Re: Out Of His League

When Neil DeGrasse Tyson turned up on the Daily Show and Rachel Maddow last night, you just knew he was going to talk about Pluto. I certainly did, maybe because recently enjoyed “Out Of His League,” by Bruce Golden on the Drabblecast. It’s about baseball, painting amusing portraits of the characters who play it. It’s […]

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Re: Coyote v. Acme

It’s scary enough to hear something I like on the New Yorker fiction podcast, and even scarier when I remember reading it in the original issue. The original copy is probably still somewhere stuffed in a box somewhere around here. But it’s easier to just click on the link and listen to Jonathan Franzen read […]

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Re: Entropy in 606 Words

When I spotted “Entropy in 606 Words,” by Derek Zumsteg, my first thought was, It’s the toothbrush guy! Despite the complicated subtitle (“A Fictional Exploration of Current Thinking on Localized Entropic Models and Possible Associated Unexpected Phenomena”), the first line is simple enough: Tom wake up more dumb. Bonk head on bed.

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Re: Discerning Women

In “Discerning Women,” by William Highsmith, aliens invade and either they just don’t understand humans or they have a really, really dry sense of humor. The trouble begins when Alexa, newly a subject of the Braxian empire, has to take a machine quiz with questions like: > Why are Earth women the way they are? […]

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Re: Squidges

Here’s a silly one from the Drabblecast for you Car Talk fans: “Squidges” by Thomas Canfield. The narrator brings his car to the three eccentric Maine brothers, who are sort of like the Tappet Brothers to the nth degree.  The story itself is pretty non-consequential, but it’s well told. Even in something so short, it […]

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Re: Standards

Told as the rejection letter from a science journal, Standards, by Richard K. Lyon, is full of deft hints of adventure and dry put-downs of the sort of mad genius who submits patents for perpetual motion machines and trisects angles in his sleep. And I think that sentence is almost as long as the story. […]

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Just A Minute

One of my favorite sources of amusement is starting a new series tonight: Just A Minute. It’s a radio show that’s been going for over 35 years, challenging the players to try to speak on a given subject for 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition, or deviation. Like many simple things, it’s incredibly hard to do, […]

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Re: Small Gods

While so far, my favorite book by Terry Pratchett is easily Small Gods, it’s not so easy to call it a funny book. In this book, he finally sets aside the urge for constant jokiness, and is content to raise a few smiles or groans, while telling a damn good story. This is the story […]

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Re: Hogfather

One of the coolest aspect of reading so many Terry Pratchett books is watching a popular author get better. That doesn’t happen nearly often enough. After a rough start, I’ve enjoyed his books more and more, especially the Death stories, and now I can say Hogfather is a great book and an excellent TV movie. […]

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