Enter the Pirate

April 10, 2016

I’m still recovering from the unending riot that was the Jack Williamson Lecture, so I’ve called in Pirate Bob to substitute. Kindly watch to the very end, because it only gets stranger.

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Fiat Lux

April 6, 2016

I’ll be leaving tomorrow for a couple days in the sophisticated metropolis of Portales, NM, for the fortieth annual Jack Williamson Lectureship.  Fun will be had. In the meantime I’m deeply enjoying my schadenfreude at the continuing revelations of the Panama Papers.  The premiere of Iceland has resigned.  And the Great Firewall of China has been […]

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Panama Gold

April 5, 2016

So I was about to write something along the lines of, “Once again, the global financial underbelly has been exposed.”  But then I thought, Hey, how many global financial underbellies are there, anyway? Lots, apparently.  Maybe 11.5 million of them. 11.5 million is the number of documents extracted from the Panamanian law firm of Mossack […]

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This Week in History

March 31, 2016

For some reason this blog seems to be tracking a number of history stories.  Here are some more Satellite photos seem to have revealed a Viking settlement in North America. Magnetometer readings later taken at the remote site, called Point Rosee, a grassy headland above a rocky beach an hour’s trek from the nearest road, […]

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Do Right

March 30, 2016

From a young Peggy Lee, one of many classic renditions of “Why Don’t You Do Right,” also known as “The Weed Smoker’s Dream.” While touring with the Goodman band, Miss Lee obsessively played Lil Green’s rendition of the song, which had earlier been recorded by the Harlem Hamfats (who were, by the way, from Chicago). […]

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Reviews Too Late: The Heavy Water War

March 30, 2016

The Heavy Water War (UK title: The Saboteurs), streamable on Netflix, is a six-episode Norwegian television production that tells a number of parallel stories: that of the Nazi nuclear program, the British and Norwegian saboteurs who tried to stop it, and the management of Norsk Hydro, the company who owned the heavy-water plant at the center […]

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The Graveyard of Conan

March 28, 2016

A 3200-year-old bronze-age battlefield has been excavated next to the Tollense River near the Baltic Sea. The result: 10,000 bones of at least 130 individuals, plus some horses.  The bodies, all men, were hacked with swords, stabbed with spears, and shot with bronze arrowheads. Archaeologists have only opened 450 square meters, which suggests that there’s […]

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Tools for Life

March 25, 2016

Here, meeting in what is perhaps the most unflattering lighting ever, is last weekend’s reunion of Taos Toolbox grads. Included in the unflattering light is Melinda Snodgrass, who is not a Toolbox vet but has twice been a special lecturer.  It hardly seems fair that she must share the dismal lighting with us. This group […]

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Protagonists

March 24, 2016

So I was talking to an acquaintance whose family hails from Tennessee.  He said, “In my family we used to be embarrassed that the Yankees came and took away our plantation.  But now what’s embarrassing is that we had a plantation in the first place.” Which is enlightened self-knowledge, if you ask me. And which […]

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Big Oops

March 17, 2016

Alert reader Bruce Perens has written to let me know that the ebooks of Aristoi have a formatting error, in that one chapter was moved to the end of the file.  And by end, I mean end, after the “Other Books by Walter Jon Williams” section and everything. This mistake has now been corrected, and the revised file […]

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