· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · July
· · · · 04 (3 entries)

Iron Sunrise · This is the lat­est from Char­lie Stross, and it’s what space opera ought to be. It’s got in­ter­stel­lar Nazis, a star ma­li­cious­ly blown up start­ing on Page One, de­tailed de­scrip­tions of how you go about dy­ing when your star blows up, killer robot dogs, a whiny but ap­peal­ing teenage Goth­ick chick named Wed­nes­day, a first-rate deus ex machi­na, a hard-drinking in­ter­galac­tic war­blog­ger (no, re­al­ly, he gets the girl even), uh did I men­tion the re­al­ly re­al­ly evil Space Nazis? And you know what? The sus­pen­sion of dis­be­lief hold­s. Plus, the char­ac­ters are ap­peal­ing and the sto­ry moves right along. OK, well maybe the de­noue­ment is a lit­tle forced and overex­tend­ed, with U. Por­tia Hoescht out of char­ac­ter. Com­pared to the pre­vi­ous Sin­gu­lar­i­ty Sky, the at­mo­spher­ics are maybe a lit­tle weak­er, but the sto­ry­telling is a lot stronger. Plus our friends Rachel and Martin from that book are back; plus there are ob­vi­ous­ly lots of se­quels in the pipeline. I sure en­joyed read­ing it.
Live 8: Real News · I went straight from Ja­va One to a mini-vacation, thus most­ly miss­ing the Live 8 noise. But it’s not too late to get your name or your face on the list, and—more important—send a per­son­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion (I’d sug­gest FAX or voice­mail) to your own Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment or Deputy or Con­gressper­son, say­ing you’re a vot­er and you think they should pass the word along to take the Live 8 mes­sage se­ri­ous­ly. I’ll do that, and for those who won­der why the Live 8’ers are moan­ing about trade pol­i­cy, here’s why. And on that sub­jec­t, there’s good news: Ap­par­ent­ly, Pres­i­dent Bush said this morn­ing that he’d drop the id­i­ot­ic US agribiz sub­si­dies if the Euro­peans would drop their even-more-idiotic ones. Good on ya, W, and to my Amer­i­can read­er­s: right now would be a good time let your lo­cal politi­cian know you ap­prove.
News From Norway · Via Eric Schei­d, an ar­ti­cle en­ti­tled Nor­we­gian Min­is­ter: Pro­pri­etary For­mats No Longer Ac­cept­able in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Govern­ment. This sounds like an en­light­ened pol­i­cy for any gov­ern­men­t.
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