Quick book reviews, skip if you just like to watch shiny burbles (I won’t blame you, I’ll just glance down at you in disdain and sniff haughtily as I hide away to read something distracting).
Galileo’s Dream wasn’t bad, a mish mash of history (pretty vivid depiction of Galileo’s place and time) and world spanning future hopping many dimensional time traveling trouble making. Kinda confused and anticlimactic but Kim Stanley Robinson is always a good writer and this might have just been a bit of the “reach exceeds grasp” sorta experiment that all good authors have to try. If you like history and sci-fi and ruminations on the nature of human nature, you’ll probably enjoy it. If you want something much deeper in the “history of scientific thinking with a touch of swashbuckling adventure genre” and something that is a bit more finely wrought (though wacky at times because of the author’s playful anachronisms), read the The Baroque Cycle.
While we don’t burn scientists at the stake quite as often anymore there still is a surplus of Denialism. This book is an interesting screed on the widespread distrust of science and fact. It’s not a perfect book and seems a bit too arrogant at times (the people who should read it would never get past the first chapter), but overall it has some startling and disturbing examples of denial in the face of overwhelming evidence. While finding the link for this book I found another book about truthiness that sounds intriguing. True Enough.
Ok, on to the top five…
2. Now that we’ve seen how to make a powerful bit of propaganda for an up and coming hero and how to demonize him as clearly an alien influence… how to report the news.
3. Beautiful short film about a soap box derby, circa 1975, where they challenged over a hundred artists to build a bunch of soap box derby cars that reflect their artistic vision. They end up having a great time, and they raised 20k for the local art museum. We must do this.
It is not a waste of time, a really nice keynote film about the creative process (not just games) given at a games conference where people would have 48 hours to make something new.
Lost time space map.
Or, a decade by decade visual timeline of the British Library’s holdings.
Or, something from Provence.
This week in atoms and bits… Board games.
Edible asteroids. Num.