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Rivendell Reader #41. This is a very occasional magazine from the Rivendell Bicycle Works in the US, an unashamedly retrogrouch publication full of odd information about - well, this issue, trout fishing and some kooky diet, but mostly bicycles. http://www.yehudamoon.com/index.php?date=2008-02-14 is what it's like.

Ian Whates, The Noise Within. His stab at space opera. It's OK, but it suffers from sequelitis. The sequel is out, but this is really half of a bigger book, with things being established just in time for the end of this volume.

Steph Swainston, Above The Snowline. A fourth book in her Castle series. She's really, really good... and apparently was in the CU Roleplaying Society at the same time as me. It's technically fantasy, but it's as far from extruded fantasy product as you can get.

Flint & Drake, Destiny's Shield (finished), Fortune's Stroke, The Tide of Victory (started). More in the Belisarius series.

Eric Flint and David Weber, Torch of Freedom (started). A big fat book in Weber's Honor Harrington universe. Weber himself has jumped the shark, but I'm waiting to see how this one is. Flint tends to be an antidote to Weber's odious right-wing politics.
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Three issues of Private Eye, clearing the post-Germany backlog, but still awaiting the "phone hacking, we told you so" issue.

Railwatch, the magazine of Railfuture, a pro-rail campaigning group.

John Scalzi, The Android's Dream. A curious departure from Scalzi's usual "modern Heinlein" stuff, one of those books that's probably intended as funny but comes out whimsical. I'm not really selling it, but I enjoyed it all the same.

I'm not sure I believe that's all in six days. Something's probably missing.
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Accidentally posted in the wrong place:

Finished Destiny's Shield.

Iain M Banks, The Player Of Games. I've read it before; it's an early novel in his Culture universe, and therefore pleasantly short, to be read in an evening.

Steam Railway #390.

Jack Williamson, Reign of Wizardry. About the overthrow of Minoan civilisation in a slightly more magic world than our own. I read it as a child - something I remembered when I got to the memorable scene with people being roasted alive in jars. This was quite good, although it is showing its age slightly.

About 2/3 of a Victorian-ish book of short stories at the Tivoli, but I gave up because it wasn't very good.

Terry Pratchett, Nation (finished). Karen's copy which I must give back to her. Pratchett's juveniles are often quite reasonable, and I enjoyed this one.

Oh, and the Penn and Teller book of food tricks whose name I forgot. More fun than "How to play in traffic".
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Before I went away I coaxed my Psion back to life so I could read ebooks and not have to trog around with print copies. This didn't completely work as I ended up buying a security book in Leipzig. At least I had something to read in the bath.

Lois McMaster Bujold, Cryoburn. It's a Miles book, it's not the best I've read, it's not the least good, if you like Miles books you'll probably like this one. If you've never read one start with Shards of Honor which, er, isn't technically a Miles book.

Flint & DeMarce, 1634: The Bavarian Crisis. This is part of Eric Flint's now vastly grown "1632" universe based on the premise that a US mining town is transported to the middle of the Thirty Years' War. Flint has the compelling advantage over most American mil-SF/alt-history writers of not being incredibly right-wing. Of the 163x books this trip, this was the best one.

Flint & DeMarce, 1635: The Dreeson Incident. I didn't think much of this. About 1/3 of the book is typical 163x messing with history and having a plot - but the rest is essentially about a set of tangled romantic relationships which are peripherally related to the plot. Soap opera, no thanks.

DeMarce, 1635: The Tangled Web. A collection of short stories by Flint's collaborator on the previous two (who like quite a few of the 163x (co-)authors was not previously published), much better than The Dreeson Incident and probably actually to be read first.

Silverberg, Downward to the Earth. This is the print security book I bought. I've never really got on with Silverberg; this is his entry in SF Masterworks, but I do wonder why. There's a certain amount of travelogue, a certain amount of unlikely dialogue, some meandering about the nature of being, and a big plot point which was effectively telegraphed half a book beforehand, the end. It's not a bad book, but it's not really a good one either.

Flint & Drake, An Oblique Approach, In The Heart Of Darkness, Destiny's Shield (started). Their alt-history series about Belisarius which you either don't like (like Clare) or like a lot (like me; it's what I read when I can't decide what to read, along with C.S. Forester).

Last but not least, the latest What's Brewing. I suspect I have a lot of magazines back at the flat, too...
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I finished The Fuller Memorandum on the train, though. I hesitate to quote the blurb, but it really is a Lovecraftian spy-thriller and if you think you might like that... start with the first one, The Atrocity Archives.

ETA: Except I seem to have finished that one twice. What I actually finished on the train was the Tube book, which I would recommend to anyone at all interested in the history of railways.

While not sleeping I read New Model Army (Adam Roberts) which, um. Roberts' writing is usually very good, but the ending of this one leaves me with that New Wave short-story feeling of uncertainty as to whether I didn't understand it or it was in fact complete gibberish - but that in either case story got quietly forgotten in the name of art.
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Finished The Fuller Memorandum, which was really good. Started The Subterranean Railway (Christian Wolmar), a book about the history of the Tube. So far we're up to Victorians fighting each other between the Metropolitan and proto-Circle lines.

Finished the Eye, Steam Railway #389. What's Brewing for June, complaining that the Tories lied before the election, I may die of not-surprised. Cycletouring (the now rather weak CTC magazine) for June/July. London Cyclist (Sarah's copy) for June/July.
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Finished The Dinosaur Heresies.

Most of The Fuller Memorandum (Charlie Stross). The third "Laundry" book, and they're his best books if you're a giant nerd.

Penny and Aggie (webcomic), and I guess I list webcomics if I do one of those giant "download and read the whole archive" things.

