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commonplace book of the living dead

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Things about Anathem that I think will catch on Jun. 30th, 2008 @ 06:40 pm
Under the cut: a few bits of Anathem that I think will make it into popular culture (or popular internet culture ... is that the same thing yet?)

Spoilers, yes, but nothing to give away the ending.Collapse )

Anathem = all finished Jun. 30th, 2008 @ 06:02 pm
Well, it was finished Saturday, but I was avoiding my computer yesterday for no reason in particular.

Fantastic book. Just fantastic. I'm going to try to write a review that's very low in spoilers; I'm going to make another post that treats a few subjects in some more detail. Both should be generally safe, in that I'm not going to give away anything about how it ends; on the other hand I experienced a certain joy in entering this book with absolutely no foreknowledge of its contents. You might enjoy that, too.

If so, don't click here.Collapse )

I'm seriously considering calling in sick tomorrow ... Jun. 24th, 2008 @ 07:50 pm
... because my Advance Reader's Edition of Anathem showed up today.

This post will contain no spoilers, but I've got two photos under the cut.

I'm about a hundred pages in, and it's seriously as good as I expected. It's set in a very different world than anything Stephenson's written before, but the challenges of new language and new culture are addressed with the same sort of accuracy as seen in The Baroque Cycle. The sort of attention to detail that makes me very very happy and makes this edition 890 pages. 935 if you count the glossary and appendices.

cut for pictures! and more info! no spoilersCollapse )

And one last thing. As I'd mentioned before, I'm more than happy to share the love. Once I've finished reading and written the review, I will mail the book onwards to anyone in Canada or the United States (anywhere else and the postage gets prohibitive, but feel free to make your case). I've got to give priority to people on my flist already, as you've put up with me for years. After that, it's first come first served. The one condition is when you've finished, you will mail it either back to me or to the next person on the "list".

Enough talk. More reading.

Things which suck about water Jun. 12th, 2008 @ 04:50 pm
Generally I really like rain. It's starting to interfere with my lifestyle, though, and that will not do.

We've had some near-record rainfall this past week, and there's supposed to be more tonight and tomorrow. Lots of roads have washed out, and though the river's already nearly flooded, they're releasing more water from dams upstream so as not to break the dams.

Which means I can't go rowing tonight. It's kind of cold anyway, but still. I haven't been in more than a week.

Things have been fine at work. We had some plumbing issues today but nothing serious & it all got fixed.

There's water in the basement of this house. I don't own the house, so I guess it's no big concern, but my dryer sheets are soaked through :( and it's no fun doing laundry standing in puddles anyway. Looks like it's come through at one point on the wall. I'll be letting the owners know.

None of which is nearly as bad as the serious flooding they've had at the Fort William Historic Site just outside of town. This is the second flood for them in three years. Looks like it'll be closed for a few months, at least. And now that I'm at home I can't seem to find any pictures online.

I'm going to be putting up a post on facebook shortly which is not entitled "things which suck about Bill C-61" but may as well be. If you're in Canada and don't know what's going on with that, you may want to become informed.

In which LibraryThing totally pays off May. 22nd, 2008 @ 08:08 pm
"Congratulations. You've snagged an Early Reviewers copy of Anathem by Neal Stephenson."

My day could not get any better.
Other entries
» Book: Lakota Star Knowledge: Studies in Lakota Stellar Theology, Ronald Goodman
I did say I had an interesting mix of things to review, didn't I?

Though it doesn't say, I think this one is an adaptation of a thesis. It has that feel. The language isn't super-elegant, but it's very clear, and easy to understand even with little knowledge of astronomy or Lakota culture.

Read more...Collapse )
» Book: Neil Gaiman, "The Sandman - A Game Of You"
Sandman vol. 5, A Game of You, Neil Gaiman, 1991-1992.

I'm reading Sandman all out of order. That's all right, though. Particularly with a volume like this, which is one self-contained story. Was pretty good, too.

Read more...Collapse )
» ugh.
I really do wish that someone had bothered to do something about the side yard of this house last fall. There are three apple trees, which will probably be lovely once they've got leaves, but the entire yard is filled with last year's apples.

I started raking, filled the composter and one bag, and there's still lots left. Unfortunately, the stuff that's left is turning to muck as I try to move it. So I've given up. It'll all rot and be reclaimed by fresh grass, right?

On the other hand, the front yard worked out pretty well.

Now, isn't this the stuff the people who ~own~ the place are supposed to do?
» Book: Neil Smith, "Bang Crunch"
Bang Crunch - Stories, Neil Smith, 2007.

Picked this up compulsively based on having thought I'd read a positive review at some point. Short stories, mostly very good.

Read more...Collapse )
» Book: Lee Smolin, The Trouble With Physics
The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next. Lee Smolin, 2006.

A pretty amazing book. It made me realize how glad I am to have left physics when I did. It also made me want to try again.

Read more...Collapse )
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