Archive for ‘books’

March 29, 2017

Working List of Online Resources

I am currently involved in a research project that will explore the intersection of faith and politics (and related issues) that has become so prominent in contemporary American politics, and which has echoes in other parts of the world. I will keep a record of the ongoing research on my blog as I go along.

This list of online resources will be updated as I go along. I won’t offer commentary on any of the resources on this post, though I might comment on some of them in subsequent posts. This post is simply meant as a place to compile resources I come across, and it will be updated regularly.

Unite for America: A new post-partisan platform for everyday conservatives and liberals going beyond party politics to tackle America’s biggest issues. https://www.uniteforamerica.org

Michael Hanegan http://www.michaelhanegan.com

Churches of Christ Aim to Mend Longstanding Racial Divides http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2012-06-16/churches-of-christ-racial-divide/55638722/1

Open Letters on Race Call for Meaningful Engagement http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/open-letters-on-race-call-for-meaningful-engagement?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=5023655&ObjectType=35

Alt-Right Gathering Exults in Trump Election With Nazi-Era Salute https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/us/alt-right-salutes-donald-trump.html

Race and Reconciliation http://etd.fcla.edu/UF/UFE0019542/key_b.pdf

Racism Has Its Privileges http://thenation.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/racismhasprivileges.pdf

White Nationalism Explained https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/world/americas/white-nationalism-explained.html

The Most and Least Racially Diverse US Religious Groups http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/27/the-most-and-least-racially-diverse-u-s-religious-groups/

A Micro Political Theology for 2016 http://www.michaelhanegan.com/blog/a-micro-political-theology-for-2016

Review: Race and Churches of Christ: New book dispels myths (Shattering the Illusion, by Wes Crawford, reviewed by Tania Smith Brice) http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/race-and-churches-of-christ-new-book-dispels-myths?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=4474330&ObjectType=35

Race and the Church (conversation with Tania Smith Brice) http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/race-and-the-church-a-conversation-with-tanya-smith-brice?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=4368867&ObjectType=35

Churches of Christ National Lectureship http://www.cocnl.com

Christian Leaders Oppose Trump’s Muslim Ban http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/01/29/christian_leaders_oppose_trump_s_muslim_ban.html

White Privilege: Let’s Talk http://privilege.uccpages.org

Trump Turns Apolitical Mennonites into Protestors http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article137032783.html

How Could So Many Evangelical Christians Support Donald Trump? http://www.denverpost.com/2016/11/19/how-could-so-many-evangelical-christians-support-donald-trump/

Churches should lead the way (and have not) (Fred Gray) http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/in-race-relations-churches-ought-to-be-the-ones-leading-the-way-and-we-have-not?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=4831267&ObjectType=35

Evangelicals Protesting Trump’s Refugee Ban Talk about their Reasons http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/february/evangelicals-protesting-trumps-temporary-refugee-ban-talk-about-their-reasons-why

The Civil Rights Movement Had One Powerful Tool That We Don’t Have https://www.thenation.com/article/the-civil-rights-movement-had-one-powerful-tool-that-we-dont-have/

How Democrats Can Stop Being Perceived as the Abortion Party https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/opinion/qa-how-democrats-can-stop-being-perceived-as-the-abortion-party.html

Trump Thinks This is Pro-Life? https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/opinion/sunday/trump-thinks-this-is-pro-life.html?_r=0

Christian Leaders Oppose Trump’s “America First” Budget Plan https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2017/03/16/christian-leaders-protest-trumps-america-first-budget-plan/

10 Predictions for Post-Evangelical America http://www.michaelhanegan.com/blog/requiem-christian-nation

Losing My Religion for Equality (Jimmy Carter) http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/losing-my-religion-for-equality-20090714-dk0v.html

Religion: an important factor or not in the presidential race http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/religion-an-important-factor-or-not-in-presidential-race?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=4368957&ObjectType=35

Christian groups oppose Trump’s preference for Christian refugees http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-immigration-christians-234341

