needs more demons?

irreverent opinions on books

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Entries from Aug 2008

Tom Standage: The Victorian Internet

24 Aug 2008 · No Comments

(Subtitle: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers)
Basically, I loved The Turk so much I’m going to read everything by Standage I can get my hands on. This book explores the meteoric rise (and precipitous decline) of the telegraph from the historical perspective. pretty much, of Web 1.0 (the copyright [...]

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Tags: history · s-author · science · v-title

Roger Highfield: The Science of Harry Potter

17 Aug 2008 · No Comments

I read this book in a continual state of bemusement about the audience for which it was written, wondering if, in fact, it exists. Presumably, people in the “buy anything that says Harry Potter” camp are supposed to pick it up. I was mildly intrigued because my biggest gripe with Rowling’s series is that the [...]

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Tags: h-author · s-title · science

Tom Standage: The Turk

15 Aug 2008 · 3 Comments

(Subtitle: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine)
The Turk recounts the amazing true story of a machine that purported to play chess, and which was seldom beaten except by the top players of its era. “The Turk” and its operators enjoyed a long and colorful career that intersected (and sometimes inspired) the [...]

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Tags: history · s-author · science

Charles Stross: Missile Gap

04 Aug 2008 · No Comments

Good golly, I love libraries. I was delighted to have a chance to read Stross’s Missile Gap, a novella published in a small print run without coughing up its hefty price tag. I enjoyed Missle Gap, but truth to tell, if I’d paid the asking price, I would have been kinda bummed.
Missile Gap shares [...]

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Tags: fantasy · historical · horror · m-title · s-author · science fiction

Maggie Estep: Soft Maniacs

04 Aug 2008 · No Comments

I have mixed feelings about the merits of collections of linked short stories, as opposed to novels. A short story collection is legitimately free from the need to function as a single work. And short stories can explore multiple perspectives on characters and events in a way that’s difficult for a (conventionally structured, anyway) [...]

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Tags: e-author · fiction · s-title