Anders Monsen

Lost worlds and ports of call

Month: April 2011

FileMaker development standards

As a FileMaker developer and trainer, I believe standard exist to leave well-defined breadcrumbs when I or anyone else has to re-trace steps to understand how solutions were developed. This goes for layouts, naming conventions and structure in the relationships graph, scripting, and calculations. Kirk Bowman of MightyData has some great links to articles on standards that are well worth reading and re-reading.

Science fiction and libertarianism

Hard to argue with this post, which quotes Jeff Riggenbach saying, “All the best known libertarian novels are science fiction novels.”

The Socialism of Scandinavian Crime Fiction

I should have posted about this sooner, but forgot to link to this February 24 article from the UK’s Guardian online about the social realism of Scandinavian crime fiction. Of course, with all the noise surrounding Sweden’s Stieg Larsson and his Millennium trilogy, attention turns to other Scandinavian crime writers. No mention of Norway’s Gunnar Staalesen, alas. He’s a great writer, and a definite socialist, so would have fit this narrative perfectly. Certainly there are more Scandinavian socialist crime writers, because virtually every member of the literati there grew up a socialist or Marxist-Leninist. Socialism is part of the culture of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Still, there might be some anti-authoritarianism there, and crime fiction written from the perspective of non-police people lends itself more to question authority.

Poul Anderson reviewed

Nice review over at the Wall Street Journal of a recent Poul Anderson collection, Admiralty: The Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson, Volume 4, NESFA’s continuing effort to publish all his short works. Discusses the evolution of Anderson from a more rigid engineer view of society to a libertarian world view.

Atlas Shrugged movie reviewed

Long review of part 1 of the recently released Atlas Shrugged movie. Not sure if or when it will make it to theaters near me, but it has been many years since I last read the novel.

Prometheus Award Finalists

On April 4 the Libertarian Futurist Society announced the finalists for the 2011 Prometheus Award. Five novels made the cut, out of the ten nominated. I’ve read two of the five nominees, and am in the middle of reading a third.

  • For the Win, by Cory Doctorow (TOR Books)
  • Darkship Thieves, by Sarah Hoyt (Baen Books)
  • The Last Trumpet Project, by Kevin MacArdry lasttrumpetproject.com
  • Live Free or Die, by John Ringo (Baen Books)
  • Ceres, by L. Neil Smith (Big Head Press, also published online at bigheadpress.com
    )

Cory Doctorow won a few years ago for Little Brother, a book that I thought was great until the final chapter. I’m 100 pages into his novel For the Win, and so far the theme appears to be “virtual workers of the world, unite.” This theme reared it’s little head ca. 75 pages into the novel, which up until then had seemed quite interesting, sort of a cross between Vernor Vinge and Charlie Stross. Oh, well. Maybe it will make sense later. I’ve never read anything by John Ringo, but from I hear he is far from a libertarian. Strange choice, if that’s the case. Military sf never really makes any libertarian sense. I like parts of Sarah Hoyt’s book, and will have to read Smith’s Ceres once more as I first read it five years ago. I’ve not heard of MacArdry, but the premise seems interesting.

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