Michael Shea: The Incompleat Nifft

Once upon a time (in the 1940s), Mssrs deCamp and Pratt teamed up to write a series of short novels about the magical misadventures of one Harold Shea. The tales had a proto-post-modern spin to them: Shea would get transported into myths and pre-copyright stories like Spenser’s Faerie Queene. The Shea stories have an absurdlyContinue reading “Michael Shea: The Incompleat Nifft”

Malcolm Gladwell: Blink

[editorial note: this review/essay/whatever was originally published as three separate entities over the course of a month.] surprise benefits of pseudo-vegetarianism I’ve been reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink in fits and starts over the past two months — it’s on the library’s short-term loan list, so I request it, read as much as I can beforeContinue reading “Malcolm Gladwell: Blink”

Steve Squyres: Roving Mars

You could be excused for thinking that Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet is a science book. It’s got a Martian landscape on the front cover, and the author was the “Principal Investigator” of the projects it chronicles. If you’re not careful, you might even learn a little bit aboutContinue reading “Steve Squyres: Roving Mars”

Jen Banbury: Like a Hole in the Head

I’m not a big fan of movies that rely on “twist” endings. I think the value of surprise as an artistic technique is easily overrated. If it’s not a good movie if you know the ending, it’s just not a good movie, period. But on the other hand, it can be really rewarding to seeContinue reading “Jen Banbury: Like a Hole in the Head”

Jack Vance: The Killing Machine

It’s apparently de rigueur to mention that the stories of (currently popular and prolific) SF writer Matthew Hughes owe a debt to the Old Earth stories of Jack Vance. Vance is one of those old-school SF writers from whom I always meant to get around to reading something, but never quite did. In fact, althoughContinue reading “Jack Vance: The Killing Machine”