Reviews and links for February 2011
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.
- US not defending gay marriage ban from BBC News - Home (About time).
- 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).
- Rolls-Royce to show electric car from BBC News - Home (It can travel a foot between recharges...).
- England reading test to include non-words from BBC News - Home (This really seems very silly).
- What do you put in nine bins? from BBC News - Home (One of them is just for cats.).
- Fan held over 'air crash mockery' from BBC News - Home (Bad taste, but should you really be arrested for causing 'alarm or distress'?).
- 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?).
- Tarmac lorry sheds its load on M3 from BBC News - Home (Sounds like one hell of a speed bump.).
- Playmobil Stop Motion Joy Division from Boing Boing (I'm hoping this is a whole YouTube genre...).
- 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.).
- Worries if Cal Fire pulls out of wildland areas from San Francisco Bay Area News — — SFGate (Probably a fair shift.).
- S.F. Yellow Pages ban to be considered from San Francisco Bay Area News — — SFGate (Please get rid of the Examiner as well.).