Category Archives: Library

Thursday Night Lights

Congratulations to my good former Statesman editor Michael Hurd who has scored a University of Texas Press publishing gig. His book, the Thursday Night Lights, will be out in October.

Reprising The Expanse

Been rehashing the episodes of The Expanse, since I own them now. Taking them in sequence from the first to the most recent, the 12th 13th of Season 2. Liking the characters more and wondering how far the SyFy channel will take the show.

Like as far as the the sixth novel, Babylon’s Ashes, which I just finished? It’s about the Belters war against Earth and Mars. Pretty good. No spoilers here. Wondering what’s next in the novel series, more on the colonized solar systems, I presume.

The death of Jon Snow

I’ve only seen the book version. It seemed inevitable after Snow, almost inexplicably, decided to lead an army of Wildings to Winterfel. Oath breaking, at the least. Treason at the worst. So it was plain that his brothers of the Night’s Watch would at least cashier if not actually murder what some think is the series finest character.

But because GRRM takes so long to crank out another book in the series (none since 2011’s Dance With Dragons), speculation as to what this death means has also become inevitable.

So is Jon dead as dead usually goes in the novels? (Remember Jaime’s dead mother “returning” to him in the Sept?) Will Jon’s brothers neglect to burn his corpse and so he becomes a wight or even a dreaded White Walker? Will the Red priestess resurrect him? Or has his warg’s soul already entered the body of his faithful dire wolf Ghost?

Until the appearance of Book 6, whose working title is The Winds of Winter, the answers are up for grabs. What say ye, o faithful fans?

Excerpt from The Winds of Winter


Excerpt from The Winds of Winter, long-awaited (since 2011) Book Six of A Song of Ice and Fire. I can’t speak for the artwork here but I do love the way Ser Martin writes.

Sword Porn

The fourth book of the Game of Thrones series has its good points. The character building in A Feast for Crows is as good as in the first three books and the plot certainly quickens and thickens. But sometimes the good novelry is shamefully overshadowed by the porn.

Not the sexual play descriptions. mind you. They are as stimulating as the erotic novels of Ann Rice. No, George R.R. Martin loves his violence. Especially his torture scenes, which set the teeth on edge. Sword porn is a good name for it, even when razors are the weapons of choice. Unless you like fright and blood.

Not that I’m not still hooked on the tale. I just like to note complaints now and then and it’s easier to do it here than on Amazon where my helpful rating would suffer in the series’ overwhelming popularity.

Bye bye HBO Game of Thrones

The books, as I have said before, I like quite a lot. The author is(or his editor, or a combination thereof is) a pro at painting word pictures and making plots compelling. The literal HBO pictures, not so much. They seldom follow the books.

HBO’s costume drama is mainly scenes of gratuitous nudity and extreme violence, the two big sellers in flickers/movies/videos/what-have-you these days. Mere love and hope are also rans. It wasn’t always this way and back in those less-graphic days our society had a good many fewer mass murders. Are the two connected? That seems obvious to me.

I paid roughly $71 to watch Amazon streaming versions of the first thirty episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones. It was interesting. The nudity got old, especially in these days of ubiquitous Internet porn, and the ever-more-graphic violence got depressing. When I finally reached the end of Season 3, I realized that with very few exceptions, all of the characters I was interested in were dead.

Still, like a good addict of modern media I decided to press on. Then I discovered that Amazon’s price for Season 4 was more than twice that of Seasons 1, 2 & 3. Wily marketing that. But I decided not to go on. Not worth more of the same at twice the price. Not to me. Your mileage may vary, of course.

I’m sticking with the books. I’d still recommend them.

Thought crimes

It hasn’t come to this yet. Pubic shaming by the media is the preferred option. But give it time.

What are you in for?’ said Winston.
‘Thoughtcrime!’ said Parsons, almost blubbering. The tone of his voice implied at once a complete admission of his guilt and a sort of incredulous horror that such a word could be applied to himself.

Are you guilty?’ said Winston.
‘Of course I’m guilty!’ cried Parsons with a servile glance at the telescreen. ‘You don’t think the Party would arrest an innocent man, do you?’

Orwell foresaw it all.