dream baby dream forever

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture FoodsWild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

run, don’t walk. this book is a love letter to the ecology that we live within and that exists within our bodies. probably the single best diy toolbox to fixing your diet, your health, and the life of this community we co-exist in called terra firma. his comments on death and decay in the final chapter are a wake-up call to change the way we have monetized and commodified even the process of grieving and burial. makes me want to help build the laboratory/farm/co-operative/csa and change this mess we have inherited from the lazy and cowardly, the bullies that hold us in thrall to greed and avarice. we need some fermentation up in here.

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it’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you, everything i do

Use of WeaponsUse of Weapons by Iain M. Banks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

iain m. banks joins the ranks of an exalted pantheon of authors in my little black book, sitting beside such luminaries as m. moorcock, a. moore, g. morrison. if only his last name started with an m, they could have their own little club of anarchist authors.

this is the most powerful of the culture novels that i have read. largely because we actually see the work that s.c. does and the way in which they play societies off against one another. on the outside it appears that they strive towards a freer, less war-like society, but inspecting their practices a little closer one finds they use any means necessary to accomplish their goals of stabilizing other societies to their whim.

the familial drama in this is as much a tragedy in the grand scheme as any of the greek drama you may be familiar with. the character’s slow growth towards awareness through vignettes showcasing memories of the works he has accomplished as a s.c. operative build our connection with what appears to a warrior’s war hero, with elements of bushido seeping through, while bringing the true tragedy gradually to the surface like a half remembered truth desperately discarded.

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attention all planets of the solar federation

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

the hype is that e.c. is in the same rarefied air as sterling, stephenson, and gibson, that this is the decade’s neuromancer. at first i found his prose too easy, but we are living in a post-rowling world. by the second half of the story i was engrossed in the adventure. there are some great ideas in here, the depiction of online education in the middle of this century is worth the price of admission alone. so many great moments as it layers on the pop culture references of the 80’s (having lived them, i saw a few dropped balls, as it were), the music, the films, the television shows are all here. the stand-up arcade games of my youth are essential, as are many other obsessions of (mine &) the times. i suppose the highest compliment i can give it, it made me want to start a d & d game again, and get an emulator for my computer. i have neuromancer, islands in the net and snow crash if i want to really get lost in the “net”, but it is a good story and is recommended if any of the things mentioned above pique your interest.

true story: when i went to my local comic book store for the signing, who was giving eric words of encouragement (and likely came to see the delorean w/ flux capacitor) was none other than bruce sterling hissownself. welcome to the cyberpunk royalty mr. cline. i await your next adventure…

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hanzel and gretel are alive and well

Just KidsJust Kids by Patti Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

one of the most beautiful, honest, and inspirational books i have read in years. it is the story of art and artists becoming, or as patti herself said, “i haven’t fucked much with the past, but i’ve fucked plenty with the future.” the title alone is worth the price of admission, because we all are just that in the eyes of the universe, and artists, and hero/ines of our own stories. “don’t dream it, be it.”

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games without frontiers war without tears

The Player of GamesThe Player of Games by Iain M. Banks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

much needed bit of optimism courtesy of the minds of the culture. interesting dissection of a power over society confronted by a power with society. highly recommended.

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are we brutal hearts that break the night in two

The Judging Eye (Aspect-Emperor, #1)The Judging Eye by R. Scott Bakker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

i would give it five stars but the mines of moria was just a little too familiar in this setting…if you like tolkien, herbert than you will enjoy this thinking person’s fantasy. philosophy, religion, and just enough linguistic anthropolgy to make the grad school vernacular sing. highly recommended.

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hide your kids hide your wife

Consider PhlebasConsider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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