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Monthly Archives: June 2009

Michael Cox: The Meaning of Night

I am a sucker for modern takes on Victorian literature of the Charles Dickens / Wilkie Collins variety, Charles Palliser’s The Quincunx being for me the high point of said genre. The Meaning of Night got a bunch of very positive reviews and had a great first line (“After killing the red-haired man, I took […]

Frank Zappa: The Big Band Years

First an update on my previous survey: after a couple more listens, I am really digging 200 Motels. It casts the widest net of any of the albums so far, ranging from very simple rock to atonal orchestral pieces (if you have any doubts that Zappa had real classical compositional chops, find The Frank Zappa […]

Donald X. Vaccarino: Dominion

Dominion is a card game that came out last year. I heard it was the hot new game, got to play it this spring at the Game Developers Conference, immediately tried to buy it but found out that the first printing had sold out, finally bought it a month ago, and since then Liza and […]

Spewer #5: Michael Moorcock

(See the previous discussion here for definitions and lists.) How could I have forgotten Michael Moorcock in my list? As far as I can tell he fits every criterion. All I’ve read is the first volume of the recent Elric rerelease, which unfortunately did not engage me at all, so I probably won’t be exploring […]

Frank Zappa: The Flo and Eddie Years

Continuing my chronological tour through Frank Zappa’s albums (I’m in no danger of stopping yet)… As I said last time, this group of albums is generally not regarded in very high esteem by Zappa fans. This incarnation of the band features the tandem vocals of Flo (who’s a guy, by the way) and Eddie, both […]

Iain M. Banks: The Player of Games

I wasn’t going to read another Culture novel quite so soon, but a chess/go friend of mine told me that I had to read this, so I did. It’s about, no surprise, a world-class (I guess universe-class) game player, and, no surprise either, the massive political crisis he finds himself embroiled in. He’s introduced to […]