Blue Moon

Posted in Art with tags , , , on May 3, 2016 by davidnm2009

New painting

New painting – everyone’s favourite space art trope 🙂

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City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 29, 2016 by davidnm2009

City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett, is a book I’d really like to write a proper review for. My apparent inability to do so is particularly annoying since it was one of the most amazing things I read last year. I strongly recommend it. I know I mentioned this briefly last year, but I want to try and expand on it…

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Safely You Deliver, by Graydon Saunders

Posted in Books, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , on April 18, 2016 by davidnm2009

“Safely You Deliver” is the third, and most recently-released, instalment in Graydon Saunders’ Commonweal series.

The world of the Commonweal is ancient, and its history is sodden in magic. The Power, as it’s called, has altered everything, from the cultures and economies of the world to the very people themselves. “Human” is a term whose meaning has become rather loose, encompassing as it now does a range of post-human species. Most of these species were deliberately engineered by various Sauron-wannabes to serve as some variety of forced labour. It’s fair to say that it’s not a happy place…

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Aurdwynn Cannot Be Ruled…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 12, 2016 by davidnm2009

I’m currently reading Seth Dickinson’s “The Traitor”.

The titular traitor is the viewpoint character, a young woman called Baru Cormorant. Thanks to the recent invasion of her homeland of Taranoke by the Imperial Republic of Falcrest, she finds herself thrust head-first into a foreign land’s struggle for freedom.

But can it really be treason when you’re rebelling against the people who destroyed your home?

Thoughts below the cut…

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Status Report

Posted in Uncategorized on December 13, 2015 by davidnm2009

Just to let you all know, this blog will be quieter than average for a couple of weeks. I’m currently in the opening phases of a cross-country house-move – whilst it’s a good thing from a career-and-life point of view, obviously it’s not the sort of process that lends itself to regular and coherent blogging!

Normal service will hopefully resume sometime around (or maybe after) Christmas.

Wish me luck…

An Incomplete World

Posted in computers, Science, Uncategorized with tags on December 9, 2015 by davidnm2009

I burnt out badly on science blogging several years ago, so I don’t do much of it now. But, this result is interesting, so I’m bending said rule a bit here:

http://www.nature.com/news/paradox-at-the-heart-of-mathematics-makes-physics-problem-unanswerable-1.18983

Basically the researchers have identified an applied physics problem, related to the structure of matter, that may actually be insoluble due to Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

What’s interesting about this is a) it feels weird (here’s something that happens in our universe that can’t be analytically-modeled) and b) by implication, we finally have a viable refutation for Simulation Theory. If parts of our basic physics can’t be analytically modelled, then also, we can’t be a ghost-world running on someone’s computer. Because said computer literally wouldn’t be able to perform the required maths, no matter how powerful its components.

(Also, apparently my blog doesn’t already have a category for “physics”? Bwuh … ? How did that happen?)

The Birthgrave, by Tanith Lee

Posted in Books, Reviews, SF, Uncategorized with tags , on December 4, 2015 by davidnm2009

The Birthgrave is a challenging work; if it were published today, it would definitely be considered dark fantasy. However, it is also thought-provoking and poses some hard-to-answer questions about the topics of collective guilt and innocence – just how responsible are we for the sins of those who are like us?

For its time of publication, in the mid ’70s, it was also rather subversive. You see, at its heart, The Birthgrave is a journey of self-discovery, and it has the singular conceit that a woman’s experience is valid and worth considering. Even in today’s SFF, that can be regrettably-rare.

For purposes of trigger warnings, etc., I’m filing this review under “choose not to warn”. Frankly, given the state of the world of The Birthgrave, TWs are probably redundant. I’m also going to change the usual review structure and have a singular “commentary” section, as the “liked/problematic” contrast doesn’t really work in this context. Be aware that the needle will be over on the “problematic” side of the dial a lot during this review.

So, without further digression, here’s the review…

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