"One of the really interesting things about space movies... is that they suit an ensemble cast. There's something wonderful about that, because you can gather a lot of really good actors - ambitious young actors - and you can kill them in any order you want then." Danny Boyle on Sunshine
This year, the Carnegie Medal for children’s literature turned 70. It’s unique in that books are listed each year not on the basis of publisher submissions or public purchasing, but because they’re nominated and judged by librarians.
Microlit: I hope this is even half as much fun to read as it is to right. Condensed book reviews with added snark.
It took me a long time to read Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors. I picked it up, put it down; read the table of contents, put it down. Eventually I got round to reading the Introduction, and then I was pretty much committed. And when I finally devoured the treasures within, I found I enjoyed them a lot. Much of it was dark, true, but that’s always suited me; much of it was also magical.
So there was no real doubt I would acquire and read Fragile Things.
It’s a slow book year so far. The breakneck schedule at work and frequent late nights (cab-rides home rather than my homebound commuter reading hour) have limited me to about a book per week. So, before I forget what they were about in the blur of functional specifications, project plans and crises, it’s time for nanila-inspired microlit.
I recently reread The Kraken Wakes, always my favourite John Wyndham book. Wyndham for me is something like comfort food, or cartoons: when I need a light, refreshing, familiar interlude I can always turn to one of his novels to tide me over to the next challenge. In this case, I had left the book I intended to read at the office, leaving me stranded over a weekend with nothing to read.
Oh, the horror.
Last weekend, we went to Wales.
This is no small feat. Although Britain is not really that large and claims to have a modern road system, we have tended to ignore suggestions that people might want to go to the further-flung corners of our green isle. There is no motorway across the border into Scotland, for example. The English M6 stops just short of Carlisle, and the Scottish M74 starts once you are across the border. It’s a little like East and West Germany having different gauge rails during the Cold War, except that (nominally at least) we’re all on the same side.