The History of the West End Congregation http://www.thewestender.com/about_wend.htm

Consistent Life Network http://www.consistentlifenetwork.org

Churches of Christ and Racism: Time to Listen http://www.thewestender.com/about_wend.htm

Donald Trump’s Rise has Coincided with an Explosion of Hate Groups https://www.thenation.com/article/donald-trumps-rise-has-coincided-with-an-explosion-of-hate-groups/

Christians’ Support for Trump Undermines their Public Witness http://thefederalist.com/2016/10/12/christians-support-trump-undermines-public-witness/

On Russia, Ukraine, and Jeff Sessions http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/on-russia-ukraine-and-jeff-sessions

Evangelical Christians protest Trump Muslim ban outside prayer breakfast https://www.yahoo.com/news/evangelical-christians-protest-trump-refugee-ban-outside-prayer-breakfast-170516935.html

The Passion of Southern Christians https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/08/opinion/the-passion-of-southern-christians.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

What Jeff Sessions Doesn’t Understand About Racism http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/01/cory_booker_shattered_illusions_about_racism_at_the_sessions_hearing.html

(White) Reflections on Marching With Black Lives Matter http://www.michaelhanegan.com/blog/white-reflections-on-marching-with-blacklivesmatter

This is not a race issue, it’s a humanity issue http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/this-is-not-a-race-issue-it-is-a-humanity-issue?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457445&ObjectID=4711367&ObjectType=35

John McCain Takes on Donald Trump http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/02/john-mccain-takes-on-donald-trump.html

Donnie McClurkin Tells Christians to Stop Protesting Trump http://www.christianpost.com/news/donnie-mcclurkin-tells-christians-to-stop-protesting-donald-trump-174545/

Prophetic Moral Challenge After National Prayer Breakfast http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/oped-moral-outrage-after-national-prayer-breakfast-n716261

The 2003 Documentary Born Rich has a Lot to tell us About Ivanka Trump http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/01/11/the_2003_documentary_born_rich_has_a_lot_to_tell_us_about_ivanka_trump.html

10 Reasons You Can’t be a Christian and Vote for Donald Trump http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2016/02/29/pieper-and-henderson-10-reasons-you-cant-be-a-christian-and-vote-for-donald-trump

Speaking up on the Race Issue in America http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/speaking-up-on-the-issue-of-race-in-america?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=5023651&ObjectType=35

Syrian Refugees find ‘second family’ in Canadian church http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/for-these-syrian-refugees-canadian-church-members-have-become-second-family

Franklin Graham Shows How Christians Protesting the Immigration Ban are Wrong http://www.faithfamilyamerica.com/franklin_graham_shows_how_christians_protesting_trump_s_immigration_ban_are_wrong

The Christian Community’s Support of Donald Trump Broke My Heart http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/christian-communitys-support-donald-trump-broke-my-heart

Story on Race sparks bad and good memories http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/story-on-race-sparks-bad-good-memories?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=4369358&ObjectType=35

No Room for Religious Extremism in Singapore http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/no-room-for-religious-extremism-in-singapore-say-muslim-leaders?xtor=EREC-16-1%5BST_Newsletter_AM%5D-20170305-%5BNo+room+for+religious+extremism+in+Singapore%2C+say+Muslim+leaders%5D&xts=538291

Why Do Christians Stand by Trump? http://theresurgent.com/why-do-christians-stand-by-trump/

Where Christian Leaders Stand on Trump’s Refugee Policy https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/christians-refugees-trump/514820/

The Christian Outrage Machine: A Counter-Proposal http://www.michaelhanegan.com/blog/the-christian-outrage-machine-a-counter-proposal

The Green Book https://www.nypl.org/blog/2015/03/24/schomburg-treasures-green-book

Why the Christian Right Still Supports Trump http://religionnews.com/2016/10/15/christian-right-still-trump/

Lutheran refugee agency ‘cautiously hopeful’ following blocked immigration order http://religionnews.com/2017/03/27/lutheran-refugee-agency-is-cautiously-hopeful-following-blocked-immigration-order/

