It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
Hive Monkey: Everyone's favourite profane, gunslinging Spitfire pilot that also happens to be a monkey is back and there's already an intriguing mystery, an explosion and a lot of hard drinking...
So can anybody explain this:
I mean, it's clearly this:
but with the horses and human replaced with bears, but why? I know there's some association between Berlin and bears (no idea why), too, but *shrugs* is it just a bit of a sculptural laugh, or what?
Getting exposition heavy; too much time explaining moon colony engineering, not enough advancing the plot.
The best novel I've read by Landy! It also has the best reason to get rid of the parents I've ever come across in teen fantasy. I suspect its inspiration resides heavily in the TV show, Supernatural, and the level of explicit horror was startling. Trade-mark Landy quiping and comic-relief idiot are all present and correct, though toned down compared to early Skulduggery Pleasant.
Imagine a female criminal version of Mark Watney from The Martian and you're not far off Jazz, our protagonist.
PS. I really, REALLY want someone called Jazz to have twins and name them, Rhythm & Blues.
Initially the obvious rip-off of Peter F. Hamilton (an interstellar rail network links planets via wormholes), Iain M. Banks (AI controlled vehicles), even William Gibson (Neuromancer-style web-diving) was off-putting but as the story progressed I got caught up in the characters, mysteries and plot twists that kept things unpredictable and exciting until the denouement. By the end I was eager for more.
This book is based on an exhibition pairing African and European artistic objects currently in the Bode Museum, Berlin. The Introduction forcefully points out how the setting and context of exhibitions affect interpretation (e.g. whether in an art museum or an anthropological one) and how we are still only in the initial stages of emerging from a History of Art that is really just a History of Western Art and how this is just a symptom of how History is still just the History of the West, in turn a symptom of Western cultural hegemony and assumed superiority.
OK, so this house is on fire! No - it's this woman that's on fire! No - she's just metaphorically on fire! Between Aspie literal-mindedness and Bradbury's penchant for the fantastical I often end up confused about what's metaphor and what's literal in his stories. A woman eating breakfast whilst on fire seems entirely plausible in a Bradbury story.
The final chapter of What is Life? is on the "mind-body" problem. It rapidly descends into religio-metaphysical gibberish. This bodes ill for the next part of the book, Mind and Matter - I fear it will be ~70p of the same incomprehensible nonsense.
A muddled chapter - I'm not even sure what the point is! An argument that Newtonian mechanics is based on the assumption of low entropy (basically rigid bodies are low entropy because they are solids - ignoring Classical fluid dynamics which applies Newton's Laws to fluids). Hence classical mechanics is a macro-result of quantum mechanics. (The worst argument that this is the case I've ever come across.) Then saying that essentially the same argument applies to the "clock-work" of life, whilst noting the distributed nature of the life-meachanism.
I've seen the Revenger's Tragedy performed twice; once by a Uni Drama Dept. graduating class, once by a professional theatre troupe. The former was way better despite a couple of (literal) slip-ups.