- Everything You Know is Wrong from Disinformation Press
- I couldn't finish this - it was pissing me off too much. The book purports to be a collection of news stories that haven't recieved much coverage by the mainstream media. Most of the articles are badly researched, badly annotated, and come across as crazy conspiracy theories. Even when I read an article where I agreed with the thesis beforehand, I found myself wondering if I should re-think my stance after the article. I got really sick of seeing the word "facts" presented in scare quotes. Also, while it is convenient to dismiss all information that disagrees with your thesis as the result of a global conspiracy, it doesn't help me consider your argument as well-reasoned and thought out.
The article that convinced me to stop reading the book was Mickey Z's "Fear of a Vegan Planet." I agree with the basic thesis, that a vegan diet is a more ethical and healthy choice. The article reads like it was written for a high school assignment.
Nearly all of his references are to video tapes, pamphlets or web sites from a partiuclar set of vegan activists. He dismisses nutritionists who disagree with his claimed protein requirements as being puppets of the meat industry, and the number he claims as accurate is supposed to be from the WHO. When I checked the end notes, his sources for the WHO data is... a pamphlet from a vegan activist group. He couldn't actually get the data directly from the WHO? It's not clear from the context of the quote whether or not the number provided is the amount of protein needed to not die, or an ideal healthy amount, but the context seems to be data on starvation in third world countries, so I am dubious about using that as a lifestyle choice.
My end conclusion, when I finally gave up on the book, is that these stories are not being presented by the mainstream media because thier authors are very poor journalists. some of the short editorials read fairly well, but it wasn't worth the pain of slogging through the longer articles.
- The Chains You Refuse by Elizabeth Bear
- A collection of short stories. I liked some of the stories better than others, but overall, I enjoyed the book. I liked the stories from the Edda of Burdens world particularly.
- Undertow by Elizabeth Bear
- An SF novel from Bear. I think this book might have benefitted from being longer - the characters seemed to have a lot more individual background and story than there was room for. I still enjoyed it - I just found myself wanting more time to explore each of the characters. My inner eye seems to be losing some of its anglocentrism - I had a hard time in Carnival not assuming everyone was white until given specific descriptions to the contrary. With Undertow, I found I was no longer assuming that the future would be filled with white people and special guest stereotypes .
- Glasshouse by Charles Stross
- Handmaid's Tale meets the Stepford Wives at a bathhouse, they do a lot of drugs and wake up in bed three days later with some software engineers they met on the way. Stross explores modern concepts of gender, identity, society and... stuff. Much goodness. Reading Stross' work always leaves my head buzzing for days afterwards.
I've started reading Disinformation Press' Book of Lies, which, unlike Everything You Know is Wrong is primarily essays from various occultists, and thus neatly avoids the problems I had with EYKIW - there's no expectation of journalisitic integrity here, andI enjoyed the hell out of the first essay by Grant Morrisson.
So much so, in fact, that I decided I needed to go buy and finish the Invisibles before I read anything else.