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Tsundoko

Posted Tuesday into Books by John Birmingham

Nice piece in the New York Times about my teetering stack o' shame, which the Japanese apparently call a tsundoku: a stack of books that you have purchased but not yet read.

The sight of a book you’ve read can remind you of the many things you’ve already learned. The sight of a book you haven’t read can remind you that there are many things you’ve yet to learn. And the sight of a partially read book can remind you that reading is an activity that you hope never to come to the end of.

3 Responses to ‘Tsundoko’

jl ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Yeah, the older I get the more I realize how little I know. It would take more than my span of years and mastery of a few more languages to get where I'd like to be.

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
Is it better or worse if your tsundoko is hidden deep within a Kindle or other such device? It just looks like a pile of one, and is that really worthy of being called a pile?

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
I suspect the chances of your being guilt tripped into reading your Kindle tsundoko are much smaller. Can't say whether that's good or bad.

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WW 3.1 sample

Posted October 11 into Writing by John Birmingham

I get a lot of questions about when the next Axis of Time book is due out. Soon, I say, very soon. But that's only because I've been gettng a lot of help from Dirk de Jager and Jason Lambright.

If you're interested in what sort of help, there's a sample scene written by Jason over at his blog, The Interstellar Valley (still one of the greatest blog names ever, I reckon).

Brilon-Wald was not going to be cheap.

Artillery started to fall around him; the Russians were probing. Jochen remained where he was, standing in his turret, binoculars in hand. To catch the prey, he thought, one had to wait like a hunter. Both sides wanted the same thing; for someone’s nerves to break, for the prey to flee and catch the eye. That’s when the real killing began.

Boosfeld spotted movement along the road to the south. He lifted his binoculars slowly while shading the lenses. He felt the old surge of the blood, the taste of iron. There they were- BTR scout cars, coming slowly. They would surely sense they were being watched, he thought. They would also pick up on the lack of civilians in the streets if they had any experience at all.

He had four tanks in his forward position, counting himself. No one fired. This did not surprise him; he had been very specific that he would initiate the ambush. The BTRs came to a halt; their little turrets swiveled back and forth. Jochen controlled his breathing, he willed the scout cars to go away and call in their big brothers for an“easy”march toward Brilon proper.

9 Responses to ‘WW 3.1 sample’

Dirk reckons...

Posted October 11
Can I tell the Burgers that it's gonna a be a good one, Sire? With more splossions and kissy scenes then the Burgers have ever read before? And that it's not a coincidence that El Goog presented a Slate this week?

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted October 11
My lawyers are talking to el Goog.

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thetick would have you know...

Posted October 12
I wants it. I neeeeeds it.

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Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted October 12
You are a tease JB!

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insomniac asserts...

Posted October 13
Is this getting the beta treatment?

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Vovchara puts forth...

Posted October 15
Spend 2 hours on Amazon looking for something to read... Is something wrong with me when I don't want to read a time travel romance? Because judging by the number of those, there is a huge market for them %)

Or the stories, where avoiding a paradox is a huge part of narrative... how boring :/ Fuck the butterfly.

Or space opera, where the author doesn't give a shit about space.

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Vovchara would have you know...

Posted October 15
Oh, almost forgot, LitRPG is also a thing. How delightful, to read a fiction about the virtual world... NOT.

And if the pornhub is not enough, there is a shit-ton of harem/reverse harem crap.

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted Monday
mmm yeah baby. GUNNA BE FKN EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted Monday
BTW...for duration....thats a PRETTY FKN PISS POOR SAMPLE. Contents great...length fkn SUCKS! JB....MORE!

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The New Doctor

Posted October 9 into Telly by John Birmingham

I was going to watch the new Dr Who with my son last night but he got a better offer—some teen fangrrl, so it was a genuinely better offer. I ended up watching on my lonesome in the library and on an iPad rather than the TV.

I probably should've dragged my lazy arse down to the big teev. There were some nice shots and set pieces and they probably deserved the whole 55 inches.

Still, I loved it.

Confession time, I haven't really kept up with the rebooted Who. I found Christopher Ecclestone a bit of a git and by the time Tennant and Smith had done their turns, my unwatched stack o' shame was piled way too high. Having watched and enjoyed Jodie Whittaker's debut last night, I'm now thinking I should go back and catch up with the modern series.

The new lady Who was great TV. It paid homage the traditions of heritage and all the legacies of this and that, but Whittaker's Time Lord started afresh, having been stripped of the Tardis and sonic screwdriver and, initially at least, a coherent sense of self. Thankfully the identity confusion didn't go on too long—looking at you, Sylvester McCoy—and as the narrative stakes were raised the new Doctor confirmed that she does indeed make house calls and kick arse.

I didn't find the gender switch difficult, or even momentarily distracting. I dont know how Whittaker does it, but she managed to channel the animal spirits of all the Doctor's who went before her, while filling out a new character whose novelty was a lot less about gender than it was about personality.

I liked the companions. They were solidly grounded in the canon of everymen and -women who've travelled with the Doctor for decades, and it never ceases to impress me how the writers resolve all of the plots' questions and problems without resort to weaponry.

