purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 06:23pm on 24/09/2009
As I go into full scale teaching this year I'm minded to set this LJ's default settings to friends only.

If this is going to cause anyone problems squeek now!
purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 09:17pm on 10/09/2009
Previously... )

Permanence Karl Schroeder

Karl's second published SF novel. It's got a huge amount in it, almost too much. From modest beginnings not unlike a Heinlein juvenile we head into discussions of interstellar civilizations, weird alien species, interstellar mysticism, why FTL is bad for you, economics, and much more. The Heinlein juvenile like wrappings get rather stretched in carrying all this material, and we end up with not one but at least three interstellar quest stories as well as links to future Schroeder novels, though it's not quite clear how they fit into this background. The result is a rather odd beast, not shaped like a usual novel, which is both a flaw and a feature. This was published in 2002. I suspect these days it would be split into two or three separate books...
purplecthulhu: (Default)
It was a close run thing but I think Ade Edmonson (yes, the one from the Young Ones) and the Bad Shepherds just about win. They do old punk classics in a folk way - mandolin, pipes etc. And it works amazingly well! Of course in a sense punk was folk music - 'here's three cords now write a song'.

Runners up are Mama Matrix, a psychedelic klezmer band, and, of course, Jethro Tull for still doing it all into their 60s - and they played a very good set!

Tired now!
purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 09:16pm on 05/09/2009
Reformed after 35 years and playing a very distinctive form of psycho-folk-rock. Inspired by Milton, including songs of death and necrophilia, surprisingly they weren't commercially successful first time round.

But the internet has brought them back!
purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 09:47pm on 04/09/2009
I agree with [livejournal.com profile] purpletigron's recommendation and description of Circulus - crumhorns on acid!
purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 02:30pm on 02/09/2009
purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 09:19pm on 01/09/2009
It's been a while...

Previously... )

House of Suns Al Reynolds

Very nice far-future hard SF with timescales in the millions of years. Could have been written for me, but the Al is an astronomer. Recommended.

The H-Bomb Girl Stephen Baxter

Alternate history and time travel in Cuban Missile Crisis Liverpool, with the Beatles lurking in the background. Written as YA but with adult depth. Arguably the best thing SB has written. Definitely recommended.

This is Not a Game Walter Jon Williams

WJW relaunches his career for the second time thanks to publisher hassles with a near-future cyberplot that Stross would be proud of. Hopefully WJW is now back on his feet as this was really good!

Palimpsest Catherynne M Valente

Interesting novel about a sexually transmitted city (to use the author's own description). Definitely not my usual thing, and I found the writing at times to be over-rich. I know there are people who would love it, and while it didn't fully work for me I could certainly appreciate it.

Winterstrike Liz Williams

I wanted to like this more than I did, but the plot seemed to be driven too much by revealed powers of the characters that we didn't have any hints of beforehand. Specifically the demothea seemed so powerful they should never have been defeated in the first place. I guess I'm not understanding exactly what Liz is driving at with this book.

Wireless Charles Stross

Excellent new short story collection from Stross, including old favorites, like A Colder War and a wonderful new take on the time police in Palimpsest. Hmmm - where have I heard that title before...?

Astropolis Sean Williams

Interesting far-future space opera that didn't entirely work for me. You don't have journey times that last 10000 years and then arrive in the nick of time to save one major character, meet up with another in the right place and save a third from prison. There's good potential here but he didn't quite work out some of the implications, unlike Reynolds. this is the first of a trilogy but I think I'll give the others a miss.

Matter Iain M Banks

Another Culture doorstop dealing with a very unusual Big Dumb Object. The story stars pretty slowly and the courtly language of the 'fantasy world' characters got on my nerves a bit, but the pace inexorably quickens to a huge and mostly unexpected world cracking finale.
Mood:: 'accomplished' accomplished
purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 10:54am on 31/08/2009
The No. 10 petition for a public apology of the treatment of Alan Turing has been covered by the BBC. Hopefully this will help more people know about the story behind the man and his eponymous machines and test, and attract more people to the petition.
purplecthulhu: (Lack of internet...)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 10:37am on 29/08/2009
According to BBC News Online the government want us all to get online. But this announcement comes in the same week it emerged that (dark) Lord Mandelson wants to give himself the power to cut people (and everyone else using that account) off the internet if they are suspected of downloading copyright material (suspected - no legal procedure to establish guilt or innocence required).

Call that joined up government, 'cos I don't!
purplecthulhu: (anya rabbits)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 03:29pm on 27/08/2009
Amazon has a special section described as WTF:

http://www.amazon.com/tag/wtf/products/ref=tag_gam_ptcn_istp

Chicken Poop Lip Balm? Inflatable Party Sheep?????

This from William Gibson and allegedly via Paul MacAuley...

Can I wash my eyes out now?

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