New Model Army (Adam Roberts, and why did I write "Charlie Stross" while thinking Adam Roberts here?) is tempting me.
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I nearly finished the Eye 1289 but Heather stole it.

I'm still slugging through the Dinosaur Heresies. It's a big book.

I finished Blood Ties.

Steam Railway #389, for a monthly magazine these seem to be coming out quite frequently. Steam on the Met in 2013!
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I missed one for May 24: New Scientist, a recent one. Interesting, but vexed me in a way I'm too often vexed - dear everyone, if you don't understand what Godel proved, don't invoke it randomly because it sounds vaguely pertinent!

May 26/27: Robert Bakker, The Dinosaur Heresies. An odd title in retrospect since (says Wikipedia) most of Bakker's ideas about dinosaurs are now accepted as correct. And also Private Eye #1289 - for a biweekly magazine I seem to be reading a lot of them.
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May 23, another magazine day:
  • Moors Line Spring 2011. Another specialist publication, this is the journal of the preserved North York Moors Railway. Instead of the usual robust discussion of motive power, the argument this quarter is about whether the LNER Coach Association should dispose of some of its very debilitated carriages or keep them for eventual refurbishment.
  • Private Eye 1288.
  • What's Brewing (May issue) and BEER (Summer issue). These are the CAMRA newspaper and magazine about beer, respectively. BEER used to be in a newspaper format and also come out monthly, which made it a bit odd that it was nominally separate from WB, but it's now more obviously its own thing.


May 24:
  • Soul of the City (finished).
  • Thieves' World 9: Blood Ties (started). Well, I'm still plugging through these. The plot seems to have exploded and gone off in all directions. Apparently there were actually 12 or so - I may be seeing if Porcupine can oblige me with 10-12.
  • How to Play in Traffic. Penn and Teller. I've read it before, but it's fun, even given the usual dose of silly properatarian propaganda.


May 25:
  • Blood Ties (almost finished).
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May 22:
  • Inside the Atom (continued). Found a possible bug in Wikipedia. Anyone got access to online archives of Physical Review from 1951? I want a look at the article that this is the abstract of.
  • 1805: Sea of Glory rulebook (complete). This is a game of naval strategy in the year of Trafalgar; the publisher recently released a large chunk of errata and clarifications (some of them a bit obvious, such as the one pointing out that Admiral Cornwallis only returns to duty after falling ill but not if he has been killed) which I was putting into the existing rulebook. Clare and I have played this once resulting in a very narrow Allied victory.
  • Fire As She Bears rulebook (complete). This is a game of tactical naval combat in the Age of Sail (spot a pattern?) and the first game from 1805's author Phil Fry. It's interesting, but I think we might try and get to proper grips with Close Action first
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May 19: nothing!
May 20:
  • Thieves' World 8: Soul of the City (continuing). This is a bit odd: the shared-universe series (bought by Jim Baen, who appears to have known everyone in US SF in the Ace days) started with many authors writing largely unconnected books, but around book 6 got a serious ongoing plot with relatively few people working on it - this volume is entirely Cherryh, Lynn Abbey, and Janet Morris - which felt like a bit of a hiccup but is working quite well by book 8. Like any shared-universe thing, they're a bit hit and miss, with good authors and bad ones. The odd thing about Thieves' World is everyone is so thoroughly unpleasant that David Drake's protagonist - a standard Drake "originally good person compelled to do dreadful things" - is relatively likeable, because everyone else does dreadful things and feels less bad about it afterwards.

May 21 (so far):
  • Inside the Atom (started because I forgot to bring my book). Asimov, popsci, 1974. So far it's got the lies-to-children of GCSE Chemistry, only with an acknowledgement of when he is glossing over complications.
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May 16:
  • Tandem Club Journal #233 (finished since it's Dec/Jan and I think I read some of it already). From the specialised publications department. Often a bit dull, but sometimes excels with pieces like "Two Innocents Abroad" - by a British couple who went tandem touring in Germany... in 1938.
  • Private Eye #1287 (finished, spurred into action by the arrival of the next Private Eye). If you've been living under a rock or in the USA or something, it is _the_ British political satire magazine - but about 2/3 of each issue is actual news reporting, albeit in a satirical style.
  • Arrivee #112 (started). From the specialised publications department again, the magazine of Audax UK.
  • Unseen Academicals (complete). Pratchett, humorous fantasy. It's better than Making Money - in fact, I must have liked it quite a lot since I appear to have read the whole thing in one go, and it's a fat Pratchett.

May 17:
  • Arrivee #112 (finished). It's mostly about the Paris-Brest-Paris this issue, which is interesting albeit a little bittersweet, since the voice in my head still thinks I should have kept trying to qualify even though it was making me unhappy.
  • Steam Railway #388 (started). Guess what this is about? For some reason they absolutely love the practice of putting single quotes around any remotely informal word or phrase. Sure, a Big Lizzie might be a 'Big Lizzie', but need a Pacific really be a 'Pacific'? A Gresley V2, a 'V2'?

May 18:
  • Steam Railway #388 (finished), a "speed issue", nobly admitting that secretly the Germans probably should have the steam speed record and also the Americans were almost certainly first to 100mph. Steam Railway also (rightly?) assumes their readership already know everything so that, for example, while I know that the main line speed limit for steam is 75mph and one might be able to get permission for some engines to run at 90mph, I am no wiser as to why no-one has done that even after reading the "speed issue".
  • Spaceflight vol. 53 #5 (finished), the journal of the British Interplanetary Society, they were giving them away at Eastercon. Nice article about Yuri Gagarin.
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