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Nebula reading

Book cover for Ancillary Justice

If you're a science fiction fan like I am, here's a new reading list.

Novel

Winner: Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Nominees:
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Marian Wood)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (Morrow; Headline Review)
Fire with Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
Hild, Nicola Griffith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island)
A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer)
The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker (Harper)

(I picked up Ancillary Justice last week.)

Need more selection? There's also the Hugos nominee list, also provided courtesy of John Scalzi, former SFWA head and prolific opinionator on all things SF.

How to translate New Year's Resolutions into actions

Resolution time. It's the occasion to institute changes. Or at least resolve to change. It doesn't always work out, does it? The diet gets dropped. The fingernails get bitten. The cigarettes get smoked. The exercise gets blown off. And that's that. Right?

Maybe not. If you've ever had trouble shaking an addiction or behavior that ends up not serving your needs, you might find some hope (and results) in this analysis of addictive behavior, courtesy of Hyrum Smith, founder and creator of the Franklin planning system.

This post isn't about planning or time management. It's about the five-step cycle that drives our behavior.

I know I know, you probably believe this is just a bunch of hokum. (We'll get to beliefs and how they affect behavior in a minute.) But I'm not prescribing anything here. This is just a look at how behavior happens. I think it's empowering.

Interview ironies: 60 Minutes/Nightline "puff" vs. Daily Show hardball

Via Romanesko:


CBS, ABC Deny Airing "Puff" on Thomas

CBS-TV and ABC-TV defended their networks' pieces on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas amid criticism that "60 Minutes" and "Nightline" had offered up uncritical "puff pieces" as they interviewed Thomas in connection with his new memoir, "My Grandfather's Son."

...As noted Monday, the reviews were different on the e-mail list of the National Association of Black Journalists, and in a discussion of the "60 Minutes" piece on PBS' "The Tavis Smiley Show."

"I've now watched the 60 Minutes interview and the Nightline interview. It was like watching the Home Shopping Network," wrote one. "You mean to tell me that there was not a single critical commentator on Clarence Thomas' record? These things could have been on Larry King and no one would have blinked. I'm rarely disgusted, but this was pure journalistic drivel."

The age of the amateur

Yesterday I was in Barnes & Noble (bricks & mortar) and saw that Vernor Vinge's new book is out -- "Rainbow's End."

I've loved his novels, especially "A Fire Upon the Deep" and "A Deepness is the Sky." So I pulled it down and took a peek.

Warning: Page 1 spoilers!-----

On the first page, we read about an epidemic that was discovered by amateurs that caught everyone, including what seems to be an international Center for Disease Control. This extra insight from the amateurs of the world is something of a shock to the officials.

I stopped reading there. Already having a book to read in my all-too-rare spare moments, I returned Mr. Vinge's novel to the shelf -- something for another time.

But it struck me an hour or so later just how unprofound the events of the first two pages was to me. Amateurs scooping the establishment? These days it happens all the time, online.

As Lisa Stone's thumbnail recap of a Netsquared presentation by Tara Hunt captures so well:

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