On Christian Journalists and Black Lives Matter http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/on-christian-journalists-and-blacklivesmatter

9 Reasons My Faith Compels me to Say Black Lives Matter http://www.michaelhanegan.com/blog/9-reasons-why-my-faith-compels-me-to-say-blacklivesmatter

Race and the Church http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/race-and-the-church-getting-beyond-the-handshake?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=4368869&ObjectType=35

Milwaukee Church Transcends Race http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/milwaukee-church-transcends-race?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=4367878&ObjectType=35

Leaders Tackle Questions on Race and the Church http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/leaders-tackle-questions-on-race-and-the-church?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=4367523&ObjectType=35

Race and the Church: how far have we come? http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/race-and-the-church-how-far-have-we-come?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=4368870&ObjectType=35

Race Reconciliation, the Gospel, and the Church https://www.9marks.org/article/racial-reconciliation-the-gospel-and-the-church/

Conversation after Trayvon Martin Verdict http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/after-verdict-in-trayvon-martin-shooting-ministers-host-forum-on-youth-race-and-violence?A=SearchResult&SearchID=4457446&ObjectID=4370549&ObjectType=35

Gaps in the Christian Echo http://frankbellizzi.blogspot.com/2010/02/gaps-in-christian-echo.html

Trump’s Budget a Perfect Reflection of Republican Values https://www.thenation.com/article/trump-budget-gop-values/

Southwestern Christian College http://www.blackpast.org/aaw/southwestern-christian-college-1948

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June 1, 2016

Alternate History by Female Writers

I am not going to comment on these posts, but I posting them here more as a bookmark, to remind myself to go back and read them more carefully

 

Alternate History Books by Women

 

https://strangecharmbooks.co.uk/category/reviews/alternate-history/

 

http://www.jowaltonbooks.com

 

 

 

April 1, 2016

Hit or Miss, January-March 2016

Here’s what I have been reading and viewing so far this year

Hits

  • Secret Manta (Yeow Kai Chai)
  • 《文字就是生命》尤今
  • Life is Text (You Jin, English version)
  • Scifaikuest (recent and back issues)
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Mohsin Hamid)
  • Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (David Sedaris)
  • The Forge of God (Greg Bear)
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (movie)
  • The Translator (Leila Aboulela)
  • Star*Line (recent issue)
  • Chimeric Machines (Lucy A. Snyder)
  • The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins)
  • Not Like a Native Speaker (Rey Chow)
  • A Fire Upon the Deep (Vernon Vinge)
  • Objects of Affection (Krishna Udayasankar)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
  • The Time Traders (Andre Norton)
  • All the King’s Men (Robert Penn Warren)

Misses

none

Neither Hit nor Miss

  • Jonah Hex (movie)

I think the read of the month for January was The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Translator for February, and in March, All the King’s Men.

 

January 14, 2016

Hit or Miss, November and December 2015

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in November and December

Hits

  • Jupiter Ascending (movie)
  • The Imitation Game (movie)
  • Birdman (movie)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (movie)
  • The Confession (John Grisham)
  • Every Fifteen Minutes (Lisa Scottoline)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (movie)
  • Danny Collins (movie)
  • Rose (Li-Young Lee)
  • Star Wars: A New Hope (movie)
  • Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi (movie)
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (movie)

Misses

  • no misses

Neither Hit nor Miss

  • Postmortem (Patricia Cornwell)

I think the read of the month for me was The Imitation Game or Slumdog Millionaire in November and Rose and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December.

So how has recent reading and viewing been for you?

