Agents of Treachery: Never Before Published Spy Fiction from Today's Most Exciting Writers by Otto Penzler
A good mix of spy stories set everywhere from WWII to Somali pirates.
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro
Five short stories, all lightly interconnected and all about music and some sort of personal transition. Engaging characters, sharp prose and a very funny turkey scene.
Terminal World (Gollancz S.F.) by Alastair Reynolds
Promising start, but then sags badly and ends inconclusively. Which makes me concerned that there might be a sequel or even a trilogy in the works. It's the first Reynolds book that I haven't liked - more blimp opera than space opera with a passive, repetitive protagonist.
The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson
An interesting mediation on belief, that boils down to how normal it seems for a minister to not believe in God, and then how extraordinary for the same minister to believe to have met The Devil.
- Cleaning the air would limit short-term climate warming from Global Climate Change - NASA's Eyes on the Earth (An interesting twofer).
- What happens when you stick your head in a particle accelerator from Boing Boing (I used to have nightmares about this while commuting on 280).
- Keen On… MIT Professor Says Robotic Moment Has Arrived, And We Are Toast (TCTV) from TechCrunch (Bollocks. Or rather, replace robot with dog or cat and get the same result.).
- 100-ft-long drug-smuggling, Narco-crafted submarine discovered in Colombia from Boing Boing (Ooooh, will they be auctioning it off?).
- After Failing To Get Hacked Last Year, Google Paying For Chrome To Be In Pwn2Own 2011 from TechCrunch (If you're still not using Chrome this should provide some inspiration to make the switch. There's really nothing better, other than telneting to port 80.).
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The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker
A first person account of a procrastinating poet who just can't get the introduction to an anthology started. It's filled with fascinating nuggets of information like a Bill Bryson book, a lesson in poetry and a manifesto for a return to poems that rhyme. Short, sweet and beautifully written.
The Evolutionary Void (Void, #3) by Peter F. Hamilton
Some science fiction takes you to the future through new ideas or technology. Peter F. Hamilton physically drags you there through actual time. I started reading him last century and have just surfaced from the conclusion of the Void trilogy in actual honest to goodness 2010. I hope he takes some time off. I could use couple of years to catch up on some other books.
The Void trilogy is set in the same universe as his Commonwealth Saga and Misspent Youth, set over a millennium later although there are many recurring characters. We finally discover the true nature of the mysterious void at the heart of the universe introduced in The Dreaming Void, several thousand pages ago.
It's epic space opera combined with a thread of fantasy that eventually resolve into a single story. His dialog is often leaden but the plot and scope of the story more than make up for it. If you like this sort of thing then you're going to love it.
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- The BBC helpfully fails to explain the US political system