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I confess: my mind is not fully on my work today. This is because what I most want to do is go home and settle down to read more of Jeff Vandemeer's City of Saints and Madmen. If you don't know it, all I can say is that it's the sort of book that inspires reviews like this, or even better this...or if you must have something traditional, this. Also, that you should read it.

The New Weird must be real; it's even made it to the Oxford student press. Although I think someone forgot to check the typesetting when they moved the article from a print to an electronic format.

A handy collection of Troy-related links, and an even handier linked list of online sf.

John Clute is at it again: "For good or for ill, the only people capable of understanding the world - which is to say, operating the codes - are geeks. It may be the central insight of this novel, which starts back in 1999 in order to get a running start on the codes of 2002, that when we say, as we so often do, that the world has become SF, what we are really saying is that a world which is operated as though it were SF is a world operated precisely by the kind of people Sterling portrays here." That from a review of Bruce Sterling's new book, The Zenith Angle, which is surely even less SFnal than Pattern Recognition, but sounds like it might make an interesting compare-and-contrast with Hari Kunzru's forthcoming Transmission.

Things I have recently boggled at: the concept of a book without verbs, and the fact that real life has been imitating the Onion.

The last episode of Angel - the last episode ever - airs in the States tonight, and there are articles about its passing all over the place. TVGal has a list of her favourite episodes which, stupidly high placing of 'I Will Remember You' and inexplicable absence of 'Reprise' aside, is actually not that shabby.

EDIT: Fashion inequality #324: on hot days, girls can wear sandals to the office and still be considered smart. Boys cannot. Bah.
 
 
 
 
 
 
City of Saints and Madmen

I saw this in the bookstore the other day and was going to make an entry asking if anyone knew anything about it. Looked fascinating. Thanks for confirming this. :)
So far, it's utterly brilliant. And, just as an artefact, never mind the writing, beautiful (although the writing is beautiful too), with all the illustrations and different layouts for the different stories. If I can finish it by friday (not likely, but possible), I'll hand it over to the Birmingham Couriers for you.
A friend of mine is doing a PhD in French literature, and I remember talking to her about the Perec books (the one without the vowel 'e' and the one with only the vowel 'e').

She's interested in violence and transgression in literature. Apparently this includes not only subject matter (she told me a great story about reading a passage about anal rape to a seminar group of uptight Cambridge lit students, all of whom avoided her from that moment on) but also the literary style. Novels like the the ones without certain vowels, or like this one with no verbs, are considered violent and seriously transgressive because they're bloody difficult to read. From a reader's perspective these books come across as hostile and even offensive (not in subject matter, but in style) because they're impossible to read naturally. They're disjointed and violent in the way they're linguistically constructed.

I don't know a great deal about the kind of literary theories or the French literature that she's studying, but it all sounds fascinating to me.
I think it's more or less the level at which my pretension threshold is exceeded. I mean, I can't see why? Why do it, other than simply to be ornery? It just makes no sense to me...
It seems every writer has a fling with this sort of experimental writing at least once. It's a phase you have to go through, I guess, testing the rules...

...and then it passes. Removing one whole class of words from a text is really, really dumb. As if you would poke out one eye and expect to improve your vision. Or cut off a leg and expect to walk faster... but you get the idea.

How much more interesting it would be if a writer invented a NEW class of useful words!

-A.R. Yngve
http://yngve.bravehost.com
(Deleted comment)
Some people on my friends list somehow got to see it last weekend (or at least, were talking as though they'd seen it). Combined with all the reviews coverage in the papers, I assumed it had gone on general release. I was distraught - distraught, I say! - when I discovered it's not out until friday.
Well, I'd been quite dissapointed with recent angel eps. Charcters didn't quite fit, too punch pontificating etc. Then, 80% of the way through 5x21, it started to make some sense (but certainly not all of it). Guess we just have to hope that Joss really can pull it all together into a suitable finale....
I'm on sky time, and to be honest I think the run from 5x16 to 5x19 is the most consistently good the show has been all season. I have however heard dire things about 5x20.
What is it with Oxford people and wrongheadedness about Light? :p

Sandals = good.
Every time you use this icon I think for a second that you're green_amber...
Boys cannot. Bah.

Inequality nothing. Your sandals are NOT smart :P
Irrelevant. It's the principle: no man-sandals would be considered smart.
EDIT: Fashion inequality #324: on hot days, girls can wear sandals to the office and still be considered smart. Boys cannot. Bah.

So tomorrow you come in wearing high heels.
Yay for equality!

Or invest in the wonders of vented cycling shoes, run/cycle fast and just feel the breeze over your foot :)
on hot days, girls can wear sandals to the office and still be considered smart. Boys cannot.


Wear boots. CRUSH PUNY HUMANITY BENEATH YOUR BOOTED FEET. Take off boots. Solved!

-- Tom