Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book: The God Engines by John Scalzi

A short (novella-length), dark take on a universe populated by living gods, who motivate space ships and are disciplined by, well, physical discipline.

The work is in very sharp contrast to Scalzi's often aw-shucks tone on Whatever, his blog, and substantially darker in tone than most of his other fiction.

Not that I insist on dark work, but if you're gonna do it, guts and blood and faith shattering is probably the way to do it.


Book: 2010 Nebula Awards

As with most of these collections, some very excellent stuff and some not so great. Oddly, the ones I was most eager to find more of were the young adult books. Maybe I'm regressing?

In the Jane Austen/monster mashup category was "Pride and Prometheus". Interesting mostly for focusing on Mary Bennett, who's rafrely given much narrative space.

Book: The Bradbury Report by Steven Polansky

If the US starts creating clones of everyone to be used for replacement organs, what happens when a clone escapes?

Angst, apparently.

A few interesting ideas here, not hugely well explored. Not to mention pretty unappealing characters.

Book: Economics for the Rest of Us by Moshe Adler

Subtitled "Debunking the Science that Makes Life Dismal", this book is a pithy assault on modern (and classical, as I understand it) microeceonomics, and how the theories pushed by mainstream economists provide grist for the policies that insist a few homeless are small price to pay for an "efficient" housing market, or that people unemployed in a recession are just asking for too much.

Not gonna blow the lid off economic orthodoxy, but definitely a useful perspective on some of the economic dogma that underlies many policies.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Movie: A Serious Man

I love the Coen Brothers. I didn't love this movie. I was tickled by the jewish references, but overall, forgot this film as soon as I saw it.

Book: Rushing to Paradise by J.G. Ballard

No one has the patience for torturing his characters like Ballard.

This book could be read as a backhanded swat at environmentalists (and in a way it is), but seems to me to be more of a out some bugs in a jar and see what happens kind of thing. Makes me want to read more Ballard.