Oct. 16th, 2012

hawkwing_lb: (Helps if they think you're crazy)
Books 2012: 195-196

195. Samit Basu, Turbulence. Titan Books, 2012.

Samit Basu is apparently already established in India as a writer of talent and promise. And judging by the quality of Turbulence, his first UK publication, his reputation is well-deserved.

I'm not much of a fan of superhero stories. Mostly I find them shallow, cartoonish - a slick film of banter and cool shit covering a fundamentally unimaginative take on this too-often fascistic subgenre. But Basu is neither unimaginative nor shallow: his accidental superheroes, victims of something mysterious on their flight from Britain to India, are cleverly-drawn, sharp and believeable. Also, they're all Indian - apart from Uzma, who is British-Pakistani. Finally, a superhero story without Americans.

Fast, pacey, with a sly wit and things to say, Turbulence has all of a superhero story's good points with very few of the flaws. (So I find the fighty parts the least interesting ones. Sue me.) Well-characterised, too. I look forward to seeing what Basu does next - I believe we may expect a sequel.

196. Dorothy Gilman, The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. Fawcett, 1998. First published 1966.

A remarkably entertaining adventure. Mrs Pollifax decides, at the age of sixty-three, that she's going to start a new career. Turning up at the offices of the CIA, she volunteers to serve her country as a spy - and through a misunderstanding, is given a mission as a tourist in Mexico City. This is the start of an adventure involving Chinese communists, abduction to Albania, and perilous escapes.

Light-hearted, funny, and somehow ineffably cosy, despite being very dated in its attitudes, I found it very comforting reading last night when I couldn't sleep.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
[25ε] ταῦτα ἐγώ σοι οὐ πείθομαι, ὦ Μέλητε, οἶμαι δὲ οὐδὲ ἄλλον ἀνθρώπων οὐδένα: ἀλλ᾽ ἢ οὐ διαφθείρω, ἢ εἰ διαφθείρω,

With respect to these things I by you am not persuaded, O Meletos, and I think no other man is persuaded either: but either I am not ruining, or if I am ruining, [I am doing it]

[26α] ἄκων, ὥστε σύ γε κατ᾽ ἀμφότερα ψεύδῃ. εἰ δὲ ἄκων διαφθείρω, τῶν τοιούτων καὶ ἀκουσίων ἁμαρτημάτων οὐ δεῦρο νόμος εἰσάγειν ἐστίν, ἀλλὰ ἰδίᾳ λαβόντα διδάσκειν καὶ νουθετεῖν: δῆλον γὰρ ὅτι ἐὰν μάθω, παύσομαι ὅ γε ἄκων ποιῶ. σὺ δὲ συγγενέσθαι μέν μοι καὶ διδάξαι ἔφυγες καὶ οὐκ ἠθέλησας, δεῦρο δὲ εἰσάγεις, οἷ νόμος ἐστὶν εἰσάγειν τοὺς κολάσεως δεομένους ἀλλ᾽ οὐ μαθήσεως.

ἀλλὰ γάρ, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, τοῦτο μὲν ἤδη δῆλον

involuntarily, so that you indeed are lying on both counts. And if I ruin involuntarily, the law does not introduce even such kinds of involuntary sins here, but that I took upon myself to teach and to advise: for it's clear that if I would have understood, I would cease that which I do involuntarily. And you fled and you did not want to keep company with me and to instruct [me], and you introduce here that which the law is [requires you?] to introduce with respect to the ones in need of correction but not [to the ones in need of] learning.

For but, O Athenian men, already this is clear

[26β] οὑγὼ ἔλεγον, ὅτι Μελήτῳ τούτων οὔτε μέγα οὔτε μικρὸν πώποτε ἐμέλησεν. ὅμως δὲ δὴ λέγε ἡμῖν, πῶς με φῂς διαφθείρειν, ὦ Μέλητε, τοὺς νεωτέρους; ἢ δῆλον δὴ ὅτι κατὰ τὴν γραφὴν ἣν ἐγράψω θεοὺς διδάσκοντα μὴ νομίζειν οὓς ἡ πόλις νομίζει, ἕτερα δὲ δαιμόνια καινά; οὐ ταῦτα λέγεις ὅτι διδάσκων διαφθείρω;

πάνυ μὲν οὖν σφόδρα ταῦτα λέγω.

πρὸς αὐτῶν τοίνυν, ὦ Μέλητε, τούτων τῶν θεῶν ὧν νῦν ὁ λόγος ἐστίν, εἰπὲ ἔτι σαφέστερον καὶ ἐμοὶ καὶ τοῖς ἀνδράσιν

[with respect to what] I for my part said, that Meletos had no care whatsoever, neither a lot nor a little, for these things. Nevertheless, then, tell us, how you say I am destroying, O Meletos, the young men? Is it then clear that, according to the graphe which I write for my own use, that I teach not to consider the gods which the city considers, but a new different divinity? Don't you say that by teaching these things, I ruin?

"Indeed, of course I say these things."

Proceeding from them, therefore, O Meletos, for these gods of which now the reason is, say yet more clearly for me and also for these men here.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
- finish third chapter by month end
- figure out WTF I'm doing?

- Sharps for Vector
- one more for Ideomancer
- giving up on the review copy for Tor.com arriving, but that too, if it ever comes.
- pitch more?

- finish up brief space-opera focus, 2-3 more posts
- remember to interview author in November
- plan some more?

- apply for January travel funding by month end.
- run errand for fellow PG by Thursday afternoon
- inquire of paperwork responsibilities re: funding with supervisor

Also, I would like my strength back already now. So's I can do all these things, and others, including meeting people for doing stuff.

Fucking sicknesses. Next time, I will drink lemon and honey and whiskey instead of guafenisin in treacle. Maybe that will help more faster.


hawkwing_lb: (Default)

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