Hal Duncan, Vellum [Library of Babel]

Having finally posted about Gaudeamus, I might as well get the other great “WTF” book in the stack out of the way. Hal Duncan’s Vellum has been described as “cubist fantasy,” and while I’m not quite sure what that means, it’s probably as good a description as any. Vellum takes place in 2017, and also […]

John Barnes, Gaudeamus [Library of Babel]

In some ways, John Barnes’s metafictional novel Gaudeamus is the proximate cause of the huge backlog in my book logging. I was more-or-less caught up at one point, but then stalled on this book, unable to think of what to say about it. I’m still not entirely clear on it, but I’m just going to […]

Certain Principles

Matt Yglesias nails it when talking about faux-outrage over people complaining about the execution of Saddam Hussein: Do these guys not understand the concept of principles? The point of the belief that all people are entitled to fair trials before receiving criminal sentences is that all people are entitled to fair trials. The point of […]

2006 in Astronomy Pictures

I’ve got to be close to the last person on the Internet to link to this, but in the unlikely event that you haven’t already seen it, Phil Plait presents the best astronomy pictures of 2006. My personal favorite of his images is probably this one: We haven’t sent all that many probes to Mars, […]

Elizabeth Bear, Blood and Iron [Library of Babel]

I actually read this months ago, but I’m only just getting around to booklogging it. Which is a problem, because I no longer remember it all that clearly… Elizabeth Bear’s previous books were a trilogy of competent neo-Heinlein adventure stories, so it’s perfectly logical that her next book, Blood and Iron, should be a fantasy […]

Other Earths

Speaking of James Nicoll and space news, he also notes the launch of the COROT satellite, which is designed to look for extrasolar planets. The detection limit for COROT is supposed to be something like twice the mass of the Earth, so there’s some reasonable expectation that it should shed light on planetary systems more […]

Kids and Space

James Nicoll, one of my go-to sources for odd information about space related issues, is attempting to determine whether it’s true that space enthusiasm is for older people. Unsurprisingly, given who he is and what he writes about, his comments have turned up lots of examples of people born after 1980 who are wild for […]