November 6, 2015

Hit or Miss, September and October 2015

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in September and October

Hits

  • Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)
  • The Inspector and Silence (Hakan Nesser)
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  • The Classic of Tea (Lu Yu)
  • Go Set a Watchman (Harper Lee)
  • A Scanner Darkly (Philip K Dick)
  • The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader (Sandra Harding, ed.)
  • Fire on the Mountain (Anita Desai)
  • The Body Keeps the Score (Bessel Vander Kolk)
  • The Secret Keeper (Kate Morton)
  • Lavinia (Ursula K Le Guin)
  • In the Garden of Beasts (Erik Larson)
  • Daniel Deronda (George Eliot)
  • Mission: Impossible, Rogue Nation (movie)
  • Derivative Faith (Jollin Tan)

Misses

  • Blindsight (Peter Watts)

Neither Hit nor Miss

  • Ant Man (movie)

I think the read of the month for me was Don Quixote and The Body Keeps the Score in September and Daniel Deronda and Derivative Faith in October.

So how has recent reading and viewing been for you?

September 1, 2015

Hit or Miss, July and August 2015

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in July and August

Hits

  • Three Men in a Boat (Jerome K Jerome)
  • A Red Death (Walter Mosley)
  • Smoke and Mirrors (Neil Gaiman)
  • Dwarf Stars anthology, 2015
  • Black Aperture (Matt Rasmussen) – my review at Thumbnail Reviews
  • Derivative Faith (Jolin Tan)
  • Dragon Blade (movie)
  • Insurgent (movie)
  • The Lifted Veil (George Eliot)
  • The Puppet Masters (Robert Heinlein)
  • Thor (movie)

Recent and back issues of: Lontar, Scifaikuest (x3), Illumen (x2), Star*Line

Misses

  • Desolation Row (Kay Kendall)

Neither Hit nor Miss

  • none

I think the read of the month for me was Smoke and Mirrors in July and Black Aperture in August.

So how has recent reading and viewing been for you?

July 1, 2015

Hit or Miss, May and June 2015

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in May and June

Hits

  •  A Canticle for Leibowitz (Walter M Miller)
  • The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
  • Mortdecai (movie)
  • Cake (movie)
  • Hugo (movie)
  • Defending Jacob (William Landay)
  • Divergent (Veronica Roth)
  • Barry Lyndon (William Makepeace Thackeray)
  • Typewriter in the Sky (L Ron Hubbard)
  • Fortune’s Lover (Rachel Pollack)
  • In the Blood (Jackie French)
  • Land of Mercy (Fan Wen; soon to be published MS)
  • Minions (movie)

Misses

  • Twenties are Gone (Felicia Atkinson)

Neither Hit nor Miss

  • Fairy Tales for Writers (Lawrence Schimel)

I think the read of the month for me was A Canticle for Leibowitz and The English Patient in May and Fortune’s Lover in June.

So how has recent reading and viewing been for you?

May 9, 2015

Hit or Miss, April 2015

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in March

Hits

  • The Road (Cormac McCarthy)
  • Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins)
  • Wild Grass (Lu Xun)
  • Remarkable Creatures (Tracy Chevalier)
  • Onkalo (Bernice Chauly)
  • Comedy in a Minor Key (Hans Keilson)
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (Jack Weatherford)
  • Digital Fortress (Dan Brown)
  • The End of Eternity (Isaac Asimov)

Misses

  • The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel (Maureen Lindley)

Neither Hit nor Miss

  • none

I think the read of the month for me was Wild Grass.

So how was April reading and viewing for you?

April 4, 2015

Hit or Miss, March 2015

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in March

Hits

  • High Rise (J G Ballard)
  • Calculating God (Robert J Sawyer)
  • Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)
  • Orientalism (Edward Said)

Back issue of 《科幻世界》

Misses

  • none

Neither Hit nor Miss

  • The Player of Games (Iain M Banks)
  • Macbeth: A Novel (A J Hartley and David Hewson)

I think the read of the month for me was either Interview with the Vampire or Orientalism.

So how was March reading and viewing for you?

March 10, 2015

Hit or Miss, Feb ’15

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in February

Hits

  • Flaubert’s Drum (Sugu Pillay)
  • Into the Beautiful North (Luis Alberto Urrea)
  • Origen (Theodore Vrettos)
  • The Killables (Gemma Malley)
  • Calico Joe (John Grisham)

Back issue of Outposts of Beyond and the most recent issue of Lontar

Misses

  • none

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • Anathem (Neal Stephenson)

I think the read of the month for me was either Into the Beautiful North or Calico Joe.

