January 9 2013

A Read of Ice and Fire — “A Clash of Kings” Gathered Hence

Over at Tor.com, I have been participating in The Read of Ice and Fire. For various reasons, I hadn’t started the Song of Ice and Fire series until fairly recently and so, by “A Clash of Kings” I was synched up as a first time reader. I’ve been reading along at the same rate as the read through (1 or 2 chapters a week). For “A Clash of Kings”, I didn’t comment on every post, while on “A Storm of Swords” I am trying to post every time with my first time thoughts. A reader asked me to gather together my posts as it is somewhat time consuming to look through all of the many posts at tor.
So, after the “more” are my gathered comments for “A Clash of Kings”. I’ll be gathering up the comments for “A Storm of Swords” in a bit in another post.
The format is a link to the particular full article on tor followed by my comments.

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January 7 2013

Midnight Riot

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch was recommended to me by my friend Gary and has proven to be a delightful way to start the new year. In other words, I enjoyed it very much.
Peter Grant is a rookie constable in London who is just about to be assigned to sorting red tape when he happens to talk to a ghost who claims to have been a witness to a murder. This brings him to the attention of one Inspector Nightingale–the last wizard in the employ of the London Metropolitan Police. The course of Peter’s career and his life undergo rapid change as he becomes Nightingale’s apprentice and begins to explore the world of Magical London.
This book was very well written. At times funny and at times suspenseful. Confident in tone, I found it to be a very good read.

January 4 2013

Apollo Robbins — Pickpocketing the Brain

I read this very interesting article about Apollo Robbins in The New Yorker yesterday. He’s been around a while, but I hadn’t heard anything until this article. Apollo Robbins performs a pickpocketing act at a very high level. Cool stuff.
What I found particularly interesting was his exploitation of various holes in human’s perception and psychology. Here is an article from Scientific American that goes into more on this aspect of the subject.
What we (our consciousness) perceives as a smooth flow of information is really anything but. From blindsight to Change blindness there are a multitude of holes that can be exploited.

January 2 2013

Happy New Year

2012 now sleeps with the fishes along with the rest of history while 2013 now cruises forward. 2012 was mostly full of good things. We went to Rome and the World Science Fiction convention in Chicago. Both were great fun in their own unique ways.
I read 68 books, short of my goal of 100, but things got fairly busy out in the real world. Busyness also accounts for only 58 blog posts here.
My favorite book for 2012 was The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis. The sequel to that, Necessary Evil, comes out this spring–I’m quite looking forward to that.
In 2013, I’m planning on reading and getting more serious about writing.

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