Monthly Archives: November 2013

Book Review: Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear

333 pp.

Shattered Pillars is a very transitional book that mostly continues the plot points introduced in Range of Ghosts, with additional complications as the bad guys and good guys play Spy vs. Spy. Temur continues his quest to rescue his lover Edene, unaware that she has already escaped. Edene in turn is unaware at first that she was actually allowed to escape. (Nor, when she finds out, is she able to do very much about it.) He also continues his plan become Khagan. Continue reading


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Filed under Elizabeth Bear, fantasy, Review: Book

For Various Reasons, Basic Income Looks Like a Good Idea to Me

So I was reading through one of my blog rolls and someone posted some articles about basic income and job scarcity.

Next Big Future

A basic income of about $10,000 per US citizen would work mathematically

(Warning for TOO MANY ADS. Seriously, I feel embarrassed for the person behind this blog. Interesting article but the HUGE ADS get in the way. On the other hand, maybe huge ads work for them better than my nice relatively discreet ads. Maybe they get more clicks and therefore money than I do because of people accidentally clicking on the huge ads.)


America Has Hit “Peak Jobs”

(This article is also good but extremely depressing. There is some mention of the concept of a “post-scarcity society.” The author does not seem very optimistic about one occurring.)

The New York Times (Magazine)

Meanwhile in Europe…

Switzerland’s Proposal to Pay People for Being Alive

(Another interesting article that also mentions the “basic income” concept as applied to the US, as a method of fixing some of the welfare problems. [Said welfare problems include: multiple places you have to apply to get services, tons of paperwork to see if you qualify, and so on. I am also mentioning “stupid people complaining that you have a cell phone,” but that is a different rant.])

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Filed under blather, real world

Book Review: The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells

Night Shade Books
331 pp.

In The Serpent Sea, Moon and the other Rakshura of the Indigo Cloud Court travel to their ancestral territory to rebuild their colony. When they reach the mountain-sized tree that had been the former court, they encounter a number of problems. The first problem is that their tree is dying because someone has stolen the magical “seed” that maintained it. The second problem is that Indigo Cloud has a long-simmering feud with one of their ancestral neighbors, the Emerald Twilight Court. (The feud has to do with an Indigo queen who decided to abscond with one of Emerald Twilight’s consorts.) Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, Martha Wells, non-earth, Review: Book

Random blogging about appropriation

So a blogger of [specific ethnic group] does not like the idea of [people not of their ethnic group] writing [specific ethnic group] characters because [people not of their ethnic group] will invariably fuck it up. (Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is a legitimate feel because wow, there is a lot of bs about this specific ethnic group out there.) The blogger is very vocal about not liking [people not of their ethnic group] trying to create [specific ethnic group] characters, and yet [non ethnic group] writers insist on asking [specific ethnic group] blogger questions about their [specific ethnic group].  Continue reading

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Filed under Meta, race/ethnicity issues, racism, writing

Book Review: Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear

334 pp.

Range of Ghosts has some fascinating world building wrapped up in an intriguing plot full of adventure and politics. The novel is set along “the Celadon Highway” a kind of analog to the historical Silk Road that linked most of Asia together with much of Europe in trade during the 12th and 13th centuries. An especially interesting aspect of the world building is that each empire or polity in Range of Ghosts has its own sky with radically different astronomical features. (As an example, the sky in Re Temur’s homeland has about a hundred tiny moons that each represents one of the male heirs of the Khagan, or “khan of khans.”) Continue reading

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Filed under Elizabeth Bear, fantasy, non-earth, Review: Book

Book Review: Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

319 pp.

I did not like Glamour in Glass nearly as much as I liked Shades of Milk and Honey. This is mostly because Vincent and Jane’s relationship has a few rocky moments due to communication problems. And by communication problems, I mean the kind that can result in some very bad situations if you are no longer in a romantic comedy, and there is suddenly political intrigue everywhere. (In other words, the shift in tone from one to the other was a little disorienting.) Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, manner punk, Mary Robinette Kowal, Review: Book