SRB Highlights: Warren Ellis' New Novel Gun Machine and More
SRB Highlights: Warren Ellis New Novel Gun Machine |
Last Year in Diego Garcia by Jean Claude de L’Estrac |
Plus Philosophy and Moshi
Moshi Monsters Character Encyclopedia
March 4, 20130 comments
Moshi Monsters Character Encyclopedia by Steve Cleverley, Lauren Holowaty and Claire Sipi (Dorling Kindersley/ Penguin, 2013)
Reviewed by Ruth Brassington
With this book’s pop-star magazine-style layout, I almost expected to read about Britney Spears’ favourite drinks and thinks. Instead, I enjoyed reading about the adventures of poor little Elwood, who bashes himself in the face with his shovel several times a day while sorting gifts, and about Icky the mysterious gloop supplier. Colonel Catcher is on the cover, not only by name, but as a 3D version – a small plastic character to retrieve from his cage of plastic.
Presented in alphabetical order, the Moshi Monster characters’ foibles are described in short bites surrounding their colourful portraits. Tamara Tesla is an ingenious inventor who hangs out at the observatory, creates tricky puzzles and is often seen “thinking hard”, while Peekaboo is often spotted wandering the Wobbly Wood path collecting leaves. Read more »
Setting His Sites: Review of Gun Machine by
February 19, 20130 comments
Gun Machine by Warren Ellis (Jan, 2013) Mulholland Books/Hachette
Review by Mark P. Williams
Warren Ellis writes astute, accurate fictions about the role of information in society.
He’s explored digital information’s possible and actual relationships to truth and deception through technology in longer graphic novel seriesTransmetropolitan, about futuristic gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem, and in more contemporary thriller framework through the episodic spy thriller Global Frequency. Now, in his second prose novel, he gives us a contemporary police procedural through which information flows in torrents in both electronic and more nebulous ways. Stylish and economically written, Gun Machine is part police thriller and part philosophy of information; it’s a darkly humorous and incisive meditation on the contemporary city scape.
All of Ellis’s fictions are structured by ethical questions about the implications of information networks for social relationships, whether that means the consequences for local people of global actions, or the feel of living in online worlds while trying to maintain offline relationships. Read more »
Rationis Defensor: Essays in Honour of Colin Cheyne Edited by James Maclaurin (Springer, €99.)
Reviewed by Charles Gibson
often ask me what philosophers have accomplished in the last
hundred years. The popular conception is that while science
seems to be advancing technology and knowledge daily,
philosophy is still a pastime for people who wish to relax
in their armchairs and debate the existence of God. This
portrait of philosophy is a false one, but convincing people
can be difficult. So from now on when somebody asks me what
philosophers have been up to, I can direct them to a copy of
This collection of recent philosophical papers, edited by head of Otago University’s philosophy department, James Maclaurin, provides a nice selection of the current debates and crucial issues at play in philosophy. It includes a diverse sampling of philosophical disciplines addressing issues in epistemology (theory of knowledge), philosophy of science, metaphysics and philosophical logic.
Next Year in Diego
Garcia – Jean Claude de L’Estrac,
Translated by Touria Prayag (Elp: Mauritius, November 2011)
Review by Vaughan Rapatahana
The very best way to commence this review is to quote the very first paragraph from this important and well-researched book in its entirety:
This story is one of deceit, lies and cowardice. Perhaps worse; it is the story of the British Foreign Office admitting that large sums of money were at stake in Whitehall negotiations which led to the butchering of the Mauritian territory. The decision to rip the Chagos archipelago from the mainland was thus sealed as was the fate of its inhabitants who were forced to leave their birthplace to make room for the Anglo-American military base, Diego Garcia.
In fact what the Anglo-American conspiracy did to the Chagossians was and remains to this very moment, a major crime against humanity – which may well be the only legal recourse left for these displaced and distraught and brave people to fight with. The selfsame conspiracy has steadily forsworn them at every gain they ever made – culminating in the 20 December, 2012 European Court of ‘Human Rights’ further denying them any redress in terms of a chance to return to their now uninhabited islands, because they had already accepted the munificence of British recompense more than once over the years, commencing after a court battle in 1982. Although they did receive some pittance in 1978 from Mauritian authorities who had sat on that British ‘largesse’ for five years previously!. Case closed. Read more »