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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Jeffrey Eugenides: Middlesex

This was high up on the list of Books I Really Should Have Gotten Around To Reading By Now. (The next highest book on the list is probably Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections.) All I really knew was that it was about a hermaphrodite, which indeed it is, but there’s actually a bit less of that […]

Another Spewer: Frank Zappa

To recap, Spewers are artists who are incredibly prolific awesome at their best but with a nonexistent quality filter largely intuitive in approach, as far as I can tell even the best works are big messes (in a great way) rather than tightly constructed jewels apparently wide-ranging in genre but with enough tics that their […]

Brandon Sanderson: Mistborn; The Well of Ascension

I don’t like reading series until they’re finished because I want to know that I can read all of the books in a row. This is mostly due to my lousy memory; when I get to book 3, I don’t want to have to either reread books 1 and 2 or muddle through not remembering […]

The language of chess

There are many things that appeal to me about chess, and perhaps in some future post I’ll list them all, but one of the most important is the way that it creates a whole new sophisticated language, with inflection and shades of meaning, that doesn’t map to English (or whatever human language you care to […]

Junot Díaz: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

This novel won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize, and unsurprisingly it was great. The narrative voice is quite in-your-face and virtuosic, which I could understand turning some people off and judging from the Amazon reviews it did, but I dug it. It jumps around in space between New Jersey and the Dominican Republic and in time […]

C. L. Moore: Black God’s Kiss

I didn’t really discover pulp fantasy until a couple of years ago. Fantasy fiction these days tends to be epic fantasy or urban fantasy. Epic fantasy is where heroes save the world from Great Evil, preferably over the course of three or more books; as you might have guessed, Tolkien is the unwitting root of […]