March 31, 2007

Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, March 2007

Homicide [1 and 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; omnibus collection]
At its best, which was frequent, simply some of the best story-telling I've ever encountered. Season 6 drags a bit — the dialogue is not quite so good, and there is too much soap-opera among the detectives — but season 7 picks up a bit, especially towards the end, and the final episode is, I think, a brilliant ending.
C. J. Box, Winterkill
Mind candy. Paranoid militia idiots vs. trigger-happy government idiots in deepest Wyoming, as seen by Box's recurring character, the admirable if none-too-bright game warden Joe Pickett. The ending is very unhappy.
Greg Keyes, The Briar King
Mind candy. Another beginning-of-a-vast-fantasy-saga novel. The world is interesting, and, unlike Erikson below, I do need to find out what happens next...
Steven Erikson, Gardens of the Moon
Mind candy. Lap-breaker military fantasy. I picked this up in Brussels on September 10th, 2001, and, well, lost track of it for a while. Above-average writing, but the first volume in a series which is still uncompleted. Not sure I want to commit myself to following the saga — and I feel no real compulsion to find out what happens next, which says something in itself.
Bernard E. Harcourt, Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing, and Punishing in an Actuarial Age
Full-length review: Harcourt contra divinationem.
I will definitely include this material the next time I teach data mining.
Stanislaw Lem, The Invincible
Man versus --- well, that would be a spoiler, actually --- in an alien desert. I feel OK, however, in saying that the self-organization of cellular slime molds is a key insight.

Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur

Posted at March 31, 2007 23:59 | permanent link

Three-Toed Sloth