HERE BE SPOILERS. Avengers: Endgame is not a film you can talk about in detail without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it, so please don't read on if you get upset by spoilers. I MEAN IT. I don't yet know if I liked the whole film or not. I was very bored in … Continue reading Avengers: Endgame.
Ann Leckie’s new novel, following the triumphant success of her multiple award-winning novels Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy, is Provenance, and it is not at the same level. Her invention and world-building are still top quality, but the plot of Provenance sags, and the characters feel like marionettes, moving without feeling. Yet I read to … Continue reading Ann Leckie’s Provenance
I thought this would be a brief lunch-break read, a gentle skim through some nice illustrations and something to explain squinches. How wrong I was. This deceptively small, cunningly designed handbook has taken me two weeks of bedtime reading to get through, but my word it was worth it. The book - by the American … Continue reading How to Read Churches: A crash course in Christian architecture
I loved the film. I died for the costumes. I was delighted with the actors, the cinematography, the sound, the script. Janelle Monae killed it playing an engineer in NASA's obligatory high heels, though she did not convince me as a mother or wife. Taraji P Henson was stupendous as Katherine Goble, then Johnson, and nearly … Continue reading Now posting on Vulpes Libris: Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures
I haven’t seen Arrival, but I wanted to read the book because the story as told to me by someone who had seen the film interested me greatly. I spotted the book in the bookshop because of the Amy-Adams-in-a-spacesuit cover, and was surprised to see that a whole film had been based on a short … Continue reading Ted Chiang’s polymathic story bombs
I love it when Jim Al-Khalili communicates science. He’s a physicist, a BBC Radio 4 presenter of science programmes (The Life Scientific is a great podcast, btw) and he’s written, among other books, a fine work on the history of medieval Arabic science. (I have no idea about his academic publications because I can’t read … Continue reading Microbes are out there: Aliens, ed. Jim Al-Khalili
I really like the concept of Iraq + 100. Stories from a Century After the Invasion. In 2013 Hassan Blasim and his collaborator Ra Page, the founder of Comma Press, asked well-known Iraqi writers to write speculative short stories envisioning Iraq in 2113 or thereabouts. The Introduction and Afterword are persuasive about the artistic ambitions of this … Continue reading Science fiction and speculative fiction from Iraq