Monday, 22 September 2014

Monday, 8 September 2014

Spirits Abroad

(September 2014)

It’s been a while since I read a book with a manifesto printed inside the front cover. Spirits Abroad is published by a Malaysian imprint that stakes its ground out very explicitly on page one, and it’s so tempting to get all academic and unpack that through the sociolinguistic frames of World Englishes, ELF, the Expanding Circle and so on. For now though we’ll just focus on one point: Fixi Novo’s deliberate and specific repudiation of italicized loanwords, as “italics are a form of apology.”

Wednesday, 3 September 2014


(August 2014)

And so we reach the last Culture book I remember enjoying unreservedly the first time I read it. I don’t think that’s just a result of me becoming a more discerning/ picky/pretentious reader in the years since –it’s not too controversial to claim that the forthcoming Surface Detail and The Hydrogen Sonata are among the less strong entries in the series – but coming at this for a second time it’s apparent that the warning signs were definitely peeking through.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Summer Lovin’

Well, that was an abortive attempt at a summer. It’s been the wettest, shortest, and sickest that I can remember in a long time. And now I’m back in school.

Monday, 25 August 2014


(August 2014)

The best laid plans, eh? I’ve been doing a fair bit of domestic travel this summer for seminars and the like, and figured that getting a stack of reading lined up would be a good way to eat up all those hours on the shinkansen. I’d finally got hold of a Harper Voyager edition of Count Zero, and what with it being Neuromancer’s 30th anniversary it seemed like a good idea to read straight through the entire Sprawl Trilogy and stick up one huge megapost at the end of the month.

Friday, 22 August 2014

What We See When We Read

(August 2014)

A fascinating little book, this. But, perhaps fittingly, one that’s very hard to capture the experience of reading at a remove. Easy to read, hard to say what reading it is like.

Friday, 15 August 2014


(August 2014)

My kids are, as is now mandatory, huge fans of Frozen. Fortunately it’s a pretty good movie; I don’t know if my increased tolerance for schmaltz is due to parenthood or if it’s simply concomitant with the increased confidence of age, but god I love me a showtune. Let it Go has inevitably joined Jabberwocky and Where the Wild Things Are in the limited pantheon of things I can recite the words to by heart.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Rat Queens

Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch, 2014
(July 2014)

Now y’see sass is one of those words that rubs me up the wrong way. Just a little mind, more of a brief flick than a full on rub, but it undeniably goes against the grain and leads to what should be a very pleasant sensation feeling a little awkward for all concerned.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Look to Windward

(July 2014)

I’m going to cop out of this one slightly. Firstly, I figure that after going so thoroughly to town on Inversions we could probably all do with a bit of a break from overthinking Banks.