16 August 2005

Diversions and Divagations

Various and sundry things to look at around the sacred and profane Internets:
  • A new issue of SF Site has been posted, including a review I wrote of Anima by M. John Harrison, which is really the books The Course of the Heart and Signs of Life collected together. Lots of other interesting things posted, so don't ignore the site just because I'm there.

  • For more M. John Harrison goodness, see Scribblingwoman, who just read Light and mostly liked it. Lots of links, including to my rather empty review of Light hereabouts (no, I'm not going to link to it -- read Jeff VanderMeer's review instead; it actually says something).

  • The British Fantasy Award nominations have been announced. The Alien Online has a nomination, which is pretty exciting, coming as it does on the heels of their World Fantasy Award nomination.

  • A good discussion of animal rights at Crooked Timber. The arguments in the comments thread are fascinating.

  • Plenty of people have already linked to this, but for the one or two of you who haven't seen it: Design by Unintelligent Hand, aka The DUH Theory.

  • New books: Jeff Ford's The Girl in the Glass has been released -- I actually saw it at an actual bookstore yesterday. I read the book a few weeks ago, and thought it was delightful fun; it's as much of a page-turner as The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, but I liked it more than that novel for a bunch of reasons, most of which boil down to the fact that I'm a sucker for stories about con men and magicians. Another book that has just been released is From the Files of the Time Rangers by Rick Bowes, which I'm likely to finish reading today or tomorrow for a review for SF Site. I'll say much more later, but it's an absolutely remarkable book; I actually had doubts about twenty pages in that it could add up to anything that wasn't an annoying mess, and by 150 pages in I was utterly hooked and occasionally in awe. I don't want to judge much before finishing, though....

  • Speaking of current reading, I'm also half-way through Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me by Craig Seligman, which is just extraordinary. I expect I may do a Strange Horizons column on some of the ideas it presents, but it's a wonderful view of both women's writings, their strengths and weaknesses, and how their work played with and against the culture of their times. Many people could have written doctoral theses comparing Pauline Kael and Susan Sontag, but Seligman chose to write a chatty (in the best sense) and personal meditation on the two writers, ideas of art and culture, the place of critics in society, etc.

  • Speaking of Strange Horizons, there's a new issue posted. And speaking of columns, it includes one by Debbie Notkin on spoiler warnings.

  • Finally, I am not the Matthew Cheney who was lead author of "A Comparison of the Size of the Yahoo! and Google Indices". But I'm all for it.

3 comments:

  1. I thought the Sontag & Kael book was amazing. Keep reading, it gets even better. Wendi

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  2. You're right, Wendi -- I finished it last night and loved it. Then had the weird experience today of having dinner (amongst a group of us) with a man who once fired Sontag when she was a doctoral student at Columbia and had run out of time for her residency! (He said she never blamed him and they got along well.) I was going to ask him if he'd met Pauline Kael, but didn't get the chance...

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  3. I loved Rick Bowes' FtFotTR (wow). Bowes' work (what I have read) just has a realistic gravity and tension to it that just drew me in.

    Jay

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