Tell me something Nhu

I had never heard of Madame Nhu before I came across this book, and that’s too bad, because she’s a fascinating character, and from beginning to end, her circumstances gave her unique “front row seats” to the complicated story of Vietnamese history between the period of French colonialism and the 1975 fall to Communism. Tran […]


The Guardian announces a new prize for self-published books

Well, now, this is very interesting. The Guardian is launching a self-published book of the month prize, which I think makes them the first of the old guard reviewing platforms to grapple with indie publishing this closely. And good on that. The Guardian and Legend’s new prize is open from today to self-published novels written […]


The Art of Losing: Hope is a thing

gorgeous nothing

This is going to be a ramble. It’s my Grandma Dory’s 97th birthday. She died less than a half a year ago, and I’m still raw with loss on days like today. On other days, I don’t always remember, which makes the occasional rawness all that more difficult. For a smart, well-researched, and considered take […]


Fire with Fire: The Most Interesting Man in ALL TEH WORLDS

fire with fire

Downing grabbed his dataslate, started making notes. “I still say he’s not right for the mission.” “You mean, you’re still pissed he got the better of your sim.” Downing rounded on Nolan. “No, I’m pissed that he’s got a better soul than he should. He’s too decent a bloke for this shite, and you know […]


The Troop by Nick Cutter: Hungry Man Games of the Flies

falstaff island

I’m going to make one of those specious and ultimately rhetorical dichotomies just so I can start with a bang. There are two kinds of horror story: the one one that puts you off your lunch, and the one that makes you sleep with the lights on. This is one of the former. Oh, baby, […]


Resurrection, and the Returned: “I’m not sure it would be a good thing.”


It’s been a long time since I’ve watched network television, I realized halfway through the premiere episode of Resurrection, which is the newest revived-from-the-dead offering on tv. (Though I’m not bothering to google this, there are several such shows in production at the moment, I am given to understand.) Though I kind of can’t imagine […]


More statistical wonkery, this time about the Icelandic Sagas


Earlier today I posted elsenet about how someone has done a statistical analysis of how many lines people in Shakespearean couples actually say to one another. The take-home: Romeo and Juliet have the least lines to one another, doi. But the literary statisticians have been busy, bless their hearts. I can’t find an example of […]


Marrow’s Pit by Keith Deininger

marrows_pit (1)

I’ve read four novellas out of DarkFuse‘s novella series now, and that this is the first that didn’t really do it for me is a pretty great track record. All signs pointed to Marrow’s Pit by Keith Deininger being in my wheelhouse: big, steampunky habitation called the Machine, an authoritarian dystopia with religious overtones, a planet-wide storm called the Maelstrom, […]


New words added to the Oxford English Dictionary


The OED has published a huuuuge list of new words and usages, and it is good. Cue a raft of op-eds decrying the death of the English language, but those people can suck it. The list seems to sort itself out into the usual categories: Overlooked and now obsolete words that are now getting recorded. Maybe […]