Book Review: "Index, A History of the" by Dennis Duncan

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Monks reading books, and pointing at an index.

Most of us give little thought to the back of the book - it's just where you go to look things up. But here, hiding in plain sight, is an unlikely realm of ambition and obsession, sparring and politicking, pleasure and play. Here we might find Butchers, to be avoided, or Cows that sh-te Fire,…

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Book Review: Difficult Women by Helen Lewis

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Book cover for Difficult Women

Bomb-throwing suffragettes. The pioneer of the refuge movement who became a men's rights activist. Forget feel-good heroines: meet the feminist trailblazers who have been airbrushed from history for being 'difficult' - and discover how they made a difference. Here are their stories in all their shocking, funny and unvarnished glory. It is a cliché that…

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Book Review: Assassin's Orbit by John Appel

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Book cover.

Murder makes unlikely allies. On the eve of the planet Ileri's historic vote to join the Commonwealth, the assassination of a government minister threatens to shatter everything. Private investigator Noo Okereke and spy Meiko Ogawa join forces with police chief Toiwa to investigate - and discover clues that point disturbingly toward a threat humanity thought…

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Book Review: The Computer’s Voice - From Star Trek to Siri by Liz W. Faber

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A circuit board embossed with a vocal wave form.

A deconstruction of gender through the voices of Siri, HAL 9000, and other computers that talk Considering Star Trek, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Her, and more, Liz W. Faber explores contentious questions around gender: its fundamental constructedness, the rigidity of the gender binary, and culturally situated attitudes on male and female embodiment. Going beyond current…

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Book Review: The 22 Murders Of Madison May - Max Barry

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Yellow book cover.

Felicity Staples hates reporting on murders. As a journalist for a mid-size New York City paper, she knows she must take on the assignment to research Madison May's shocking murder, but the crime seems random and the suspect is in the wind. That is, until Felicity spots the killer on the subway, right before he…

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Book Review: Notes from the Burning Age - Claire North

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Book cover in flames.

Ven was once a holy man, a keeper of ancient archives. It was his duty to interpret archaic texts, sorting useful knowledge from the heretical ideas of the Burning Age – a time of excess and climate disaster. For in Ven’s world, such material must be closely guarded, so that the ills that led to…

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Book Review: Quarantine Comix

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Cartoon of small white woman surrounded by a big black dog.

It's hard reviewing a comic book like this. A weekly or daily feed of little vignettes of lockdown life regularly raises a chuckle. But it long-form, it doesn't quite work. We already know how the story ends - after a year, you're still in lockdown. You've grown around the belly, but have you grown as…

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Book review: A Brief History of Motion - Tom Standage

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Book cover with cogs and wheels on it.

Our society has been shaped by the car in innumerable ways, many of which are so familiar that we no longer notice them. Why does red mean stop and green mean go? Why do some countries drive on the left, and some on the right? How did cars, introduced only a little over a century…

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Book Review: Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers 3) - Becky Chambers

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A human staring up at the stars.

Hundreds of years ago, the last humans left Earth. After centuries wandering empty space, humanity was welcomed – mostly – by the species that govern the Milky Way, and their generational journey came to an end. But this is old history. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but…

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Book Review: A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2) by Becky Chambers

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People looking out into a galaxy of stars.

Beginning during the final events of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, this standalone sequel branches out to explore new characters and new corners of the galaxy. Once, Lovelace had eyes and ears everywhere. She was a ship’s artificial intelligence system, tasked with caring for the health and well-being of her crew, possessing…

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