So how was February reading and viewing for you?

February 7, 2015

Hit or Miss, Jan ’15

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in January

Hits

  • Night has a Thousand Eyes (Arthur Upgren)
  • Thud! (Terry Pratchett)
  • Interstellar (movie)
  • Coastlands (Aaron Lee Soon Yong)
  • Moving Diary (Miho Kinnas, unpublished MS)
  • The Song of Rowanberry (Ikuko Tanaka)
  • The Man with the Compound Eyes (Wu Ming-Yi)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (movie)

Back issues of Outposts of Beyond

Misses

  • none

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • none

It was a good reading month, so very hard to pick a read of the month for me this time.

So how was January reading and viewing for you?

January 8, 2015

Hit or Miss, Dec 2014

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in December

Hits

  • The Final Act of Mr Shakespeare (Robert Winder)
  • Forrest Gump (Winston Groom)
  • Billy Elliot (movie)
  • The Steampowered Globe (Rosemary Lim and Malsanah bet Abu Samah, ed)

Back issues of Star*Line, Disturbed Digest, and Outposts of Beyond

Misses

  • none

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • The Hobbit 3 (movie) – mostly not a complete miss because it was a fun outing with friends

So how was December reading and viewing for you?

December 3, 2014

Hit or Miss, Nov 2014

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in November

 

Hits

  • Paths of Glory (Jeffrey Archer)
  • The Fifth Child (Doris Lessing)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (movie)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (movie)
  • Jaya (Dr Devdutt Pattanaik)
  • The Dispossessed (Ursula K Le Guin)
  • Lucy (movie)
  • If I Stay (movie)
  • Dwarf Stars 2014 (Sandra J Lindow, ed)

Back issues of Aoife’s Kiss and Ploughshares

Misses

  • Darkness at Bamiyan (Amol Titus)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (movie)

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • Judas Unchained (Peter F Hamilton)
    • I expected to like this a lot, but never managed to get into it – probably at least partly because I was sick

 

 

So how was November reading and viewing for you?

November 3, 2014

Hit or Miss, Oct 2014

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in October

 

Hits

  • Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: a novel (A J Hartley and David Hanson)
  • Shoeless Joe (W P Kinsella)
  • East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
    • this has moved up to a very high spot on my all-time favourites; I really loved it
  • Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
  • 《敦煌的诗》(方健荣  / 郑宝生,选编)
  • Red (movie)

Back issues of Aoife’s Kiss

Misses

  • none

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • Ben Hur (Lew Wallace)
    • I expected to like this a lot, but never exactly got into it; one of the rare instances in which I’d recommend the movie over the book

 

 

So how was October reading and viewing for you?

October 5, 2014

Hit or Miss, Aug-Sept 2014

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in August and September

 

Hits

  • Starry Island (Fiona Sze-Lorrain, ed.)
  • Zero History (William Gibson)
  • Urchin (Lisa Heiserman Perkins)
  • The Genie at Low Tide (Paul Bayall)
  • The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (Nancy Farmer)
  • When the Gods are Silent (Jane Linskold)

Back issues of  Ploughshares and  Aoife’s Kiss

Misses

  • none

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • Pompeii (movie)
  • The Lost Prince (Julie Kagawa)
  • The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (T E Lawrence) – both hit and miss, since there were some interesting insights, but the coloniser’s clear sense of superiority is too insulting to overlook
  • Brothers (Yu Hua) – both hit and miss, since the writing was good and much of the story was gripping, while other parts just came off as overboard; the real “miss” aspect, though, is the misogyny that is almost celebrated in the book

 

 

 

So how was August and September reading and viewing for you?

