Category: Currently Reading

Currently Reading: Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

As I have a dead tree version, I thought I’d take occasional notes on the references made in the story to various things. Hmmm, I’ve made a lot of notes! I’m about a third of the way through and it is settling down and the [plot]:[classical/enlightenment/pre-twentieth century] has increased sufficiently that I’m not stopping every page for a post-it note. Nice to see some of my early ‘this is possibly a reference to…’ be confirmed by later parts of the text.

I’ll do a few posts just of the notes I think. Not sure how it all ties together yet.

Currently Reading: The Liberation by Ian Tregillis (Alchemy Wars 3)

I’ve enjoyed the first two books in this series and the third is off to a good start. A revolution of clockwork robots is now in full swing. The exiled government of France has survived as a consequence and the evil Dutch Empire is in trouble.

Seriously, the Dutch are some of the nicest people in the world – I do like that Tregillis decided to pick on the Netherlands as the hegemonic European power in this alternate history fantasy.

Dragon Quest 7 Progress

So, I’ve found all the islands that were hidden in the past by the demon king. I surprised myself by killing the Demon King on the train home today. Now apparently the last task is to rescue GOD. Not a god mind you but a guy with white robes and a beard that everybody calls ‘The Almighty’ aka The God. Um, ok, I’ll guess I’ll rescue god then.

Currently Playing: Dragon Quest 7 (3DS)

I don’t play video games much these days due to time in general, books, other books and everything else. But I do have big Nintendo 3DS for when I just get the urge to play games rather than read on the train.

So I was quite excited to hear that a Dragon Quest game was coming out. Technically a remake of Play Station game from 2000, the new 3DS version offers updated graphics more like those used in the frankly awesome Dragon Quest 9.

Like all of the Dragon Quest games, this is a sprawling RPG with signature monsters (including the iconic little blue slimes). In this particular case, there is an additional time-travel twist which sends you back in time to a series of island communities.

Each community gets its own cringe-worthy regional accent (Yorkshire people in the volcanic ‘Emberdale’ with speech rendered in idiosyncratic vowel combinations) as well as some emotional backstory and a mystery/threat to resolve via dungeon crawling and boss-battle beating.

If you like that sort of thing (and I do) then this is hours and hours worth of fun. The usual dodgy gender stereotypes and odd sexualization of some female NPC is also sadly still there, like a voyage back to the 1980s. The customisation is not as extensive as Dragon Quest 9 and the battles are simpler and also easier. Yet, the careful parcelling out of a huge explorable world keeps the game from feeling repetitive.


Don’t Forget Climate Change: Chapters 7 to 12, a journey into nonsense

Oh, I am still slogging my way through his book by a rightwing Australian think-tank. Before I go on, I should sum up this set of chapters.


Intro, Ch 1, Ch2, Ch3, An Aside, Ch4, Ch5, Ch6, Section 1, Ch7, Another Aside, Ch8, Ch9, Ch10, Ch11, Ch12, …

This second part of this book of three parts was entitled “The economics and politics of climate change” but it was more of a miscellany of things.

Only one chapter was actually about economics and while several touched on politics, it was lacking in any depth of analysis. Three of the chapters seemed more concerned with promoting a more half-baked science critique similar to the chapters in the first section. Mind you, at least market researchers trying to do climatology was at least funny.

Has this book actually been edited? Surely somebody must have noticed that half of a section on the economics & politics of climate change didn’t really address either topic?

I’ve read ahead from here of course and in the next section entitled “The climate change movement”, it doesn’t get much better. Of the nine chapters, three would make more sense in the science section – well not so much because they are ‘science’ but because they are attempts to refute some aspects of climate science.

A better structure for the book would have been:
Section 1: Half baked science
Section 2: Random stuff.