Good to know.
Tuesday, May 04, 2021
“Could you possibly slow our speed to a point where we are not actually burning up in the atmosphere?”
The ship disdained to reply. There was no sense of deceleration, but quite abruptly the ocean and cloud-banks below stopped flashing past and assumed a more stately progression. Slowly the glow in the air around and the rock behind faded.
“Mach 5,” announced the ship, in a satisfied tone.
“Good for you,” said Lamont. “Do you have any capacity to, perhaps, steer?”
“I am reluctant to attempt it,” said the ship. “I would prefer to attempt a controlled landing.”
“I think I could live with that,” said Lamont.
“Ah,” said the ship, sounding imposed upon. “You require a landing that is not just controlled but survivable.”
(from Newton’s Wake by Ken MacLeod)
6*/10. The full review is here.
Monday, May 03, 2021
Sunday, May 02, 2021
Saturday, May 01, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
In a briefing for US ambassadors to Latin American countries in 1950, (George) Kennan observed that a major concern of US foreign policy must be “the protection of our [i.e. Latin America’s] raw materials.” We must therefore combat a dangerous heresy which, US intelligence reported, was spreading through Latin America: “the idea that the government has direct responsibility for the welfare of the people.”
US planners call that idea Communism, whatever the actual political views of the people advocating it. They can be church-based self-help groups or whatever, but if they support this heresy, they’re Communists.
(from How The World Works by Noam Chomsky)
7½*/10. The complete review is here.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Friday, April 23, 2021
“You were there this afternoon, weren’t you?”
“What do you expect? I’m supposed to tell Amburgey and Tanner I can’t be in on the meeting because you and I have been seeing each other?”
“Of course you couldn’t tell them that,” I said in a miserable way. “But maybe I wanted you to. Maybe I wanted you to punch Amburgey’s lights out or something.”
“Not a bad idea. But I don’t think it would help me much come reelection time. Besides, you’d probably let my ass rot in jail. Wouldn’t even post my bond.”
“Depends on how much it was.”
(from Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell)
9*/10. The full review is here.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Sunday, April 18, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Theory: travel faster than light around the Earth and you can move forwards in Time.
A likely story. Like all great hypotheses, the theory of relativity relies on the basic assumption that nobody will ever be able to do the experiment which will prove it wrong; and anything that can’t be disproved must be true. Garnish with fresh mathematics, heat and serve.
But supposing it’s true, and feasible. Think, not of the fame, the glory and the Nobel prize, but of the commercial possibilities.
Correct; there are none. That’s why it’s a safe hypothesis.
(from Paint Your Dragon by Tom Holt)
Friday, April 16, 2021
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
The judge placed his hands on the ground. He looked at his inquisitor. “This is my claim,” he said. “And yet everywhere upon it are pockets of autonomous life. Autonomous. In order for it to be mine nothing must be permitted to occur upon it save by my dispensation.” (…)
“I don’t see what that has to do with catchin’ birds.”
“The freedom of birds is an insult to me. I’d have them all in zoos.”
“That would be a hell of a zoo.”
The judge smiled. Yes,” he said. “Even so.”
(from Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy)
7*/10. The full review is here.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Friday, April 09, 2021
Thursday, April 08, 2021
Tuesday, April 06, 2021
“I don’t get it. How come you haven’t grown older?”
“I have grown older, just like everyone.”
“You don’t look any older,” she said, staring.
“Put it down to healthy living,” I said.
“And good food,” added Mrs. Goodfellow.
“And good genes,” I continued.
“No,” said Kathy, screwing up her face. “Mom looks like an old lady and you don’t.”
“That’s because he’s not a lady,” I said, helpfully.
(from Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers by Wilkie Martin)
8*/10. The complete review is here.
Monday, April 05, 2021
Thursday, April 01, 2021
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
A battering on the brass knocker announced the belated arrival of Foxen Ellsworth-Howard, and the first thing he said on entering was “It’s shracking freezing in here!”
Shrack was an extremely nasty word, first coined to describe a particularly immoral act that had become possible with twenty-second-century technology. Ellsworth-Howard’s friends winced slightly, but only slightly.
(from The Life of the World to Come by Kage Baker)
6½*/10. The complete review is here.
Monday, March 29, 2021
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Thursday, March 25, 2021
“We have two scenes,” he said. “We’ve got the splat around back here on the side. And then the room the guy was using. That’s the top floor, room seventy-nine.”
It was the routine way of police officers to dehumanize the daily horrors that came with the job. Jumpers were called splats.
(from The Drop by Michael Connelly)
8½*/10. The complete review is here.