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review 2018-11-17 17:33
Binary Equivalents: "Starman Jones" by Robert A. Heinlein
Starman Jones - Robert A. Heinlein

(Original Review, 1980-07-24)

Random rumblings on our inability to predict the future.

Pop-up display screens and visual aiming (guiding a missile by looking at the target) for fighter pilots is discussed in the recent fiction paperback "FoxFire.'' The technology for visual aiming is actually quite old. It is derived from the device (I'm not sure what it is called) used by psychologists to measure eye movements.
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


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review 2018-08-31 16:26
Unhook the Modem: "Neuromancer" by William Gibson
Neuromancer - William Gibson

“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts . . . A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.”

In “Neuromancer” by William Gibson

A friend of mine tried to read "Neuromancer" and he really struggled to follow what was going on, he told me. Who was doing what to whom, and were they in the real world or a virtual world? Were the characters alive, dead or artificial? I think there was a section where the protagonist was experiencing things via another person's eyes, adding to his confusion. There were some space Rastafarians and a woman who spoke like Lady Penelope towards the end, whom at least he could tell apart from the others. The book was like a mix of Blade Runner, Tron and The Matrix. For him, I think it might have worked better as a graphic novel. And I said, "WTF?? [...]"




If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2017-12-02 21:02
The Risks of Universal Enfranchisement: "Starship Troopers" by Robert A. Heinlein
Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein
Word of warning. I’m going to discourse both on the book and on the Verhoeven’s movie.
He didn't include them as "grunts" probably because the training was sufficiently hard that most wouldn't have made it. If you read the description of the training it wasn't just 12 weeks square-bashing, it reads far more like Special Forces.
It might also have been because he was paying lip service to a society kind of modelled on 50s America where the ladies were the home-makers and females in the frontline weren't even on the radar.
However, having said that, we have the fabulous line about females in high rank and esteem:
"If the Almighty ever needs a hand to run the universe: hot ship pilot Yvette Deladrier" after Starship commander Deladrier brakes her ship's orbit to recover a lander that has blasted off late and which otherwise would miss rendezvous and all on board would perish. I’ve heard from a lot of my friends saying the movie version is utter shit. I’m not so sure. The thing is, Verhoeven was a master of taking existing texts and subtly pushing them into satire by overdoing Hollywood/MTV filming tropes. The viewer was encouraged to look at the films as broad entertainment and then ask what the actions of the heroes had to do with American culture. He did the same with Joe Eszterhas's scripts for “Basic Instinct” and “Showgirls”. “Basic Instinct” is a detective story where the 'hero' is someone who's already gotten away with murder because of his badge, and who shoots another innocent victim before the film is out, while the 'villain' is never actually shown to kill anyone. She's chiefly a suspect because of her sexuality (which is why GLAAD picketed the film) and lack of shame about it. “Showgirls” meanwhile depicts a vision of Las Vegas as a patriarchal dystopia where every woman is judged on her body and literally every male character is a predator of some kind. 
If you're into SF, read on.
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text 2017-04-18 13:34
13th April 2017
Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996 - Seamus Heaney

If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way.


Seamus Heaney


Irish poet and Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney (born April 13, 1939) enjoyed both critical acclaim and widespread popularity. By 2008, two-thirds of poetry books sold in the UK were by Heaney.

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review 2016-12-21 23:42
So dropping poetry for a while...
A Hot January: Poems 1996-1999 - Robin Morgan

I apparently am not a poetry person?   Not unless it's epic poetry like The Odyssey that tells a story.   I struggle to enjoy them and then end up feeling as if I'm flawed for not really understanding it enough to get the poems. 


I enjoy them as lovely uses of language - and there was some amazing wordplay here - but nope, not for me.   Gonna stick with comics and young adult books until I get to the end of the year to see if I can make 1K books this year.   (Er, 1K mostly comic issues?)


After that, I want to read more non-fiction and give more poetry books a try.  I do enjoy poetry, but it has to hit me just right.   I've enjoyed short poems, but y'know...

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