September 10th, 2004


Read this book.

Finished Steven Barnes' Zulu Heart yesterday, and cannot recommend it strongly enough. If anything, it's even better than Lion's Blood, to which it is a sequel. Set in an alternate world where America has been colonized by Islamic African nations, the novel follws two men, Aidan O'Dere and Kai, hid former master, who has become Senator and Judge of New Djibouti on the death of his father and uncle. New Bilalistan is on the verge of civil war as Empress and Pharaoh struggle for dominance, and Kai himself has problems at home as he prepares to marry Nandi, the Zulu princess who is niece to the Shaka he killed to avenge his brother.

The novel has everything - war, romance, intrigue, philosophy, madness, treachery, and best of all characters you can believe in and feel for. Very few books move me the way Zulu Heart has, and none of them have been alternate histories this beautifully crafted. It's not a world I'd want to live in, but it is wonderfully described and brought to life by the words of a true master. If any novel deserved a Hugo, it's this one.
  • Current Mood

Political discussions

I spent a fair amount of time yesterday contributing comments to a couple of discussions started by a liberal acquaintance of mine, and I have to say that on balance it was a complete waste of time and intellectual effort. I don't think there was any respect for my personal opinions or experience, and when I supplied links to support my statements they were blown off as being from "partisan sources", as if we were living in the 12th century before Bacon's revelation that the truth of a man's statement was independent of the man himself.

On the other hand, the liberals involved in the discussion felt perfectly free to throw out assertions and opinions without any backup whatsoever and apparently expected me to regard those unsupported assertions as being every bit as valid. All manner of stereotypes and bigotry regarding conservatives and Republicans was on display, and it really made me wonder if this is the kind of discussion these people would have if the subject was race instead of politics.

Sorry. I don't play that game, and if that's what's regarded as "open-minded political discussion" in these parts you can save it for City Pages. This is not the sort of "discussion" one has with friends where I come from, and if it's the way things are done here in Minnesota you can include me out.

Obviously it's not just me.

Sekimori sez: More and more people are turning to weblogs for news/opinion because their bullshit detectors are being redlined on a daily basis by the national and international media.

From a larger post on what bloggers can do about Drudgealanches (short version: nothing you can afford) in the wake of the Power Line story on the 60 Minutes/Dan Rather Bush document forgery scandal.

Via that gorgeous Filipina pundit.

Update Document scandal now has a new name: Rathergate.

Tip of the wombat's helmet to Beldar.

Eight weeks of hell ahead - synchronize your watches!

I suppose I dasn't whine too much; it's not like I have danae's 90-hour workweeks or revolutionaryjo's customers, who by their very existence provide a case for justifiable homicide.

Nonetheless, there is something going on every weekend for the next eight weeks, and if I'm not mistaken I also have class resuming next month as well. I'll be lucky to find time to wash clothes and put things on eBay...and I am going to have to be really careful to make sure I don't run short on sleep, since that leads to sloppiness about personal care and said sloppiness could very well be the death of me. (This is why the Earth is not my mother - my mother lives right outside of Washington DC, and is not constantly trying to kill me.)

On a happier note, TRSI has marked down the Jin-Roh special edition DVDs to $19.99. I may just have to pick one of those puppies up.
  • Current Music
    Big Country - Harvest Home