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Comments on another wobble - come on guys... get it fixed.

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since 28/03/2003


Our Dusty Paradise - Linda Caine 28/01/2015

Always Time For One More Adventure

Swimming to Ithaca - Simon Mawer 24/01/2015

Not just another End of Empire tale

Mistletoe and Murder - Carola Dunn 22/01/2015

That Thing in Cornwall

Listening To Grasshoppers - Arundhati Roy 18/01/2015

India For Beginners - behind the hype

Dead Lovely - Helen FitzGerald 17/01/2015

Best of Friends, Worst of Friends

Winter Siege - Ariana Franklin, Samantha Norman 11/01/2015

Slight Sieges

Winter Siege - Ariana Franklin, Samantha Norman In the autumn of 1180 the Abbott of Perton Abbey is dying, and like any man who has lived through tumultuous times, particularly one who might have had a close-up view of those times, he decides to set down his own version of events. To this end he calls a scribe to him. The scribe is incredulous that a history about ordinary people should be told ~ for this is to be for the most part about the ordinary people who lurk on the edges of our history books ~ and as the story progresses finds himself in need of cold showers and hair shirts for the thoughts in conjures in him. Fret not however dear reader, that says more about the innocence of the scribe than the nature of the telling. There's nothing in here that would cause so much as a frisson in the modern sensibility. It may not be the current fashion historical retellings to remain so chaste, but our author stays resolutely outside the bedroom door. Hints are all we get about what went on behind it. There's precious little romance of that kind in this 'romance' and what there is dutifully contained within the imaginings of the people involved. I'm not sure we needed the scribe. He adds nothing at all to the telling. To be honest, I'm not sure we even needed the Abbott – except insofar as he does a neat but un-needed knot-tying job at the end and insofar as he serves as the voice-over man to explain to those who don't know their history, but care enough to want to know how this all fits in, yet not enough to go look it up ...

Black Noise - Pekka Hiltunen 10/01/2015

Black Noise is just the beginning

Black Noise - Pekka Hiltunen It was just one of them quirky internet things to begin with. Empty videos appearing on the internet. Dark expanses of time: no images, no sound. They'd been uploaded from hacked accounts: teenagers who didn't know anything about it or about each other. There were ten of them altogether. If it had stopped there it would have been one of those 9-days-wonders of the web. An oddity talked about for years, freaking a few people out, but sinking, ultimately without much trace. But it didn't stop there. The next series was anything but black noise. It was brutal violence and at all the hallmarks of being very very real. Just in case anyone was in any doubt about the authenticity, the bodies started to show up: dumped in very public places, fairly close to where they'd been last seen alive. The police are obviously doing everything they can. They are obviously not telling the public exactly what that is. Personally, I do feel our society might work better once we get back to understanding that it is (sometimes!) right for the investigating ~ and indeed some other ~ authorities not to be disclosing their entire hand to the world at large. I'm not advocating a return to the dark days of policing by stealth where a conviction (any conviction by any means) was the justifiable end – it has to be the right conviction, and it has to be through controlled and accountable policing – but we should be intelligent to know, that that cannot happen if they have to share with us, and the bad ...

Late Nights on Air - Elizabeth Hay 09/01/2015

Northern Nights

Die Laughing - Carola Dunn 08/01/2015

Daisy Goes to the Dentist

Cawdle Fen Walk, Ely 07/01/2015

Cold Spring

Cut Her Dead - Iain Mcdowall 06/01/2015

I don't know much about Art, but...

Seeds of Earth - Michael Cobley 05/01/2015

Hope is the Fruit of Darien

Seeds of Earth - Michael Cobley It's a strange fact of the human psyche that while we send out our travellers in peace and exploration…we fear that whoever else is travelling out there, towards here, does so with malice aforethought. Cobley is no exception to this rule. In his future world Earth's first contact with aliens came with the Swarm: a species of many reptilian similarities yet their appearance was unavoidably insectoid. With six, eight, ten or more limbs they could be as small as a pony or as large as a whale… and they ravaged through our home galaxy like locusts destroying all in their path. That was a 150 years ago. We – the human race, that is – we fought back, but we were never going to win. Our last, best hope (as the voice-overs always have it) was to send out the colony ships. The programme was in place, some fifteen or more exploration and settlement vessels were under construction when the swarm war arrived. Only three were despatched: Hyperion, Forrestal & Tenebrosa – all fitted with the new translight drive and all placed in the care and custody of AI's programmed to avoid pursuit by random space jumps and to seek out not the strange new worlds of Star Trek fame, but Earth-like ones, where humanity has a hope of surviving. Now, those 150 years later, on Darien that hope has come to fruition. The descendants of the travellers live in peaceful communion with the indigenous Uvovo: a slender, diminutive race, with large amber eyes, set in a small face. The Uvovo are a quiet, scholarly ...

The Last Dickens - Matthew Pearl 04/01/2015

On the trail of Edwin Drood

Dark Echo - F.G. Cottam 03/01/2015

A Cursed Cruiser

Your Resolutions For 2015 02/01/2015

What Matters

Your Resolutions For 2015 The thing about making resolutions is our utter inability to keep them. I have a theory about that… it's because we make them so very specific and we set the bar too high. Basically we make life hard for ourselves. As a result we not only fail to keep to our resolutions, but we beat ourselves up about it, and swear 'never again'. I think it's also because we tend to frame resolutions in the negative. We say things like, I'm going to 'lose weight' or 'stop smoking' ~ the psychologists will tell you this puts the focus in the wrong place. It puts it exactly where you don't want it. Last year I made life very easy for myself ~ I didn't make any resolutions at all. I did make a list of things I'd like to do. Of the four specific things I mentioned, I probably managed an achievement score of about 50%. Definitely less stressed. The boss went so far as to say I'd been a pleasure to work with this year – which suggests I wasn't quite at the same breaking point I'd been the year previous. On paper we didn’t have such a good year, but it has been more fun, and I think has set good foundations for the future. I haven't worked less or less hard. I haven't walked more… but I did do one amazingly spectacular trek in the Himalaya. I gained weight rather than lost it. But I have stuck to my single simple choice made a year ago: I have been kinder to myself. I still find it hard to be just 'good enough', I still want to be brilliant, but I haven't censured myself for not measuring up. ...
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