Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New and Noteworthy (Review of The Half-Made World, Jonathan Freedland and The King's Speech, The Net Delusion)

In today's edition:

* Abigail Nussbaum's review of Felix Gaiman's new steampunk novel The Half-Made World in Strange Horizons. Those curious about Gaiman's book can also check out his novelette "Lightbringers and Rainmakers," which is set in the same world and freely available at (You can find my review of "Lighbringers" for The Portal here.)

* In the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland offers a lengthy critique of The King's Speech, and the reception it has received in the United States (where it is now leading the Oscar pack with a dozen nominations).

Freedland suggests it has been helped along by, among other things, "an element of Mad Men" syndrome. At the same time, I wonder if there isn't more than a little of the politics Michael Moorcock criticized in his essay "Epic Pooh" and his book Wizardry & Wild Romance in the draw of this tale of yesteryear's kings--and where the memory of the "people's war" Angus Calder wrote of stands in all this.

* Also in the Guardian, Cory Doctorow discusses Evgeny Morozov's new book, The Net Delusion. As anyone familiar with Doctorow's fiction or nonfiction might guess, the two thinkers do not see eye to eye (and I got the impression Doctorow is overly critical, the "cyber-utopianism" Morozov critiques more substantial than Doctorow allows, but the interaction between their ideas is a fruitful one.

New and Noteworthy (Most Absurd SF Film of All Time, Kevin Smith's Last Film?, Genre Fiction for 2011)
2010 BSFA Award Nominations
New and Noteworthy (On Mark Stern, Ship Breaker Review, Reappraising Spiderman 3)
Review: Wizardry & Wild Romance: A Study of Epic Fantasy, by Michael Moorcock
Mad Men: My Two Cents

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