Anders Monsen

Lost worlds and ports of call

Month: July 2006 (page 1 of 2)

State and religion

More often than not that combination is deadly. BBC reports of a 16-year old girl executed in Iran for “crimes against chastity.” She was hanged, lifted in the air by a crane, for having been raped by a man three times her age. The rapist received a few lashes, the girl received death, her true age masked by court documents. She had the courage to spit in the face of the judge and legal system when she realized her case was hopeless. Atefah Sahaaleh is a martyr for liberty.

Pippi!

A neat book review of Pippi Longstocking over at Sunni’s Salon. I, too, remember Pippi and Astrid Lindgren from my childhood, and now that I’m introducing her stories to my daughter as well, I find that adults as well as children can appreciate her character.

New Victor Milan novel

Fans of Victor Milan will be happy to learn he has a new novel, due out shortly. Solomon’s Jar, a shred adventure tale in a series called Rogue Angel, under a group pseudonym. Milan promises “serious butt-kick adventure” with the female sword wielding protagonist, Annja Creed.

Yet another federal database

This time it’s your college records.

Let just cut right to the chase and barcode everyone right now.

The Jack Vance Treasury

I broke down and ordered a new Jack Vance collection today. Well, there are no new stories, but its possible they’ve gone through the Vance Integral Edition process and emerged somewhat different from the stories in my Underwood-Miller collections. The book does contain a preface by Vance, which by itself might be worth the $38, though I am sure Vance will be terse as usual. Years ago I collected all the editions of the Underwood-Miller books, over forty hardcovers, many limited and signed. Many of these I bought well below retail cost, other at collectors prices. They are, perhaps, my most treasured tangible possessions. In all I own 54 U-M books (combined and under separate imprints). That makes me a qualified Vance fanatic, I suppose. When the Vance Integral Edition was announced, I signed up as a volunteer and as a customer, but I backed out of both due to time constraints, and also a strange loyalty to the U-M books. I can’t say I was happy when the VIE combined some books within the same cover. And, yes, the steep price deterred me from completing the purchase. That act qualifies my fanaticism. There are handful of Vance books I don’t have in hard cover, and at this point I doubt that will change, unless some other publisher comes out with dust cover editions of those five or so books. But, if you’re a stranger to the fiction of Vance, this collection from Subterranean Press will open your world to perhaps the greatest craftsman of science fiction and fantasy of the 20th century. Jack Vance truly is nonpareil.

Vinge interview

Via Rick Kleffel, a podcast of a recent NPR interview with Vernor Vinge. I’m resisting these recent interviews until I finish Rainbows End.

Summer issue of Prometheus

The Summer 2006 issue went out in the mail late last week to all members/subscribers/etc. This 20-page issue includes reviews of fiction by Russell Madden, Elizabeth Moon, Harry Turtledove, Vernor Vinge, Tamara Wilhite, and John C. Wright; a condensed version of Sunni Maravillosa’s interview with Scott Bieser and Vin Suprynowicz; Tamara Wilhite on SETI; review of the movie Æon Flux; anthology Future Washington reviewed; Jim Sullivan on library censorship; plus a last minute essay on private space travel and a guest editorial on RFIDs.

If you’re not a member of LFS, more information can be found at www.lfs.org. Subscriptions also are available, and if you’d like a sample issue please email me at editor AT lfs DOT org with an address and I’ll send out a free copy.

I’m now taking a brief break before starting work on the Fall issue, which I expect will feature news about the Prometheus Awards ceremony from LA CON IV, held at the end of August. I attended LA CON III back in 1996, my first WorldCon. I remember the long drive from LAX to Anaheim, the vast dealers’ auditorium where I secured some hard to find Jack Vance books, and very long nights. I attended two more WorldCons (1997 and 1998), before beginning my long and personal sabbatical away from sf fandom that lasted until the end of 2004. I’m not sure when I’ll attend my next WorldCon. With two small kids in the house I am loathe to go through the stress of travel only to spend time away from them, so I’m sure a few more years will pass before WorldCon #4.

I’m getting ready to shell out $36 for three audio CDs from the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, with hopes of writing up the experience in the next issue of Prometheus as well. The three CDs include all the adapted Robert A. Heinlein stories. And then, I have a stack of books that need some attention…

OS Wars

I don’t really want to start an OS war, but in reading through Claire Wolfe’sreply to an essay by Brad over on wendymacelroy.com on Linux vs. Windows, I’m tempted to offer up Mac OS X as an alternative. I guess if you have an Intel machine your only choice is Win or Lin, though OS X now runs on Intel. The second fall-back argument is that Macs are too expensive, and while somewhat true, you do get quite a few items standard on the Mac that are add-ons in the Win/Lin world. Of course, the most powerful argument is that OS X is proprietary, while Linux is free and open-source. True again, but OS X includes Unix and exists in a healthy 3rd party developer environment so you don’t need to rely on Apple software. And it’s a gorgeous OS, far smoother to master than either Win/Lin environment. But that’s just my opinion as a Mac user since 1984.

We

The LA Times reviews a new translation of Hall of Fame winning novel, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We.

Atlas Shrugged movie moves forward

Personally, I like the idea of Angelina Jolie as Dagny Taggart, in as close to reality as we’ve ever seen for an Atlas Shrugged movie moment.

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