Re: Falling For Science

Falling for Science: Objects in Mind, edited by Sherry Turkle selects from 25 years of student essays recalling objects that fascinated them as children, complemented with similar (if longer) essays by mentors and practicing scientists. The writers recall things that utterly absorbed them, things that taught them about the world, its structure and function.  Sometimes […]


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I’m not sure it’s right for me to write about Incandescence, by Greg Egan. I didn’t finish it. I didn’t even make it past the 150 page mark. In fact I lost count of how many essays it took me to read the first four chapters. But I put it on my 2008 list of […]

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Re: The Alchemy of Stone

From the beginning, the rich detail of The Alchemy of Stone, by Ekaterina Sedia draws you into a tale of a city once ruled by a duke, now divided between Mechanics and Alchemists, and always, always watched over by gargoyles. Our heroine, Mattie is an intelligent automaton and as her city goes through a wrenching […]

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Re: Sly Mongoose

I’ve been having a terrible run of luck with fiction the last week, none of them worth talking about, though I was tempted to take a picture of the stack of books I could barely start that went back to the library. To some degree, I managed to break that streak with some kickass Azteca-Caribbean […]

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Re: Matter

Usually I enjoy Iain M. Banks, so I was excited to see him return to the Culture with Matter. I was not so excited to see how thick it was. I was even less excited to plow through palace politics with a lost heir, an evil vizier, a naïve prince, and a superhuman warrior sister […]

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Re: The Great Warming

Before the Little Ice Age, there was the Medieval Warm Period. In Western Europe, the centuries around the first millenium were a time of mostly long, warm summers and a steady rise in prosperity. But of course, climate is global, and most of the rest of the world didn’t fare so well. In The Great […]

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Re: Bonk

An amusing book about the ingenious ways scientists have studied sex and overcome the social barriers to their research, Bonk, by Mary Roach is filled with weird science facts. Most of them are pretty trivial, like the way porcupines do it. Some of them you may not want to know, like how to ape the […]

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Re: Merchants’ War

Miriam Beckstein, intrepid high-tech journalist, discovers she is really a lost daughter of a clan that can travel between worlds. And she is not pleased. Before I go on, make sure you’ve read the previous books in Charles Stross‘s Merchant Prince series: The Family Trade, The Hidden Family, Clan Corporate, and the latest book Merchants’ […]

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