March 24th, 2014

politics

Links I found interesting for 24-03-2014

tardis

Scavenger, by Bill Gallagher

This is the climax to the current Big Finish trilogy of audios featuring Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor and Lisa Greenwood as new companion Flip, by William Gallagher (whose work has generally been pretty good, though I don't seem to have written it up here previously). I must say it is a real tour de force - the plot begins with a joint Indian-British space mission in the year 2071, but then takes a leap into Indian legend, with some excellent guest performances (including Ajli Mohindra, who was Rani Chandra in the Sarah Jane Adventures). My one complaint is that Kate McEwen, playing the evil British character, sounded a bit inconsistent with her accent, sliding from Scotland to Northern Ireland and back again. But otherwise, this has been a fine set of plays, with a stunning twist at the end of this one which I didn't see coming but which had been decently foreshadowed in the previous two (Antidote to Oblivion and The Brood of Erys).
1915

March Books 18) Anthem, by Ayn Rand

Second paragraph of Chapter 3:
It is said. Now let us be lashed for it, if we must. The Council of Scholars has said that we all know the things which exist and therefore all the things which are not known by all do not exist. But we think that the Council of Scholars is blind. The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who will seek them. We know, for we have found a secret unknown to all our brothers.
I haven't really done my duty by the Retro-Hugo nominations, but thought I should sample one or two more sf books from 1938 than Out Of The Silent Planet and The Sword In The Stone. At this stage in the game, though, it's not easy to find them; browsing online I located only Anthem and Tarzan and the Forbidden City as being easily available. With slightly heavy heart, having previously digested The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, I breezed through it fairly fast. It's a lot better than I expected, partly because it's a lot shorter than I expected; the story is very simply of a worker in a totalitarian, low-tech society who commits an act of rebellion by falling in love and, in the last revolutionary chapter, switching to "I" rather than "we" for the first person pronoun. The revolt against dystopia has been done better elsewhere, including in We, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World, but this does distil it down to its essence quite effectively. seawasp recommended it years ago, and he was right.