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Dick’s The Simulacra

The Simulacra by Philip K. Dick My rating: 3 of 5 stars Not one of Dick’s better books. There are simply too many balls in the air for him to keep control. Some lovely passages and ideas: the return of the neanderthals after nuclear devastation, Loony Luke and his jalopies which will take you on […]

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05 September 2015

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors

No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur […]

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Unconscious Discrimination and a Regressive Culture

Over at The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermett and Ian Mond discuss to ongoing issue of women’s representation in fiction. The discussion related to a number of things, including this piece on Jezebel, where Catherine Nicholls describes sending her novel out under a male name, and the way the responses immediately became more positive. […]

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Callinicos’s Marxism and Philosophy

Marxism and Philosophy by Alex Callinicos My rating: 4 of 5 stars Something more than an introduction, this little book gives a cursory summary of the field at the time it was written – the 1980s. Still, it’s a pretty good little text, starting with modern philosophy before Marx — Kant, Descartes, Hegel, etc — […]

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27 July 2015

This mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain

No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur […]

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No Room for Error: Thoughts on Commercial Success and Writing Part One

A couple of days ago, I came across a piece in the Portland Monthly on one of my literary heroes, Ursula K. Le Guin. It was a fine piece, and it quoted Le Guin’s National Book Awards speech, in which she said: We need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity […]

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13 July 2015

These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish

Blowzy red vixens fight for a quick jump. Joaquin Phoenix was gazed by MTV for luck. A wizard’s job is to vex chumps quickly in fog. In the cable TV quiz show. Amazingly few discotheques provide jukeboxes. Alex Trebek’s fun TV quiz game. Woven silk pyjamas exchanged for blue quartz. Brawny gods just flocked up […]

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Even A Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day

Were the radical Left wrong to participate in Syriza? I’m obviously aware that from afar, many things are difficult to tell. Still, we need to make some kind of assessment, just as we might make an assessment of history – for ourselves as much as anyone – and so below are some preliminary thoughts after […]

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30 June 2015

A paradisematic country, where roasted parts of sentences fly

The copy warned the Little Blind Text, that where it came from it would have been rewritten a thousand times and everything that was left from its origin would be the word “and” and the Little Blind Text should turn around and return to its own, safe country. But nothing the copy said could convince […]

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24 June 2015

Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home

The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully […]

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