Category Archives: Commentary

What’s New for the 18th of April: Chicago’s Field Museum’s Cyrus Tang Hall of China, Live Music from Midnight Oil, A Potpourri of Music Reviews, Some Mars Fiction, Lots of Chocolate and Other Cool Stuff

The most important thing in the universe, it turns out, is a complex of subjective and individual approximations. Of tries and fails. Of ideals, and things we do to try to get close to those ideals. It’s who we are … Continue reading

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What’s New for 4th of April: Holmesian matters, lots of chocolate…

He. Does there have to be a he? It seems weak and unoriginal doesn’t it,  for stories told by girls to always have a he?” ― Rinsai Rossetti’s The Girl With Borrowed Wings Somewhere a chicken is roasting as I can … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 21st of March: Lots of Doctor Who stuff, Jennifer has a warming soup for these cold days, and music from Hawaii, Turkey, Russia, Finland, and elsewhere

Don’t be scared. All of this is new to you, and new can be scary. Now we all want answers. Stick with me — you might get some. — Thirteenth Doctor Yes it feels full Summer today despite being the last … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 7th of March: Equal Exchange Chocolates, A Bevy of Mysteries, Wagner’s Grendel, Jesco White on Film, Ursula Le Guin Reading for You and Other Stuff to Warm You Up

All civilisations might fall, but forfend one might disturb a cat.— Elizabeth Bear’s “A Blessing of Unicorns: A Sub-Inspector Ferron Mystery” It is finally Spring but still cold enough that an Icelandic supper of lamb tenderloin in licorice-sauce, and fish … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 21st of February: Charles Stross’ The Halting State, Matt Wagner’s Grendel Archives, The Talons of Weng Chiang, La bruja te prende fuego, Pappy Van Winkle, Steeleye Span and Other Matters

Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying. ― Iain Banks’ Against a Dark Background which may or may not be a Culture novel.  There is a sharp edge in the air that reminds you that the dark winter months are … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 7th of February: Some trad music for your listening pleasure, Spiegelman’s Maus considered, lots of dark chocolate, two looks at Garner’s Owl Service and Other Creature Comforts

He wanted to run through the stacks, pick at the books, sample them one after the other, climb the stacks to their highest reaches and see what treasures were hidden there. ― Lavie Tidhar’s The Bookman Gus, our Estate Head … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 24th of January: Live music from Lúnasa in Australia, Taco Tapes’ Trad is Rad, Robert’s Visit to the Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, Alastair Reynolds’ The Prefect audiobook, Tom Baker’s Birthday, Jennifer Stevenson’s Lasagna and Other Neat Stuff

Or is anyone’s identity a matter of fragments held together by convenient or useful narrative, that in ordinary circumstances never reveals itself as a fiction? Or is it really a fiction? ― Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice No, it’s not that cold but … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 10th of January: On Hobbits in print and on film, An unusual Inn, Jabberwock puppets, Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate, Classical Music and Other Winter Comforts

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 27th of December: Boxing Day has come and gone!

 Jerold took down a big, heavy book from the third shelf and read it for about an hour without quite making out the point of it … The man, the horse, the hounds, and the tree person were all part … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 13th of December: An Appalachian Mystery, a Most Unusual Fox, Chicago’s Own Wizard for Hire, Iceland, a Family Christmas, Boiled in Lead, Fairport, and much, much more

Such a quintessentially human thing, to express sorrow through apology. ― Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Ahhh, that heavenly smell is the fresh baked lussekatter, a Swedish traditional bun, that I’m having with cardamom spiced coffee for a snack on … Continue reading

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