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Which was very good and wanted me to read more timetravel/parallel worlds/timewars science fiction. I already got The Big Time lined up, but what to read after that? Some Laumer perhaps? Anybody got any good suggestions?
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You may know Steve Brust as a writer of very good fantasy books, like Yendi, Teckla and Taltos. Well, he got in a spot of medical bother a while back and because he lives in a backward and barbaric nation, he's now on the edge of bankruptcy due to his hospital bills.

If you enjoyed his books and would like to help him out, sent him some money.
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Which is impressive, considering last night was the first time in yonks that I went for a night of heavy drinking. The 30th annual Bokbier festival was on (organised by the Dutch equivalent of Camra). [ profile] feorag and [ profile] akicif were in town for it, so we met up. Sampled some of the "bokken" at the festival before moving on from its very crowded premisses to the eaqually crowed In de Wildeman (more people seemed to have had that idea) and finishing in the slightly less crowded Arendsnest.

Met a couple of former cow-orkers at the Festival, as there seems to be this remarkable crossover between IT people, science fiction fans and bheer drinkers...

Almost forgot to mention that a certain book was presented to the barstaff of in de Wildeman, as that is heavily featured in it, not to mention being the place where the idea for it was first born.
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What will happen when you meet the Doctor?
You live In a bit of London that looks like Cardiff
Your companions are Your best mate
The Doctor arrived because He can't operate the TARDIS correctly
You first met the Doctor when He collided with you in the street
The end result was Your entire family died horribly
This quiz by clanwilliam - Taken 2 Times.
Get Free Daily Horoscopes from Kwiz.Biz

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So a co-worker remarked that drinking cold water made you lose weight, as you burned calories heating it up to body temperature when you drink it. Myself, I said I couldn't see it, as just the normal loss of heat in your mouth and elsewhere will heat it up anyway. Does anybody got any idea either way?

not that I'm that desparate to lose weight; I got the body of a Greek god, if that god is Dionysus.
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Flashman on the March
George MacDonald Fraser
317 pages including notes
published in 2005

Yeah Flashman! Latest of the old bully and coward's adventures, fun as always. Proper review.

Gate of Ivrel
C. J. Cherryh
191 pages
published in 1976

First novel of one of my favourite authors. Fun to see certain of her obsessions already in full flow here. Proper review

Sewer, Gas & Electric
Matt Ruff
560 pages
published in 1997

Fun but uneven Gonzo science fiction by rec.arts.written regular. Proper review.
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Tomorrow, BBC4 (the Beeb's intellectual digital channel) is starting a season of Comics Brittannica, tracing the history of comics in Britain, to coincide with the seventieth birtday of the Dandy.

The website promises a lot of treats, including interviews with Alan Moore and Leo Baxtendale, as well as Jonathan Ross in
search of Steve Ditko! If you know anything about Ditko, you know how much of a hermit he is, so
if Woss succeeds in speaking to him, that will be a nice coup.
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It's that time again. Some editor on Wikipedia is on a tear again, this time against non-noticable Usenet personalities. The editor in question is of course clueless about Usenet, or they wouldn't have nominated Gharlane of Eddore.
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Looking for Jake and Other Stories
China MiƩville
303 pages
published in 2005

First short story collection by MiƩville, much horror and/or "weird fiction". Interesting, fun, but not an essential collection. I liked it and read it in an afternoon, but it's a far cry from his novels. Proper review.

Blair's Wars
John Kampfner
401 pages including index
published in 2004

An overview of Blair's foreign policy, focusing on the five wars he involved the UK in in the first six years of his premiership. Well done, but limits itself to the political manoeuvring, losing sight of the wider context in places Proper review.

Battle for Empire
Tom Pocock
272 pages including index
published in 1998

An overview of some of the campaigns of the Seven Years' War fought in the Americas and India. The author is firmly on the side of the English, keeping his point of view there and is not interested in the wider context of the war in which to place the campaigns he's writing about. Nevertheless interesting to read, within these limitations. Proper review.
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Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

though I'd hoped for better than the World's Most Unconvincing Fictional Frenchman fromt he Future.
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It's occured to me that I haven't found any really good American science fiction lately --the last two writers from those parts I discovered were Wil McCarthy and Kage Baker and that's a good five years or more back now. Are there any new stars I should know about?

Don't bother with Cory Doctorow: tried him and his impression of Bruce Sterling at his hucksterish, thinking that's a good role model wearied me.

What I want is somebody who writes novels I can sink my teeth in, proper science fiction that's more than just an entertaining fantasy, something that makes you look up from the page and go "christ what an imagination I got".

