Books and Novellas
- Sauerkraut Station, by Ferret Steinmetz – Described as Prarie Home Companion in space, this story was a lot of fun. Plus, GigaNotoSaurus allows you to download epubs of their stories, which makes them much more readable.
- A Web of Air, by Phillip Reeve – After enjoying Fever Crumb, I thought that I would give the sequel a try. I was disappointed. First, the audiobook had a different narrator (the author did the first one, and was fantastic). Second, the simplistic view of spirituality that it portrayed (summed up as religion always hinders progress) annoyed me. Third, the most interesting part, birds with human intelligence that had decayed since their creation (but with the possibility of redemption) weren’t very well explored. Finally, the main character shoots someone by clamping a bullet in a vice and setting it off. Since the character is trained as an engineer, she should know that the bullet would need a barrel to achieve any sort of velocity. I won’t be reading the next one.
- A Planet of Viruses, by Carl Zimmer – An excellent introduction to the world of viruses. Informative without being dry.
- Palimpsest, by Charles Stross – This novella makes me look at every time travel story I’ve ever read and think that the authors lacked in ambition. I cannot overstate how much I enjoyed this book.
- Real Spending, Real Dollars – Our spending priorities are just scary.
- The $30 Billion Social Security Hack – I imagine that we will see a lot more of this in the future.
- The Inadmissible Assumptions – Like a tiny Jaron Lanier sitting on my shoulder.
- Not an April Fool – You know that saying about never attributing to evil what is more easily explained by stupidity? Well the corollary is that there is no functional difference between stupidity (or ignorance or incompetence) and evil.
- It’s the Economics, Stupid! – Interesting look an energy prices and politics, although I think that he doesn’t take into account the effect of staring at a pump for a minute or two as you pump your gas, rather than simply seeing one number one time each month when you get your natural gas bill.
- What Book Publishers Should Learn From Harry Potter – Namely that readers want to be your advocates, and that perhaps abject fear isn’t the correct response.