Blog Posts

Getting back in the game

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but if I did, one of them would be to blog more often. I fell out of the habit last year because I was so focused on finishing my new blog platform. Now that I'm using it, I really don't have any excuse. Look…

And we're back!

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was moving my website—well, all my websites—to a VPS, a Virtual Private Server. I’m pleased to announce that the transition is complete. In about a week, I moved over all my various software installations. Indeed, I even upgraded some shamefully old…

Happy New Year!

It has been too long since I blogged! This lapse isn’t the result of any one thing so much as a variety of factors. Mostly I’ve been reluctant to blog because of how frustrated I am with my blogging platform—a bespoke PHP script I made years ago. I have been…

On being skeptical, politely

At lunch today I was talking with a colleague. She’s cool; I really respect her attitude towards pedagogy and also like her as a person. But our conversation on the environmental dangers of cows led us to talking about lab-grown meat, which then led to a discussion of whether food…

When we tolerate intolerance, people die

So I came home tonight from a long night at work, only to see Twitter full up about the shooting at a Umpqua Community College in Oregon. My initial reaction was weariness—I was tired, already not in a great mood, and here there was yet another mass shooting. My second…

Currently Reading

Book Reviews

The Brimstone Deception (SPI Files, #3) cover image

Finally caught up on this series, thanks to the magic of ordering stuff online and reading these relatively short novels back to back. The Brimstone Deception starts the day after The Dragon Conspiracy concludes. With such tight timing, it’s no coincidence that emotions and tensions continue to run high. Lisa Shearin advances Mac’s storyline even as she drops some more bombshells about the world of The SPI Files in general.

Already the plot of this book feels fresher than the previous two. Because…

The Dragon Conspiracy (SPI Files, #2) cover image

These book titles remind of the titles of The Big Bang Theory episodes. First The Grendel Affair and then The Dragon Conspiracy. It’s cute, and hopefully Lisa Shearin won’t have to write so many that she starts to run out of ideas like that TV show….

In this sequel, Mac Fraser and Ian Byrne are investigating the theft of magical diamonds with bad mojo. There’s yet another rival dragon in town, this one a big bad Russian. And if a kidnapped gem mage who has no idea about the supernatural world act…

The Grendel Affair (SPI Files, #1) cover image

I am a big fan of Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares series. I was stoked to hear she had a new series, this time urban fantasy set in our world, coming out. That was … three years ago. This is book one. What happened?

Life happened. The Grendel Affair came out during my last year teaching in England. No problem, I figured—I’ll buy it when I move back in August. Then August came around, and I didn’t. I was struggling to get through the backlog of books that had somehow shown up in my room in Canada while…

Remix

Non Pratt

Remix cover image

It's 2016; can we stop pretending we don't judge books by their cover? Remix has amazing cover art—in particular, the way the back cover copy is arranged is a thing of beauty. Just look at it. If I hadn’t already wanted to read Remix after reading Non Pratt’s debut, Trouble , that back cover would change my mind.

I love that Remix is, at its core, about the best friendship between two girls. Yes, there is sex and romance and relationship drama. At the end of the day, though, this is about Kaz…

Black Feathers cover image

This is an odd book. I'm pretty sure it’s good, but I’m not sure I liked it. It took me far longer to read Black Feathers than I usually take to read any book. Part of that was because I spent more time focused on other things over the past few weeks. Most of it, I think was avoidance. Joseph D’Lacey’s writing is good; don’t get me wrong. But I was never in a hurry to return to this world.

Black Feathers is an amalgam of older-style dystopian YA of The Giver’s generation and new-style dystopian YA…

The Suspicion (Animorphs, #24) cover image

Another Cassie book, more in the vein of #14: The Unknown than #19: The Departure. Applegate experiments with absurdism here With slightly more sophisticated humour than “hah hah, it’s an Andalite toilet!”—riffs on gender and politics and, of course, bureaucracy—The Suspicion holds a little more appeal on the comedic front. Also, the story is better, even if the ending is a hot mess.

Instead of Area 51 and horses, this time we get Helmacrons. Ax doesn’t know of them, but Visser Three seems to rec…