019, when I was Hugo Administrator. (NB I’m still struggling with the best way to display images in WordPress.) Non-fiction 5 (YTD 21)The … Continue reading

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October 2015 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and … Continue reading

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A Very Private Haunting, by Sharon Bidwell

Second paragraph of third chapter: Silence stood sentinel between them for a few minutes. Bishop broke first. ‘I read the report about the last encounter. That kid was lucky.’ Another good entry in the sequence of short novels about Brigadier … Continue reading

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BSFA Short Fiction

(See also: Best Art) There are only four finalists in the Short Fiction category for the BSFA Awards this year. From shortest to longest, they are: “Things Can Only Get Better”, by Fiona Moore Second paragraph of third section: “What?” … Continue reading

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My daughter and the king

The king died suddenly, aged 62, on 31 July 1993, on holiday in Spain. He is affectionately but not deeply remembered in a country where people are generally positive but unenthusiastic about the monarchy. A modest man, there are not … Continue reading

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Saturday reading

CurrentNine Lives, by Aimen DeanHuman Nature, by Paul CornellAir, by Geoff RymanShards of Earth, by Adrian Tchaikovsky Last books finishedSnotgirl Volume 1: Green Hair Don’t Care, by Brian Lee O’Malley and Leslie HungElles font l’abstraction/Women in Abstraction, by Christine Macel … Continue reading

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The Space Machine, by Christopher Priest

Second paragraph of third chapter: As I should have known it would, though, the next move came from Amelia, for waiting for me on the Saturday evening was a letter postmarked in Richmond. I was given this by the author … Continue reading

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September 2015 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and … Continue reading

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The Twinkling of an Eye, or my life as an Englishman, by Brian Aldiss

Second paragraph of third chapter: Some years previously, one of the innumerable Framlingham bullies, a creature with the skin of a bullfrog and hyperthyroid eyes to match, grabbed me and declared that I resembled Adolf Hitler. Dragging me into his … Continue reading

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The Unofficial Doctor Who Annual 1972, ed. Mark Worgan

Second paragraph of third chapter (“Phantoms of the Mind”, by Paul Vought): In Elm House, a recently built concrete tower block, in a very contemporarily furnished apartment an author sits at tier desk tapping away at the keys of her … Continue reading

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Lost in Translation, by Ella Frances Sanders

Third entry in full: Perhaps people don’t notice these glimmering, lyrical moments enough anymore, but the way the moon reflects and leaps across the black water of the ocean at night is surely a sight to behold. SWEDISHnoun MÅNGATAn. The … Continue reading

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What Martin McGuinness said about me

It is five years today since Martin McGuinness died.  I met him only a handful of times. He actually spoke about me once in public, as we were waiting for the European Parliament election results in 2014. He did bad … Continue reading

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The stucco ceilings of Jan Christian Hansche, part 8: the Sablon in Brussels, Beaulieu Castle in Machelen

As my regular reader knows, I have been hunting down the remaining stucco ceilings of the 17th century artist Jan Christian Hansche for the last few months. (The story so far: Park Abbey in Leuven; the Chateau de Modave near … Continue reading

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Saturday reading

Current Nine Lives, by Aimen Dean Human Nature, by Paul Cornell Air, by Geoff Ryman Shards of Earth, by Adrian Tchaikovsky Last books finished A Very Private Haunting, by Sharon Bidwell Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao Next books Hive … Continue reading

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August 2015 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and … Continue reading

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730 days of plague

So, here we are, two weeks later to the day since the first lockdown in Belgium. It’s St Patrick’s Day, and I cannot forget that the cancellation of the Irish embassy party in 2020, which would have been the farewell … Continue reading

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84k, by Claire North

Second paragraph of third chapter: The man lies on the couch, and dreams and memories blur in a fitful crimson smear of paint. I’m a big fan of Claire North’s work anyway, but this is a bit different – a … Continue reading

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Duran Duran: The First Four Years of the Fab Five by Neil Gaiman

Second paragraph of third chapter: Their debut gig was at Birmingham’s Barbarellas, supporting a local band called Fashion. People who saw them back then say they were awful. Nick Rhodes has said ‘The original Duran Duran wasn’t so much a … Continue reading

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Erhard Busek, 1941-2022

Very sorry to learn of the death yesterday of Erhard Busek, a few days before his 81st birthday. When I first came to Brussels in 1998 looking for work, Peter Ludlow and Michael Emerson put me in front of him … Continue reading

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After Atlas, by Emma Newman

Second paragraph of third chapter of After Atlas, by Emma Newman: I’ll watch your back if you’ll watch mine. This is the second in the four-volume Planetfall series by Emma Newman, which I have read completely out of order. (Third, fourth, first.) I’m afraid this … Continue reading

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Border poll – the precedents

There is much discussion in Northern Ireland – and in the Republic – on the conditions for a referendum on whether or not Northern Ireland should stay in the UK, or become part of a united Ireland. I’ve been fairly … Continue reading

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Saturday reading

CurrentA Very Private Haunting, by Sharon Bidwell Nine Lives, by Aimen Dean Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao Last books finishedThe Green Man’s Challenge, by Juliet McKenna The Unofficial Doctor Who Annual 1972, ed. Mark Worgan Skyward Inn, by Aliya … Continue reading

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July 2015 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and … Continue reading

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A new home

After almost 19 years of blogging on Livejournal, and almost 15,000 entries, the time has come to move to a dedicated WordPress site, managed by the amazing Damien at Elucidate. I have archived all of my old entries to the … Continue reading

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The Postmistress, by Sarah Blake

Second paragraph of third chapter of The Postmistress: There was France and Germany. Austria. England. Poland. Letters printed in straight lines in the comforting typeface of school, the world ordered as neatly as the men now were. Since the draft … Continue reading

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Nebula ballot, Goodreads / LibraryThing stats

The Nebula Awards final ballot is out, so here are the ratings of the nominated books on Goodreads and LibraryThing. The top number in each column is in bold. Best Novel Goodreads LibraryThing reviewers av rating owners av rating A … Continue reading

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Scherven, by Erik de Graaf

Second frame of third section of Scherven: I picked this up on spec last year from one of the local comics shops. It’s a story of young Dutch people in the occupied Netherlands during the second world war; after it’s all … Continue reading

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2021 BSFA Awards: Best Art

A very interesting selection this year for the best Art category in the BSFA Awards, with the shortlisted artworks all being single static images – this has not always been the case; last year’s list included digitised 3D images of several murals, … Continue reading

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720 days of plague

This will probably be the second last of my ten-day bulletins on COVID. Today, almost all restrictions were lifted in Belgium. Masks are compulsory only on public transport and in hospitals. The passenger locator forms for entering the country and … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sun, 12:56: RT @ICRC: We’ve received thousands of questions on the Geneva Conventions. So, we’re going to break down the rules of war you need to know… Sun, 16:05: The uncanny reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. https://t.co/Hz2TlTUyLY Very … Continue reading

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