July 31, 2014

Hit or Miss, June-July 2014

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in June and July

 

Hits

  • Unaccustomed Earth (Jhumpa Lahiri)
  • 《悲悯大地》(范稳)
  • Transformers: The Age of Extinction (movie)
  • The Children (Edith Wharton)
  • Drone (Allan Popa)
  • Making Love with Scrabble Tiles (Joshua Ip)
  • Invasion (Jon S. Lewis)
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 (movie)
  • Red Dot Irreal (Jason Erik Lundberg)
  • Homecoming (Cynthia Voigt)
  • The Reason I Jump (Naoki Higashida)
  • Five Right Angles (Aaron Lee)

Recent issues of Scifaikuest, Star*Line, and Illumen.

Back issues of  Scifaikuest, Star*Line, and FrostFire Worlds, 

Misses

  • none

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • The Iron Woman (Ted Hughes) – both a hit and a miss, even though it feels almost irreverent to say so

So how was June and July reading and viewing for you?

June 10, 2014

Hit or Miss, May 2014

Here’s what I was reading and viewing in May

 

Hits

  • Surface Tension (James Blish)
  • Spook Country (William Gibson)
  • 11-22-63 (Stephen King)
  • I, Claudius (Robert Graves
  • 《寸寸土地皆故事》 (尤今)
  • Ender’s Game (movie)
  • Her (movie

Back issue of Aoife’s Kiss.

Misses

  • none

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • Six Years (Harlan Corben) – both a hit and a miss, since I liked most of the book, but not the ending

So how was May reading and viewing for you?

May 5, 2014

Hit or Miss, March-April 2014

I’m posting a 2-month reading list here, after having fallen behind due to a heavy workload. (Said workload also reflected in my meagre reading for that 2-month period.)

 

Hits

  • Death Fugue (Sheng Keyi)
  • The Invisible Man (H. G. Wells)
  • The Once and Future King (T. H. White)
  • The English Patient (Michael Ondaaje)
  • The Red and the Black (Stendhal)
  • 《等待国旗的人》 (尤今)

Back issue of Books & Culture and Aoife’s Kiss.

Misses

  • none

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • none

So how was March/April reading and viewing for you?

March 3, 2014

Hit or Miss, February 2014

Hits

  • Death Fugue (Sheng Keyi)
  • Field of Blood (Eric Wilson)
  • Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
  • 《白草地》(盛可以)

The most recent issue of Outposts of Beyond.

Back issue of Asia Literary Review.

Misses

  • My Favourite Wife (Tony Parsons)

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • none

So how was February reading and viewing for you?

February 11, 2014

Hit or Miss, January 2014

Hits

  • The 2013 Rhysling Anthology (John C Mannone, ed.)
  • Balik Kampung 2A (Verena Tay, ed.)
  • Coraline (Neil Gaiman)
  • A Spectacle for Scholars (Winifred Welles)
  • Faster (movie)
  • 《白草地》(盛可以)
  • 《人民的鱼》(苏童)

The most recent issues of Illumen, The Martian Wave,  and Lontar.

Back issues of Scifaikuest.

Misses

  • none

Neither Hit Nor Miss

So how was January reading and viewing for you?

January 1, 2014

Hit or Miss, December 2013

This is the last list of 2013.  Happy New Year, everyone!

Hits

  • Our Room (unpublished MS by Susie Gordon)
  • Elysium (movie)
  • Europa Report (movie)
  • Chris Pye’s Woodcarving Course and Reference Manual (Chris Pye)
  • Dragons of the Watch (Donita K. Paul)
  • Chinese Garden Pleasures (Alison Hardie)

The most recent issues of Scifaikuest  and Star*Line.

Back issues of Scifaikuest.

Misses

  • Best Man Down (movie)

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • Oblivion (movie)

So how was December reading and viewing for you?

December 17, 2013

Hit or Miss, November 2013

When I posted last month’s list so late, I thought this month’s would be on time.  But here I am, later than ever.

Hits

  • Fever Pitch (Nick Hornby)
  • Sometimes a Great Notion (Ken Kesey)
  • Anthem (Ayn Rand)
  • The Wolverine (movie)
  • 42 (movie)
  • After Earth (movie)
  • Hunger Games: Catching Fire (movie)

Misses

  • Pacific Rim (movie)

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • Shanghai Calling (movie)

So how was November reading and viewing for you?

