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Posts Tagged ‘scifi’

Good-Book Hiatus

Sorry about the quiet! I’ve been caught up in a series of good books. I received Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series and was glued to that until I found a copy of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, which I’ve been reading voraciously for the past two days (it takes a lot to tear me away from Jasper Fforde). Cory is a journalist, science fiction author, and contributer to the blog Boing Boing, and also referenced on the webcomic XKCD. He was one of the first people to publish a novel under a Creative Commons license (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom), and he very kindly published Little Brother under the same license.

What does this mean, you ask? Well, this means you can download the book for free, and distribute it for free, and create derivative works for free as long as you don’t capitalize on them. So, head on over to Cory Doctorow’s website Craphound and download the book, or go to your local library and snag a copy, or go ahead and actually buy it, because it’s a pretty awesome book.

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The first comment I got whenever I mentioned I was moving to Philadelphia was, “Oh, it’s really hot there, isn’t it?” Being especially naive, I said it couldn’t be much worse than New York in the summer. Within a week of leaving spring and lilacs in Massachusetts, it’s over 100°F and muggy as hell. My half an hour walks to and from work made me a lot more… pungent at work.

During this heat wave, I went to a party during the famous 150 mile Manayunk bicycle race with a bunch of eclectic, interesting, and perhaps slightly insane (in a fun way) people. This was a good mix, as it made for some exciting conversation (including a serious debates on the merits and cons of Costco) as well as some tasty food. The cyclists were somehow still mobile after their ninth go climbing “the Wall” on their bikes, but most of the viewers were melting.

This week I cataloged a book of benedictions for exorcisms (the text was riddled with small crosses, as though their presence in the prayers would make doubly sure no demons would want to hang around). The prayers were fairly ordinary, nothing too exciting.

One book I wish were digitized or reproduced consisted of a Perpetual Card (a kind of infinite calendar), and various predictions. While at first most of the predictions were a kind of numerology for the reader to use in order to make their own predictions, it soon strayed into very complex stuff involving the Kabbalah, astrology, and divination through magic. This 17th century book stopped giving instructions and just assumed you could read the weird symbols that represented various angels. I hope some researcher finds it, deciphers it, and publishes so I can understand it, and thus understand the mysteries of the universe.

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