Monthly Archive: May 2015

May 31 2015

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Guards! Guards! , the eighth Discworld novel, introduces Captain Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork’s Night Watch, to which the book’s back cover assigns the apt adjective “ramshackle.” Pratchett is perfectly clear about what he’s up to in the novel. He dedicates it as follows: They may be called the Palace Guard, the City Guard, or the …

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May 27 2015

To Be Read 1

The good news is that at present I can buy books faster than I can read them. The bad news is that at present I can buy books faster than I can read (and review) them. Here are some new things that have appeared (somehow!) in the to-be-read pile, along with what some of my …

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May 24 2015

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

The moon blew up with no warning and with no apparent reason. That’s how Seveneves begins, and it pulled me right in. I stayed up until 3am last night to finish this 867-page hard science fiction novel, to the point that my eyes were watering and my cat was giving me the stinkeye for keeping …

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May 16 2015

Jhereg by Steven Brust

A thirty-year-old fantasy adventure novel has aged less badly than a seventy-year-old Hollywood novel. That’s the first thing that struck me thinking back on Steven Brust’s Jhereg, and comparing it to the other book that I just recently finished. Though to be fair, I suppose I should check back in another forty years. I’ll mark …

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May 14 2015

What Makes Sammy Run? by Budd Schulberg

I skipped a good sixty or seventy pages of this book in the hope that jumping ahead would prevent me from pronouncing the Eight Deadly Words, but in the end it didn’t. As the copyright page tells any reader, “The novel What Makes Sammy Run? was originally published by Random House, Inc., in 1941. Copyright …

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May 09 2015

History is Weird

The second offspring of [Jewish] messianic hopes [in eighteenth century Poland] was Frankism—from the name of its founder, Jacob Frank (?–1791). Frank’s father had fled Poland to escape persecution as a follower of Sabbatai Zevi, and Jacob Frank himself traveled widely in Romania and Greece, where (in Salonika) he met those believers in Sabbatai who …

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May 05 2015

On Basilisk Station by David Weber

Introduction The Honor Harrington series (the name of our heroine and main character in the series), also known as the Honorverse, is a Military Science Fiction series by author David Weber. On Basilisk Station, published in 1992, is the first book in the series, which already spans thirteen books and a few spin offs. Setting …

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May 04 2015

The End of the Sentence by Maria Dahvana Headley and Kat Howard

Of course the house is haunted. But what does it want? Who is writing the letters that seem to deliver themselves? And what does that person (?) want? Malcolm Mays, a protagonist on the run from his past, might live to find out. Or wish he hadn’t. The End of the Sentence is deliciously creepy.

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May 01 2015

What Work Is by Philip Levine

What Work Is We stand in the rain in a long line waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work. You know what work is—if you’re old enough to read this you know what work is, although you may not do it. Forget you. This is about waiting, shifting from one foot to another. Feeling the …

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