Science fiction I've read the past seven years.
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You're Catch-22!

by Joseph Heller

Incredibly witty and funny, you have a taste for irony in all that you
see. It seems that life has put you in perpetually untenable situations, and your sense
of humor is all that gets you through them. These experiences have also made you an
ardent pacifist, though you present your message with tongue sewn into cheek. You
could coin a phrase that replaces the word "paradox" for millions of

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

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Andrew Wheeler has Taken on Patrick of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, about the socalled changing of the guard in fantasy, that is, the idea that there is a top tier of bestselling epic fantasy writers and whether or not the people on the top will be replaced anytime soon or not. Andrew Wheeler thinks this is the wrong question to ask, but also says that the people obsessed with this question have missed what did happen:

However, there has been a changing of guard over the past decade, and the folks obsessed with epic fantasy have missed it. Who's the new breed? Laurell K. Hamilton and the several dozen writers following in her footsteps.

She has two bestselling series running now, and has hit #1 on the Times list. Her backlist is already deeper than Jordan's, so I wouldn't be surprised if she's selling more units annually than he is. She also has created a new, very popular subgenre in her wake: the contemporary or urban fantasy. Many of the first-wave writers in that subgenre (Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher) are bestsellers as well, and even some second-wave writers (Patricia Briggs, Rachel Caine) are hitting the lists.

Epic fantasy isn't quite a backwater, but it's not the only game in town anymore, and it's not where the real excitement and splashy successes are happening, either. But urban/contemporary fantasy is mostly written by women, mostly about women main characters, and (presumably) mostly read by women, so it's obviously not important...

To be honest, I always thought, based on some possible misremembered sales data and anecdotal evidence, that epic fantasy itself was also a quite "woman friendly" genre, in that quite a few of its readers were female, though perhaps not a majority.

With Hamilton, I seem to remember most of her early fans, based on observations in rec.arts.sf.written and the like were female; she also seemed to be popular with those who liked romance novels, again mostly female. Hamilton therefore appealed to (mostly female) readers who liked epic fantasy, but who found that what they liked in epic fantasy could be found in much greater proportion in Hamilton's work, while simultaneously, readers who would not be caught dead reading epic fantasy because it was a bit too fantastic for them, also liked Hamilton more "realistic" setting. In short, she fused the romance novel with urban fantasy and created a monster....

And since romance is a genre in even lower esteem than epic fantasy, it is easy to dismiss her, especially when it all degenerated into not-so-softcore porn for a while.


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...A cup of coffee, fried-egg sammiches and a full friend list...
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So Sand is gone home to see the kids for a week, which means I have the house to myself and can walk around in briefs and nothing else do some serious work for a change.

Since I know myself, I thought it would be handy to make a little list:

Clean shed
Bring bike to be repaired
Keep house clean
Keep garden alive
Go to Ikea and see if we can afford a new bed + wardrobe this month Next month it is

Tomorrow I can has dental appointment for a root canal. The dentist cleaned out the roots two weeks ago and slapped a temporary filling on (of the crumbly, chalky sort) and now she needs to remove this, do any necessary cleanup work and then construct the base for a crown. Whether or not the actual crown will be placed will depend on how much I can afford it. We do have the obligatory, government mandated basic healthcare package, but it does little for dentist work. Hadn't taken out separate dentist insurance yet; not sure it would help much.

If I can't afford it, the crown itself can wait a while, as a new temporary cap could be place, good for a year or so.

For those who already fainted at the root canal mention, so far it has all been surprisingly painfree and easy. There's the obligatory squirmy moment when the syringe with the local anesthetic is inserted in the roof of your mouth, and of course you have to sit still for an hour or so while someone does things to your tooth... The most unpleasant part however was the smell when the root canals of the (dead) nerves were cleaned; not nice.

Mind you, with uncanny timing my hayfever has kicked in again (I blame having to bring Sand to Schiphol), so it will be slightly less confortable in the dentist's chair this time. Hope I don't have to sneeze at awkward times..
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Today, I'm finally as old as Jesus.

That's right, I turned thirty-three today.
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Apart from the light blue monster, this comic is pretty much what happens when you feed our eldest cat catnip. Enough drool to flood a small county.
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The Wikipedia page on Copernicus is currently locked, apparantly due to an edit war between Polish and German partisans about his nationality.



Jul. 25th, 2007 11:25 pm
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Yes, it has finally travelled to this side of the Atlantic; double bill on BBC2 tonight, which just finished. Interesting, certainly will watch it again next week, but

Boy do those start and end voiceovers annoy me. Also, saying it's heavyhanded in its foreshadowing is like saying World War II was a bit of a fracas.
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47%Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Of course, smart zombies shop at Saves them all the hassle of having to shuffle around looking for victims.
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