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Monthly Archives: July 2009

Frank Zappa: The Prog Years

Well, that’s what I’m calling them, anyway, although it’s kind of fruitless to try to pin down the style of even one record here. This is the last group that Zappa called the Mothers (and the last group that he named after anything other than himself) and it shows; you get the feeling this is […]

Lev Grossman: The Magicians

This was a free ARC from BEA; the actual book comes out in August. It’s an interesting idea, basically an adult fantasy book that is based on the experience of having read young adult fantasy books. It silently references the Harry Potter and Narnia books incessantly in a “good artists borrow, great artists steal” kind […]

Arika Okrent: In the Land of Invented Languages

After Mnemosyne reawakened my interest in Esperanto, I googled around a little and found that this book had been published just a few weeks ago and had gotten some good press. (By the way, someone has to do something about the “decent title: entirely too long subtitle” phenomenon; the full title of this is In […]

China Miéville: The City & The City

I have had an ambivalent relationship with China Miéville. Perdido Street Station was an awesome mess of a Weird fantasy book, with so much inventiveness stuffed into it that I could forgive its occasional failings. The Scar was just about as good, so I grabbed Iron Council in hardcover the day it came out… and […]


I have a terrible memory. I’m pretty good at remembering processes and techniques, but very bad at remembering raw information. Luckily, I went into computer science, which is all about the former, rather than biology or something. (My musical memory is quite good, but that’s definitely an exception.) I find it very frustrating to spend […]

Four more possible Spewers

Now that I’ve started the topic, I’ve been keeping my eyes open, plus other people have contributed ideas, and since my last post on the subject I have four new potential entries for the list. Since I’m basically doubling the list here, I think it is fair to recap the criteria once more: incredibly prolific […]