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Category Archives: Literature

An arrogant writer gets punished by readers

Neal Stephenson. Wikipedia photo. Four years ago here, I reviewed Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves. Though I gave the book four of five stars, I was turned off by Stephenson’s increasingly insufferable narcissism. I wrote: The bottom line, for me at least, is that Stephenson writes must-read science fiction. However, I’m getting stronger and stronger whiffs of […]

Books that get better with age

The 1960 French edition of the Larousse Gastronomique. Click here for high resolution version. When you are browsing in an old bookstore, what catches your eye? For everyone it’s different, I’m sure. But one factor, probably, is the same: Whatever our tastes, we’re all looking for books that get better with age. You’ll be dealing […]

Game of Thrones: Season 8, episode 1

Ken Ilgunas and David Dalton are reviewing each episode of the final season of Game of Thrones. Check the “Game of Thrones” category to list all of these posts. David: Mornin’, Ken… I greatly enjoyed this episode, and what struck me is how the moral middle ground of former seasons is gone. Now the forces […]

Game of Thrones countdown

Since its beginning in 2011, Ken Ilgunas and I have made a tradition and a sport of watching and subsequently deconstructing each new episode of Game of Thrones. If Ken was here, we watched it in the evening and started our “Thrones talk” at breakfast. If he wasn’t here, we did it in email. As […]

The ontological wilderness

Philosophy of Physics: Quantum Theory, by Tim Maudlin. Princeton University Press, 2019. 234 pages. Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity: Metaphysical Intimations of Modern Physics (third edition), by Tim Maudlin. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 298 pages. John Twelve Hawks was clearly troubled, and I don’t blame him. (John Twelve Hawks is one of my favorite science fiction writers. I’ve […]

A Place to Call Home

Last night I finished watching the first season of “A Place to Call Home.” I can’t believe that I didn’t discover it sooner. It is superb melodrama and a superb soap opera. It’s perfectly cast and beautifully filmed. The dialogue is magnificent, some of the most intelligent dialogue I’ve ever seen in a TV series. […]

Watership Down

I watched the first episode of Watership Down last night on Netflix. It’s the best thing I’ve watched in a long time. This is a new production of the Richard Adams novel by the BBC. There are four episodes. Watership Down was originally published in the United Kingdom in 1972. The American edition was published […]

New from Acorn Abbey Books

Ken’s three very popular books are published by New York publishers. However, Acorn Abbey Books, as a small-press “indie” imprint, is honored to release one of Ken’s short books in paperback format. That’s The McCandless Mecca: A Pilgrimage to the Magic Bus of the Stampede Trail. It’s priced at only $6.99, and you can buy […]

Reviving Asimov’s Foundation series

I regularly search for promising new science fiction to read. It’s shocking how little I find — based, at least, on reviews and on-line lists. When I can’t find new science fiction, I return to the classics. At present, I’m rereading Isaac Asimov’s 1951 classic Foundation. Now is probably a good time to read (or […]

A boys’ answer to #metoo

Yes, #metoo has exposed some ugly abuses of male power and male impunity. But most men are not like that. And there is nothing wrong with boys. I won’t waste any words of my own. These young men sing the point quite beautifully. In French: Abandon entouré d’abandon, tendresse touchant aux tendresses… C’est ton intérieur […]