I wont discuss the plot because there is an element of mystery that'd be rooned by spoilers, but it was pretty classic Who.

Bottom line, I enjoyed it greatly.

6 Responses to ‘The New Doctor’

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted October 9
Dangerously encroaching on Girl Clumsy terf, she has already had a New Doctor tweet stolen.

I really enjoyed the show as well. I will save most of my wry observations for GC's recap but a meme I have seen has the new doctor next to the phrase.

'A bit of adrenaline, a dash of outrage and a hint of panic knitted my brain back together.

I know exactly who I am'.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted October 9
Where is she recapping?

Barnesm reckons...

Posted October 9
I can't seem to provide the link here website https://www.nataliebochenski.com/

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted October 12
We have been watching in ebbs and flows over the years. The last doctor we have missed the most of so and seeing i have two girls it might be a good time to jump back in. But i missed the release because i was away on a junket and the eldest (13) has her black belt pre-grading this week. So its going to be sunday before we all get to sit down together to watch it! (We could do it after 8pm sometime before then but the youngest who is 10 has an over active imagination and prone to nightmares and . . . well . . . i'm kinda selfish and like my uninterrupted sleep more than getting my new doctor fix)

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Rob has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
I liked Doctor Who when they put in Martha Jones , then I went off it when they replaced her with Donna Nobel, who mugged up every scene at one point saying ' I laff u, doctor ' and I haven't been able to watch any since. I never got into the whole Billie Piper Bad wolf thingo either.

I do like the Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime, that is an utterly fascinating science fiction television series and its beautifully shot. Every scene looks like a million dollars. The lighting and film work makes it look like a feature film of yore, unlike a lot of new TV which look like super clean SLR shot HD video with a heavy emphasis on naturalistic (i.e dull) lighting. I really don't know when every director of photography decided that natural low key lighting realistic lighting was the way to go, but it certainly detracts from the idea of drama, surrealism, and art.

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insomniac puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
How is Jon Pertwee going these days? Still up to those Doctor hijinks?

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Hot for Dick

Posted October 4 into Movies by John Birmingham

Can't believe how much I'm looking forward to watching a movie about Dubya's Veep. But I am. The Big Short, by the same guy, was the just about the best explanation of the Great Recession I ever saw, read or heard. This looks even better.

2 Responses to ‘Hot for Dick’

insomniac mutters...

Posted October 5
Is that video SFW?

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Dave W puts forth...

Posted October 8
Looks great!

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"A skeevy wangboozle as crooked as mouthful of Dickensian urchin teeth"

Posted October 2 into Blunty by John Birmingham

Apparently all my investments in ergonomically sexy chairs and exotic dark matter standy mats were bullshit.

Well, this sucks. I just bought an ergonomic keyboard and before it even arrives the whole field of ergonomics is revealed to be a skeevy wangboozle as crooked as mouthful of Dickensian urchin teeth.

I don’t much care that companies and governments might be wasting hundreds of millions of dollars a year on dodgy “ergonomic chairs, keyboards and consultants”, as reported by Fairfax Media yesterday.

But I care heaps that I might have just wasted $39 on a discount Microsoft ergonomic keyboard from the Beast of Bezos and it may not immediately cure my crippling minor discomfort from typing too much.

Who'd a thunk it? Me, at Blunty.

1 Responses to ‘"A skeevy wangboozle as crooked as mouthful of Dickensian urchin teeth"’

Dave W asserts...

Posted October 3
I swear by the ergonomic keyboard. The rest of it I'm sure can easily be explained away by the need to keep moving.

After all, I don't just sit on the couch for hours on end in the same position. Eventually I move just to ensure that I can drink beer and eat salted pig nibbles. Why would the work environment be any different?

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Amazon sale: The Golden Minute

Posted October 1 into Books by John Birmingham

Amazon's sentient robotic core emailed me a while ago to ask if I would like to have THE GOLDEN MINUTE featured as a special deal this month.

I figured, why the hell not!

Also, I'm trying out a new affiliate link here, because reasons.

So if you haven't got a copy of Smith and Cady's latest yet, and you are a slave to the Beast of Bezos, follow this link and you can get all the tasty discount sauce you want.

2 Responses to ‘Amazon sale: The Golden Minute’

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted October 1
Excellent bargin, low cost and over the top explody goodness, what more could I ask for?

Seriously, is this all I am asking for? I need to expand my horizons.

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allenwsnyder is gonna tell you...

Posted Yesterday
The Golden Minute is one of Amazon's Kindle Daily Deals today, for $1.99. I have to admit, the two-sentence description sounded totally stupid to me: Deputy US Marshal John Titanic Smith...really? Puritan Jihads..really again? But there were a lot of five-star reviews, which could mean nothing, but was enough to get me reading the prologue via Amazon's Look Inside feature. The prologue is well written and it totally grabbed me, maybe not quite instantly but close enough. Purchase made.

Also, all the Trumpist one-star reviews on A Girl in Time is moving me to purchase it at $4.99, even though I know that if I wait long enough it will be on sale for $1.99 or less. (Only one Trumpist three-star (!) review on The Golden Minute, so far, but from someone who doesn't even know how to spell "heroine." [Insert shrug emoji here.])

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