Category Archives: books bookhoard

plague novels: a scent of new-mown hay

While Andromeda Strain is the most bloodless science fiction – the microorganism is a solid hexagonal crystal, no messy fluids here – A Scent of New Mown Hay (John Blackburn, 1959) is a work of horror. Every other chapter ends with people people running screaming, or … Continue reading

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partial explanations

Red alert, day 74. Lockdown, day 64. More of Warren Weaver, this time on scientific explanation. Many of us have thought the following, for example when reading bad wall texts in science museums, but Weaver, with the confidence of the … Continue reading

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polarity problems

Red alert, day 73. Lockdown, day 63. Here’s a more durable excerpt from the autobiography of Warren Weaver, the science administrator discussed yesterday. Relevant to studies of qualia and evaluation/Appraisal: [I have had a lifelong curiosity] about the magnitude of … Continue reading

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scene of change

Red alert, day 72. Lockdown, day 62. I continue to note the counts for each day in a notebook, and they are still alarming. Marscon (January, Virginia) now takes the prize for farthest-off cancellation. The house cleanout in 2018 unearthed … Continue reading

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Eastercon: twilight of the booksellers

Brian from Porcupine Books is making this his last con. He’s turning 65 and has had it with the schlepping. After Worldcon he was thinking of selling up, but now he’s planning to carry on online.“I imagine the driving back … Continue reading

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buried treasure: epistolatory

Break in the book summaries for an actual handwritten letter from 65 years ago, found in the attic last year. They don’t write ’em like this anymore. I have H’s full name, but not T’s. Jan 14 51 Dear T…, … Continue reading

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buried treasure: campfire girls

Julianne DeVries. (1933) The Campfire Girls Flying Around the World. Cleveland: World Syndicate Publication. In 1972 my mother’s family sent us a box of children’s books that had belonged to her and her niece Molly, among them four or five from the … Continue reading

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buried treasure: schlesinger’s 1930s

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (2000) A Life in the 20th Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950. New York: Houghton Mifflin. Though I don’t have time to finish this 530-page first volume of memoirs by the historian and Kennedy advisor, it is good … Continue reading

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buried treasure

One of my vacation tasks is to sort through the junk in my parents’ attic, which is dominated by books accumulated from years of library book sales for as little as a dollar a box. Old books as such became a … Continue reading

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