I’m finally back from the land of dial-up and lost luggage, a week behind schedule on everything I’m meant to be doing, and exhausted. Proper posts resume tomorrow, and PEP! will be out some time early next week, but in the meantime, here’s a brief list of things that are officially Good right now:
The site Less Wrong , which contains fascinating stuff about Bayesian logic.
PEP! – Having finally got over my writer’s block (which led to a *HORRIBLE* editorial I sent out to the other contributors, which was just forced), and finally got my research stuff back, I can tell you that my own articles are going to be called I Love LA, Why Gavin Is Wrong (But Still Right), Nine Lessons And Carols: A Review, and A Discourse On The Minor Works Of Grant Morrison, With Respect To His Adaptations Of TV Series Originally Created By Mr Sydney Newman, as well as a Further Reading page. I *think* these will help give a spurious thematic coherence to this collection of wonderful stuff. I think it’ll really be exciting.
Scott Aaronson’s Quantum Computing Since Democritus lecture notes. I can’t *believe* that I’d never realised before that quantum mechanics is actually just what falls out naturally if you generalise standard probability theory to allow for negative numbers.
Lawrence Miles’ astonishing Faction Paradox: The Book Of The War, along with the notes on it Alex W sent me, and also Richard & Alex’s article on Doctor Who continuity for PEP! (which I hope the next episode of the Welsh series doesn’t invalidate). The best Doctor Who since 1980.
The music of Roy Wood, and the documentary on it that Tilt sent me.
The documentary film Brian Wilson: I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times, for so many reasons (Brian talking coherently and intelligently putting the ‘drooling vegetable’ stuff to rest, sitting at the piano with Van Dyke Parks singing Orange Crate Art, sitting at the piano with his mother and brother singing In My Room and God Only Knows…)
(Beatles post tomorrow, then some other Actual Content of the Pop-Drama kind over the weekend. I’ve also finally got Asterios Polyp on order from Amazon, so I may review that only a year late when it arrives…)
Good to have you back, Andrew.
Tell you what else is good, Teatime Brutality alive and well and promising some new posts!
How on earth can you not have read The Book of the War before now?!
I must see if I can get hold of Alex’s notes too…
I was never a huge fan of the novels as a general thing, and it’s only very recently I’ve come to appreciate that some of the writers, like Miles, could rise above the usual run of ‘oh look, I’m cool because I have smoked an spliff and seen a naked lady’…
And Alex’s notes are mostly stuff that was on the website when the book first came out, along with a few other bits he’s added…
Does enjoying ‘The Book of the War’ depend on knowing the other Faction Paradox novels?
Absolutely not. The Book Of The War is essentially a guidebook to the Faction Paradox ‘universe’ – somewhere between collection of short stories and RPG handbook, but *much* better than that sounds, and was published before the rest of the FP novels (other than the Doctor Who novels they first appeared in).
I’ve not read any of the other FP novels myself, and I got it just fine. You’d lose a little bit if you’ve never read any of the Doctor Who novels, and a little more if you’d never seen any Doctor Who on the TV at all, but even then I’d say it’s more than accessible enough…
I suspect that none of the Faction Paradox novels depend on knowing the other Faction Paradox novels, although having The Book of the War around might be helpful for one or two.
Daniel O’Mahoney’s Newton’s Sleep, the only one released so far by the series’s second publisher, has been released as a free e-book if you want to give it a try. I recommend it–the FP line is the most consistently good DW book line so far.
Looking forward to your thoughts on Asterios Polyp, as I just finished it myself. Still trying to figure out what to make of it, and am eager for your always-interesting perspective.