extracts and etymology

Month: January, 2016

scary scary science

Actually, a better title might be “scary scary biology,” but let’s not discriminate here: the most obvious villains in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake are the unscrupulous geneticists, but I’m sure the chemists were in cahoots and those physicists are always up to something, right? Right. Read the rest of this entry »


dysfunction and discomfort

I first picked up a copy of The Family Fang in a Barnes and Noble on a chilly winter afternoon with no intention of buying it. I doubt that I picked it up for any particular reason; if I did, I certainly don’t remember that reason now. When browsing in a bookstore, one picks up books; more often than not, one puts them right back down again and that’s the end of that. In this case, though, I read the first page, and then I read the second page, and then half an hour later I was a good ways in and I shut it and put it back on the shelf, and went looking for something a little less uncomfortable. That was a few years ago; back in August, I spotted The Family Fang on a library shelf and figured it was about time I finished it, so I checked it out and read it in a single afternoon. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I enjoyed it, but it was an interesting book.

Good fiction is not always comforting and not always comfortable. And why should it be? Read the rest of this entry »

I guess I have to start somewhere

First words, first steps, first man on the moon: all very momentous. A first blog post is definitely not on the same level. Still, it feels like I should say something profound here to kick things off. But time is getting on, and since I doubt I’ll be able to come up with anything suiting the supposed gravity of the occasion, I’m going to skip over introductions and just start talking about a book I just finished reading this morning.

I am entirely against the proverb that one should not judge a book by its cover. Subtext aside, I make a lot of decisions about what to read based on covers. Read the rest of this entry »