Monthly Archives: June 2022

Planetary photography

I got up at stupid o’clock this morning to look at the array of planets in the morning sky just before dawn. For the last few days, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have been visible all in a row, in … Continue reading

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The HAVOC Files, Volume 4, ed. Shaun Russell

Second paragraph of third story (“United in Blood”, by Mark Jones): Lethbridge-Stewart approached the bar and held out a hand to his old friend. ‘Bill Cunningham! It’s good to see you too,’ he said, as he grasped the other’s hand … Continue reading

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Slumdog Millionaire; and Q&A, by Vikas Swarup

Slumdog Millionaire won the Oscar for Best Picture of 2008 and seven others, Best Director (Danny Boyle), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound Editing. The other films up for Best Picture were The Curious … Continue reading

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Saturday reading

CurrentKilldozer!, by Theodore SturgeonQ&A, by Vikas SwarupThe Darwin Awards, by Wendy NorthcuttThe Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden, by Catherynne M. Valente Last books finishedIntimacy, by Jean Paul SartreThe King of Almayne: a 13th century Englishman in Europe, by T.W.E. … Continue reading

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The Cleveland conundrum, and more on Sarah Locke

The glory of DNA research is that there is always a new discovery around the corner, and sometimes these discoveries raise new questions as well as answering old ones. Among my DNA connections, there are a fair number who are … Continue reading

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The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century, by Amia Srinivasan

Second paragraph of third chapter: In the hours between murdering three men in his apartment and driving to Alpha Phi, Rodger went to Starbucks, ordered coffee, and uploaded a video, “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution,” to his YouTube channel. He also emailed … Continue reading

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December 2016 books, and 2016 books roundup

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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Directed by Douglas Camfield, by Michael Seely

Second paragraph of third chapter: They worked on the seventh floor of Lime Grove, assigned to different film editors. This was the same building where Alfred Hitchcock made The Thirty Nine Steps twenty years before when it was the Gaumont … Continue reading

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Mythos, by Stephen Fry

Second paragraph of third chapter: Something else began too — what shall we call it? Personality? Drama? Individuality? Character, with all its flaws and failings, fashions and passions, schemes and dreams. Meaning began, you might say. The seeding of Gaia … Continue reading

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A Modern Utopia, by H. G. Wells

Second paragraph of third chapter: Now in the first place, a state so vast and complex as this world Utopia, and with so migratory a people, will need some handy symbol to check the distribution of services and commodities. Almost … Continue reading

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Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

Second paragraph of third chapter: ‘I know. She can undo it all, from the start. He won’t want to leave her.’ When I first read this in December 2001, I wrote: Ender’s Game is a vivid and disturbing book. The … Continue reading

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Mort, by Terry Pratchett

Second paragraph of third section (as you know, Bob, very few of Pratchett’s Discworld novels are divided into chapters): Mort was interested in lots of things. Why people’s teeth fitted together so neatly, for example. He’d given that one a … Continue reading

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Saturday reading

CurrentNova Swing, by M. John HarrisonKilldozer!, by Theodore SturgeonStrange Adventures, by Tom King, Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” ShanerIntimacy, by Jean Paul Sartre Last books finishedThe Eleventh Hour, by Jon ArnoldLore Olympus, by Rachael SmytheFace the Raven, by Sarah GroenewegenNo-Nonsense … Continue reading

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November 2016 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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Demons and Dreams: Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror v. 1, eds. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

The third thing in the main text of the book is actually “DX”, a poem by Joe Haldeman. The second verse (or equivalent; it’s rather free-form in format) is: You dig a holeand cover it withlogs I got hold of … Continue reading

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Flicker, by Theodore Roszak

Second paragraph of third chapter: Before long, I was asking myself how a tiny, hole-in-the-wall operation like The Classic could possibly require so much work. What with repairing, replacing, purchasing, cleaning) Polishing, picking up and delivering, my unpaid labor was … Continue reading

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The Halls of Narrow Water: A family history, by Bill Hall

Second paragraph of third section of main narrative: On arrival in Ireland, William Hall is believed to have been involved in mining at Red Bay near Carrickfergus  in Co. Antrim and to have died there in 1640.  There were other … Continue reading

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October 2016 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 mystery of Sarah Locke

Sarah Locke, from 1810 Sarah Smith, was my great-great-great-grandmother. There’s no doubt about that. First, there’s a clear paper trail through her daughter, her grandson, and her great-granddaughter who was my grandmother; and second, there’s also clear DNA evidence that … Continue reading

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Saturday reading

CurrentThe Monk, by Matthew Lewis (a chapter a week)End of the World Blues, by Jon Courtenay GrimwoodLore Olympus, by Rachael Smythe Last books finishedDirected by Douglas Camfield, by Michael SeelyBeing Seen: One Deafblind Woman’s Fight to End Ableism, by Elsa … Continue reading

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WALL-E

WALL-E won both the 2009 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, and the last ever Nebula Award for Best Script (it’s now the Ray Bradbury Award). I watched it soon after it came out (on DVD, I think). In … Continue reading

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Marco Polo, by Dene October (and John Lucarotti)

Next in the sequence of Black Archive books about Doctor Who. In this case I had actually listened to the audio reconstruction again quite recently, so I didn’t repeat that for this blog post, just reading the novelisation again as … Continue reading

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Best Novel Hugo, 2022

As before, just noting that I have read them all, without specifying my preferences. A Desolation Called Peace, by Arkady Martine (Three months ago, even if she’d somehow reached this exalted position in the Ministry, complete with her own tiny … Continue reading

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Terrorism In Asymmetric Conflict: Ideological and Structural Aspects, by Ekaterina A. Stepanova

Second paragraph of third chapter: Much has been written about the ‘sharp’ rise of ‘religious terrorism’ during the last decades of the 20th century and about its growing internationalization and international impact. However, to back this thesis most analysts choose … Continue reading

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Signs and Symbols Around the World, by Elizabeth S. Helfman

Second paragraph of third chapter: Hieroglyphic writing included many signs that can be called pictographs. They are simplified pictures of things, some of them quite recognizable. But hieroglyphic writing was not picture writing in the same sense as American Indian … Continue reading

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Best Related Work Hugo, 2022

As previously, I’m not going to record my own preferences here, just the fact that I’ve read this category. Being Seen: One Deafblind Woman’s Fight to End Ableism, by Elsa Sjunneson. Second paragraph of third chapter: Your fingertips have been … Continue reading

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The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit, by Simon Bucher-Jones (and Matt Jones)

Next in the excellent Black Archive line of short books about individual Doctor Who stories, this looks at a two-parter from Series 2 of New Who, a story where the Tenth Doctor and Rose are stranded on a planet orbiting … Continue reading

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September 2016 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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Saturday reading

CurrentThe Monk, by Matthew Lewis (a chapter a week)Half Life, by Shelley JacksonDirected by Douglas Camfield, by Michael SeelyThe Happier Dead, by Ivo Stourton Last books finishedEnder’s Game, by Orson Scott CardCBT Workbook, by Stephanie FitzgeraldA Modern Utopia, by H. … Continue reading

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The Island of Missing Trees, by Elif Shafak; and a brief note on the Green Line in Nicosia

Second paragraph of third chapter: The heat had started in the small hours of the morning, swiftly building up. Around ten o’clock, it had fully erupted into being, just after Turks and Greeks on each side of the Green Line … Continue reading

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