Anders Monsen

Lost worlds and ports of call

Month: December 2005 (page 1 of 2)

Adrift off the sea of OS X

This weekend I suffered not one but two apparent computer deaths. The most critical is that main system, where I have all my 2005 documents and all my issues of Prometheus, including the oh-so-nearly completed January issue. Backed-up? Not really. I had used my old external harddrive to back up another system that I recently migrated to OS X Tiger, and this drive was full. As hard drives continue to grow in size, I failed to keep up, and now I need to spend a couple of hundred bucks on a 200G external drive, hope my machine can get fixed, and make sure to schedule daily backups. My secondary system, now ca. five years hold, was pulled into duty, but today also failed. So far I have made no headway in bringing either machine back to life, and so I’m using a third option, my trusty PowerBook from work. I have to hope it makes it through the last minutes of 2005 without crapping out. Offers have been made to certain computer gods, but these are notoriously fickle.

All this means that the January issue of the Prometheus newsletter, instead of going to the printer next week, is at least a week delayed, and the four reviews I wrote last week will not be posted to this blog as planned, until I know I can get the data back. Worst case scenario means installing In Design on a borrowed machine and writing all the reviews again from scratch, which means at least a month’s delay or more, something to which I do not look forward.

Mood: Grim.

Harald by David Friedman

Harald is the debut fantasy novel from David Friedman, libertarian writer and author of The Machinery of Freedom. You can read an excerpt at BAEN Books, publishers of the hardcover edition, due April 2006.

Adventurous fantasy/sf

I just finished reading a new novel from Scott Mackay, called Tides. Longer review completed and forthcoming in the January edition of Prometheus. This book details the adventures of a mariner driven to sail the vast and treacherous seas that surround his homeworld, in search of a possible other continent. A rollicking sea-tale that also examines clashing cultures, and questions the status quo of an apparent peaceful yet corrupt society.

In the mail

I received a copy of the American edition of Justina Robson’s Silver Screen. Alas, the UK cover looks far cooler than the Pyr edition. I’ve just started the book, with plans to review it in neither the January or April edition of Prometheus. So far I am very impressed by the story and writing.

Writer fined for ‘Turkish insult’

Another writer fined for Turkish insult against the state. Zulkuf Kisanak’s novel describes the forced evacuation of Turkish Kurds from their villages. How can Turkey expect to join the EU with these illiberal laws?

Resurrection of Liberty

I’m working on a long review for Prometheus, but if you like adventurous science fiction that takes you back to the days of Robert A. Heinlein, Michael L. Wentz’s novelResurrection of Liberty is on sale for under $20. I really enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it. It’s hard to beat this price for a nicely bound hardcover book, and would make a great gift to youngsters and adults alike.

L. Neil Smith’s movie treat(ment)

Over the Libertarian Enterprise, novelist and Prometheus Award winner L. Neil Smith shares a movie treatment he wrote called TimePeeper. Written in the 1980s, it’s an interesting addition to Smith’s North American Confederacy universe.

Master and Margarita to debut as TV movie in Russia

The New York Times writes about a nearly nine hour TV movie version of a superb Russian novel, Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita. “For the Soviet or Russian person, meeting with Bulgakov’s novel in 1966 was a taste of freedom,” states the director. The book can be read on many levels, one of which details how people “disappear” into the basements of the KGB. Other elements are more fantastic, such as the Devil setting up shop in Moscow. The novel is a hallmark of wit and elebance, but devilishly difficult to adapt to the screen. I seriously hope this gats translated and shown outside Russia one day.

Turkish novelist on trial for speech

I heard about the case of Orhan Pamuk‘s trial on NPR driving home today. The trial begins on December 16. Here is a country’s most famous novelist on trial for saying something that insults the national character. Apparently, by discussing the verboten subject of over one million alleged Armenian deaths in Turkey in 1915, Pamuk stepped on the toes of Turkish national honor. It’s a shame that so many of his countryfolk hate him for daring to speak his mind, but Turkish children are taught at an early age to venerate all things Turkish, and that means no criticism of the government view. Whether or not one million Armenians died should be investigated fully, not swept under the carpet.

V for Vendetta teaser

Wally Conger passes on some positive comments from a pre-screening report of V for Vendatta in Austin, Texas recently. Interestingly, the guys at Ain’t It Cool News, which posted the comments, wrote early on about disturbing changes to the script. Either the movie changed, or the opinions did, but regardless this does appear positive. The posters are superb.

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