November 16, 2013

Hit or Miss, October 2013

I’m a little late with this list, but here it is at last.

Hits

  • Habouring (unpublished MS, Susie Gordon)
  • Going to Kyoto (unpublished MS, Miho Kinnas)
  • “High Crimes” in Shanghai (film)
  • Black Swan (film)
  • Chinese Gardens (Lou Qingxi)
  • The Day of the Jackal (Frederick Forsyth)

Misses

  • no misses!

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • Glengarry Glen Ross (onstage)
  • Captain Blood (Rafael Sabitini)

So how was October reading and viewing for you?

October 6, 2013

Hit or Miss, September 2013

Where did September go?  I’m not quite sure, but it is gone!

Hits

  • The Sirens of Titan (Kurt Vonnegut)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)
  • Favorite Poems (Henry Wordsworth Longfellow)
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats (movie)
  • Breaking Point (James E. Gunn)
  • 《死亡赋格》(盛可以) – Death Fugue (Sheng Keyi)  x2
  • Moby Dick (Herman Melville)

back issues of Books & Culture

Misses

  • no misses!

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • none here either!

So how was September reading and viewing for you?

September 14, 2013

They Will Be Hanged

The verdict in India has been handed down.  In an event that has hit a raw nerve in the region and throughout the world, it has been determined that the four men found guilty of the most heinous sort of crime imaginable will be hanged.

This series of events has been, for me, a challenge to personal convictions that have evolved over the years.  Though I have spent my whole adult life in Asia, I was raised in South Texas, an area where the death penalty was not only supported avidly, but seen as a part of the natural, divinely sanctioned order of things.  In fact, I have even heard people I love and respect state that it is a real pity that lynching and mob justice have fallen by the wayside — though that opinion did diminish my respect for those who stated it.  Being brought up as I was, it was not until I was rather advanced in my teenage years that it sank in for me that the term “liberal” is not inherently an insult, but actually suggests a certain generosity of spirit.  This understanding came in quite handy when my own thinking grew enough, as a young adult, to allow me to take a stand against the death penalty that has won many a snide remark when the issue comes up in discussion with people from my hometown.

When the rape of the young woman in India came to my attention late last year, I knew that this trial would challenge the beliefs I had come to as an adult, because what happened to that young woman is horrific.  Raped, kidnapped, and tortured — is there anything that could be more dreadful?  The deep-seated misogyny that had to drive such an act, the sense of entitlement amongst men who saw this young woman as nothing more than an object to be used as they pleased, the cruelty with which the act was perpetrated and the deep rage that represents — all of these things scream of a level of depravity that is disturbing to consider.  I have spoken out publicly against the death penalty for political figures and terrorists, but this was different.  What these men did was not driven by some megolomaniacal drive to shape the world into one’s own private empire, it was driven by… what?  That is something I cannot fathom.  It is an evil I cannot understand and confess that, it being completely Other to me, I have no  way to empathise with what must have been going on in the hearts and minds of those men.

So, when talk turned to the trials and sentencing of these criminals, I knew it would make me question my own conviction that the death penalty cannot be the answer.  If there ever were to be someone I could sentence to death, surely it would be these men for whom I had no sympathy.  I reasoned through it all over again in my own mind.  I spoke with friends about it. I read. I followed the news.  Intellectually, I found that I still stood against the death penalty, but I was not sure I would still do so on an emotional level on the day the conviction was announced.

It was announced today that they will be hanged.  The moment I read it, I was relieved to find that I did not rejoice.  I don’t know if it is a moral victory, but at least it gave me a bit of peace to know that perhaps the gap between my stated ideologies and lived ideologies has become just a little smaller.

The real test, of course, was not this one.  The real test would have come if they had been sentenced to life imprisonment.  Would I have felt some dejection over that sentencing, the injustice of the fact that the woman who was raped and tortured lost her life (and arguably would have even if her body had carried on surviving) but the men who did this to her would continue to live, even if it were in prison?  Would I have perhaps even lamented the passing of the days when lynchings and mob justice would have carried out the death penalty regardless of the rule of law?  And would I have lost a bit of self-respect in the process?

