I loved The Establishment back then and thought it was a shame it ended so quickly. It was a bit all over the place, filled with a frantic energy that really worked for it (and didn’t for The Monarchy).
The Monarchy had the advantage of being a direct spinoff of The Authority, as well as featuring two former members of StormWatch. The Establishment, though, felt like it had more in common with Warren Ellis’ work on those other books as well as Planetary.
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi - I enjoyed Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and saw that this book was nominated for a Hugo Award. So I thought I’d give this a shot. The book centers around a future human society that is connected by a series of wormhole like structures called The Flow. The rulers of this society have built a structure of government, guilds and religion to preserve this framework called The Interdependency. It seems like a lot of other hard sci-fi societies. It centers around the newly crowned Emperox and a handful of other characters. The main push is that The Flow is collapsing and soon. It seems this book was planned from the start as a series as it leaves off very much at a midpoint. It was a good read but I don’t feel compelled to continue with the series. If you like Ann Leckie, James S. A. Corey or Scalzi’s other books, this would probably be something you would enjoy.
Sounds a bit similar to Brin’s second Uplift trilogy.
No idea what that is but I wouldn’t doubt it. It felt like a lot of other sci-fi I’ve read.
The Ethiopic Book of Enoch (A Hebrew Translation)
Finally reading another Haruki Murakami, “Kafka on the Shore”.
Hope Never Dies
I included the cover for this because I feel like it actually does the book a great disservice. It suggests a very different kind of story than what is behind it. I went into this expecting some kind of over the top pulp noir starring Obama and Biden. Instead it’s a fairly straight forward, staid and generic airport mystery involving them. It’s not bad but nor is it anything special.
No he got a modern green charger instead.
WTF! That’s not even a GM product!!!
After rewatching WOLF (1994), I got interested in revisiting the work of writer Jim Harrison who I probably hadn’t read since the 90’s as well - and even then probably the Legends of the Fall collection was the only book of his I read.
So, I picked up THE BEAST THAT GOD FORGOT TO INVENT a collection of three of his shot novels (aka novellas) and the eponymous first one begins with a great sentence
“The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense.”
He’s a very enjoyable writer to read.
Just started the new Galbraith. Still a little miffed that the dustjacket design does not match the first three.
Biden on the cover looks like he’s melded with the Giant Oompa-Loompa who took Obama’s job.
I read Bad Blood, the book about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, the start-up that claimed to be able to run over a hundred blood tests off a single pinprick, written by John Carreyrou, who wrote the WSJ exposé on the company in 2015.
It’s a very good book, and does a good job of making all the science, and what the company was trying to acheive, accessible. The only real problem with it is that, as the story is still ongoing (the company only shut down last month), Holmes refused to co-operate, so Carreyrou can only really guess at her motivations and psychology, beyond “she loved Steve Jobs and wanted to be a billionaire”.
A lot of the stuff about her romantic relationship with her second-in-command, an Indian man 20 years her senior who nobody in the book says a single positive thing about, is completely mysterious, especially as she lied to everyone, including her board of directors, about the relationship.
The New Testament
I thought you weren’t allowed to?
I said over a year ago, I got special permission.
Oh yes, I do remember that.
Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave by Pat Mills.
This claims to be the inside story of the creating of 2000AD. But let’s be quite clear about what it actually is: a hagiography of Saint Mills by the president of the Pat Mills fan club. The sole point of this book is to educate us to the fact that Pat Mills is the saviour of British comics in the 70s, and the most important writer of his generation, who has been unfairly treated by every not-fit-to-lick-his-boots executive ever associated with a comic publishing company.
The thing is, I think I agree with him. I just wish he was a bit less full of himself.
But if you can get past the self-hero-worship, this is a fascinating book that chronicles not only the rise of 2000AD but dissects all the reasons for its success (in short: “Pat Mills”) and the reasons for its decline (in short: “no Pat Mills”). Mills really does understand comics and comic readers, and makes very pertinent observations about how to write for them.
There are plenty of anecdotes from his career, and they are all entertainingly written (because he really does know how to write). And basically he holds nothing back, this has all the inside “dirt”, and if he thinks something (or, more often, someone) is stupid, he’ll tell you and explain exactly why, without mincing his words.
There are some glaring typos scattered throughout the text, which highlights that this is a self-published book that might have benefitted from an editor (no, no, editors are morons, Pat knows best!!!) but that’s a minor quibble.
If you’re a fan of 2000AD, or just interested in comics writing in general, I really really do recommend this. Buy it for Pat. He needs the money! (On account of those no-good execs and their scurrilous lack of paying royalties, you see.)