Month: May 2019

  • We’re going on an adventure: Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

    [Some minor spoilers for Children of Time] The philosopher Thomas Nagel* wrote one of my favourite essays that I would recommend to anybody interested in the speculative aspect of speculative fiction: What Is It Like to be a Bat? Nagel looks at questions of subjectivity and how a mind might interact in the world, raising […]

  • Hugo 2019 Novelettes: Nine Last Days on Planet Earth by Daryl Gregory

    Nine days over the period 1975 to 2062 in a very slow invasion of Earth. We meet LT as a child in Tennessee. An incredible meteor shower lights up the sky. “LT was ten years old, and he’d only seen one falling star in his life. Not even his mother had seen this many at […]

  • Hugo 2019 Novelettes: “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try, Again” by Zen Cho

    Byam is an imugi, a kind of Korean proto-dragon or water serpent creature. Byam hopes to reach a level of spiritual advancement to fully become an actual dragon and ascend to the sky but this is a difficult path and over hundreds of years, Byam experiences many setbacks in it’s quest. “If you wanted to […]

  • Hugo 2019 Novelettes: “The Thing About Ghost Stories” by Naomi Kritzer

    Leah is a researcher who collects ghost stories. Not artfully crafted spooky tales but rather the stories ordinary people have of encounters with things that they felt were supernatural. The most interesting thing about ghost stories is that almost everyone has one. The other really interesting thing, to me, is that they’re nearly all terrible […]

  • Is Timothy the Leader the Tories Need?

    With Theresa May gone and a crowd of incompetents and malefactors running for Conservative Party leadership it behoves me to put the obvious name forward: Timothy the Talking Cat. Let’s run through the pros-&-cons: Things that qualify him for high office in the Conservative Party: Educated at a reactionary Public (i.e. private) School. Tortures small […]

  • Hugo 2019 Novelettes: When We Were Starless by Simone Heller

    In a clouded, toxic and blasted world, a nomadic tribe does it’s utmost to survive. Mink is a scout, looking for the remnants of an old world to scavenge, while the tribe evades monstrous centipedes and ghosts. “The run-in with the rustbreed had not been my fault. I was a good enough scout—I scoured inaccessible […]

  • Sunday Beer(s): Two from Canberra

    As I’ve been on a bit of side trip into planned cities here are two beers from Canberra (actually four but I’ll save two for next week). Also fits with the election theme. The Red Nut was quite strong (7%) but nice.

  • Currently Listening/Reading To: Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky + Hugo Novelettes

    I wasn’t supposed to start something new until I’d finished all my Hugo reading and I have the most recent Expanse book sitting right there on my Kindle like an avatar of temptation. But, I needed an audio book because I was doing garden stuff and my finger just pressed the ‘buy’ button. Anyway, so […]

  • Dragon Award Update

    A general round-up of who is saying what and where. The Red Panda Fraction have started an award suggestion spreadsheet using the same model as the Lady Business Hugo one. Very useful even if you aren’t participating in the Dragon Awards. Previous years I tried to systematically collect Dragon Award requests for nominations. I […]

  • On the Right & Civilisations

    This is a rewrite of a Tweet thread that started here: However, Tweets aren’t a great medium for the point I was trying to make, so I’m making it more essay-like here. “Western Civilisation” or “Judeo-Christian civilisation” are almost content-free markers in right wing discourse these days. In both cases, there is a fundamental incoherence […]