Friday, August 31, 2018
Thursday, August 30, 2018
There, against the wall, the suit of armor that the exiled king of Prussia had given us. (We found his lost dog, averting a third World War.) Next to it, in a glass case, a single tooth from Genghis Khan, full of his bloodlust and brilliance. Over there, a pile of gold coins, invisibly tainted with the blood of a saint; and next to it, a deck of cards still imprisoning a circus of demons.
(from Stupefying Stories 21, edited by Bruce Bethke)
8½*/10. The full review is here.
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
My High School Class 50th Reunion is this year. For all I know, they've already held it. I'd have to travel from Arizona to Pennsylvania to eat an overpriced meal at some country club, and socialize with a bunch of people I frankly don't care about cuz I haven't seen or heard about them for half a century.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Monday, August 27, 2018
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Tikal was also a center of trade, using spondulix (shells) from Ecuador as coinage. Cinnabar (to paint buildings), flint, and jade were exported to Monte Alban and Teotihuacan in the north and to Honduras in the south. Hallucinogens extracted from water lilies, bark, or toad were exchanged for hardwood from Belize. Architectural influences of Teotihuacan were deployed in the pyramids. There were four ball courts (compared to nineteen in Copan); the players were coached and played “away matches” with rivals. An interesting book, The Graffiti of Tikal, shows Asian merchants arriving on a three-masted ship.
(from Who Discovered America? by Gavin Menzies and Ian Hudson)
6½*/10. The complete review is here.
Friday, August 24, 2018
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Monday, August 20, 2018
“I still can’t promise I won’t try to sleep with you,” he said. “that’s how I often behave when I meet someone attractive. It’s only fair you should know.”
“I appreciate the honesty. I do.”
“Don’t worry, you’ll see me coming about a mile away. I’m not real slick.”
“French wine, moonlight and Neil Young, strictly acoustic. Don’t laugh, I know it’s hokey.”
“Depends on the wine,” Joey said.
(from Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen)
8½*/10. The complete review is here.
Sunday, August 19, 2018
WHAT THIS ISN'T : A view from our house here in Arizona, where it hasn't rained in weeks.
WHAT THIS IS : A view of Washington Street in Hamburg, Pennsylvania from last Monday, August 14th, after 5 inches of rain fell in one day. It happens to be the street that both of my grandparents' families lived on.
The last time it flooded like this was way back in 1942, and my paternal grandmother had some pictures of that flood. Which made a huge impression on me as a kid looking through her photo albums.
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Friday, August 17, 2018
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
I once had a roommate who refused to let me play my Irish Rovers LP's on the same turntable that we used to play Jimi Hendrix and The Doors albums. In retrospect, I think his criticism was valid.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
“These people have provided me with some fascinating insights, and together we have created a device which will end this madness once and for all.”
“Really? What, exactly?”
“We have utilised the work I had previously done, effectively turning my previous theories and concepts on their heads. Whilst previously I had focused the energies upon the positive actions forcing a breach, we are instead going to achieve the reverse.”
“I know he thinks that’s an explanation,” said Kate to me. “But I just hear noise. You have any idea what he’s blathering on about?”
(from The Infernal Aether, by Peter Oxley)
8*/10. The full review is here.
Monday, August 13, 2018
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Friday, August 10, 2018
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Happy Death Day to this dude. (d. 08/09/1516) His artwork (see below), plus the fact that we have no record of where and when he was born, is arguably the most compelling evidence we have that time-travel is a reality.
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
“We only got three rules here. Do what I tell you and don’t piss in the bed.”
Ender nodded. He knew that Rose wanted him to ask what the third rule was. So he did.
“That was three rules. We don’t do too good in math, here.”
The message was clear. Winning is more important than anything.
(from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card)
8*/10. The complete review is here.
Monday, August 06, 2018
Sunday, August 05, 2018
Saturday, August 04, 2018
Friday, August 03, 2018
“Do you suppose that, having once placed my shoulder to the wheel and my nose to the grindstone, I will leave the furrow unplowed? I have sworn to redeem you and redeem you I will, with cooperation or without it. In principle, I am in full sympathy with the right of every Englishman – or woman – or, come to that, and man or woman of any nation … What was I about to say?”
Nemo’s frown had been replaced by a blank, almost imbecile stare. “I haven’t the slightest idea,” he mumbled.
(from Lion In The Valley by Elizabeth Peters)
7*/10. The complete review is here.
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Happy Birthday, Mr. James Baldwin, sir! Author of The Fire Next Time, which I believe I read in junior high a long, long time ago. I was not aware of the above quote, but it seems extremely appropriate for this nation right now.