Thoughts: The Girl With All The Gifts, by M. R. Carey

Tl;dr, it is very good. It made waves in 2014 for a reason.

Bonus tip: the film is also very good! Seeing it is the reason I put the book on my list, and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since.

A very quick disclaimer: the casting in the film took some different directions from the book (swapped the races of Melanie and Miss Justineau, basically) and I kept imagining the actresses while reading, though it messes with the description. It didn’t bother me – I’m rubbish at imagining things anyway – but I know it does bother some people if there’s a mismatch, so be aware. The casting is great though, and I think I preferred it to the book character descriptions?

Anyway, because I saw the film first, I don’t know how much of the book’s premise is spoilers, so be aware of that too. I don’t think it’s very spoilery, because basically as soon as you open it the slow reveal begins, but I thought I’d say anyway, in case you didn’t want to know more. If you don’t, then I’ll just say that the characters are strong and the writing is quite lovely and I inhaled this book.

Spoilers follow.

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Thoughts: The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin

In the normal order of things, it would take me about three years to get around to this, after Ursula K. Le Guin left us in January, but I bumped her up to the top of the list because a) she is a legend and b) a few of us wanted to read The Left Hand of Darkness and discuss it together. Which we haven’t done yet, but oh well, here come my thoughts!

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Thoughts: Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

I know, I keep doing this. Wasting your precious time to grab you by the shoulders and say, “You know that book that has been critically acclaimed for years, that has been made into a film which by all accounts is highly enjoyable, which you have almost certainly read or seen or even pressed upon me? I deem that book to be very good.”

Reader, I deem Never Let Me Go to be very good.

Legit spoiler warning though. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but you should go into this one as pure as you can.

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Thoughts: Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell

This is sort of cheating, because I’d read it before, a long time ago, but hey, I didn’t tell anyone what I thought of it, so it still counts!

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Thoughts: The Travelling Cat Chronicles, by Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel

Long time no see…

I didn’t mean for my break to go on this long! I was powering through to the end of a round of edits on a story, and then I sort of needed a break from all writing, and idiotically I used that time to read intensely, increasing my backlog, and then I had a cold, and now I’m back.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles was a Christmas present from my dad, who knows me very well, aware that I love both cats and Japanese literature. This is probably going to get spoilery, so you have been warned.

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The periodic table of tastes, and how to cook with them

One of the more confusing bits of childhood science education is learning that there are only four or five tastes (textbooks have been slow to add the fifth taste, commonly called umami or savouriness, even thought it was discovered over a hundred years ago).* How can all the flavours, from chocolate to broccoli, be broken down into just five simple components – sweet, salty, sour, bitter and savoury?

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A short Star Trek thing

Normally I’d just complain about this on Facebook or wherever, but since it’s also a spoiler for the season finale of Star Trek Discovery, I decided to put it here on the blog. Spoilers after the jump!

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Sneaky Thoughts: I, Tonya

Someone suggested today that I should make a habit of writing little reviews of the films we get at Sneak Preview. So, why not?

Tonight’s film was I, Tonya, a biopic of Tonya Harding, the ice skater who became globally infamous after her rival Nancy Kerrigan was beaten in an attack linked to Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly – and possibly Harding herself.

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Play: Human of the Year

This is a play we wrote for a Play in a Day event. It’s not exactly as performed (the director and actors did a good job of cutting it down and neatening it up a bit), but not bad for a night’s work.

Human of the Year (PDF)

Frankfurt Sneak Statistics IV – Sne4k

Here we are again.* A year of Frankfurt movie sneak previews, in statistics! You can see 2014, 2015 and 2016, now without further ado, here’s 2017!

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