I don’t know the answer to those questions.  I will, however, say a prayer today for the men who have been convicted, that they find a way to make peace with their maker before their penalty is carried out.  And perhaps one day I will learn a deeper level of empathy that allows me to truly love my neighbour.

September 2, 2013

Hit or Miss, August 2013

Hopefully this will be the last of my very short lists.  I’m getting past some of my deadlines now, and hope to have a bit of time to breathe.

Hits

  • Dwarf Stars 2013
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (movie)
  • Dune (Frank Herbert)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (movie)
  • George MacDonald: His Life and Works (Rolland Hein)
  • Minority Report (movie)

most recent issues of The ATA Chronicle

back issues of The ATA Chronicle and Aoife’s Kiss

Misses

  • no misses!

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • none here either!

So how was August reading and viewing for you?

August 11, 2013

Hit or Miss, July 2013

I think all of my reading lists will be smaller than usual for the rest of this year, or at least through the end of next month.  I’ve got several projects going on, and all my reading seems focused on those, for now.

 

Hits

  • The Return (Charles Tomlinson)
  • Upside Down (movie)
  • Yorick Magazine
  • Spores from Sharnoth and other Madness (Leigh Blackmore)
  • Victimology (Verena Tay)
  • Liquid Nitrogen (Jennifer Maiden)

 

Misses

  • no misses!

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • Man of Steel (movie)
  • Trance (movie)

 

So how was July reading and viewing for you?

July 3, 2013

Hit or Miss, June 2013

I think all of my reading lists will be smaller than usual for the rest of this year, or at least through August.  I’ve got several projects going on, and all my reading seems focused on those, for now.

This one is especially short (but I got loads of work done in June).

Hits

  • 《独自上场》 (李娜) – soon to be out in English as A Single’s Game, by Li Na
  • The Measured Word (Kurt Brown, ed.)
  • Dune by Frank Herbert (in progress)
  • Jonah (Ellen Gunderson Traylor)

Along with the most recent issues of Scifaikuest, Illumen, Star*Line, and Dreams & Nightmares, and back issues of Scifaikuest, Illumen, and Star*Line. (Catching up on what came in the mail while I was away for three months.)

Misses

  • no misses!

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • none for this part of the list either

I always like the all-hit list, even if it is a shorter list than usual.

So how was June reading and viewing for you?

June 12, 2013

Hit or Miss, May 2013

I think all of my reading lists will be smaller than usual for the rest of this year, or at least through August.  I’ve got several projects going on, and all my reading seems focused on those, for now.

This list is also a little later than I like to be. Maybe I’ll be able to get back on schedule with next month’s. (But no promises!)

Hits

  • Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (anonymous, translated by Robert von Gulick)
  • Dune (Frank Herbert) – in progress
  • Miracle at St. Anna’s (movie)
  • Song of Myself (Walt Whitman)
  • Black is the Color of my Voice (onstage)

Along with back issues of Books & Culture

Misses

  • no misses!

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • none for this part of the list either

I always like the all-hit list, even if it is a shorter list than usual.

So how was May reading and viewing for you?

May 14, 2013

Hit or Miss, April 2013

I think all of my reading lists will be smaller than usual for the rest of this year, or at least through August.  I’ve got several projects going on, and all my reading seems focused on those, for now.

This list is also a little later than I like to be. Maybe I’ll be able to get back on schedule with next month’s. (But no promises!)

Hits

  • Treason (Orson Scott Card)
  • Letters from the Earth (Mark Twain)
  • Der Kontrabass (onstage)
  • Dislocations (Chew Kok Chang)

Along with back issues of Aoife’s Kiss

Misses

  • no misses!

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • none for this part of the list either

I always like the all-hit list, even if it is a shorter list than usual.

So how was April reading and viewing for you?