Friday, January 01, 2016

How 2015 Was Hornswoggled

Once upon a time, there was a meme. And it was pleasant enough, for its time, and it led to some lists of links on a social-networking platform that later went into a decline.

Some people, though, don't give up on things. Anything they do once becomes an unbreakable tradition, to be kept up until the heat death of the universe, if not later.

Reader, I am one of those people. And so here, for the ninth time or so, are the first and last sentences published in Antick Musings for each month of 2015 -- with only very slight cheats to avoid using any of my boilerplate posts. Those sentences link to the full posts, of course.


In 2006, the Smithsonian Institution had a major renovation of their American Art Museum in Washington, DC -- it actually reopened in its real home after six years in temporary space elsewhere -- and so it wanted to celebrate.

But Dancing Bear is still a strong portrait of a broken man, showing what he can manage to accomplish in spite of the break.


It's hard not to be self-satisfied when you're well-off and on the far end of middle age, with a successful career and a good-sized file of press clippings, all filled with people saying flattering things about you.

But be careful lifting the thing, or else you could easily sprain something. 


For some readers, a book with a connection to the world of books is immediately appealing. 

As a marketer myself, I'm very prone to using the word "content" to describe written stuff, though I hope I'd think twice before putting it on a book cover. It's a very marketing-sounding word, and not customer-friendly.


Just in case anyone is actually following this odd series of reviews: yes, I did skip February.

So any reader is left with that question, weighing hope against experience -- and Brookner's novel will not tip its hand either way, unless the title itself is the deciding point.


Sidney Harris has been the premier cartoonist of science and academia for the last five decades: if you've been part of an institution, as student or faculty or whatever, any time since the 1970s, you've certainly seen Harris cartoons tacked up on doors and bulletin boards and shared via e-mail.

If you like, say, 60% or more of things Gaimanesque, you will likely enjoy reading this.


I didn't take any specific pledges for my reading this year -- I'm allergic to the things -- but I am trying to read more women and people not like me in various ways.

(If not, why are they your favorite, exactly? It came out on June 9th.)


I'm writing and posting this late, but you'll only realize that if you're me or if you're paying way too much attention to my blog. (Seriously: get a life, buddy!)

I do wonder if this book has enough sodomy in it, though. Perhaps Gardner Dozois would know.


I'm making this Quote of the Week because a) I love the metaphor, b) I agree with it, and c) it's funny, in a sad and depressing way:

And over. 


I'm getting lazier and lazier with my review writing, and with my book reading. I don't expect anyone cares -- I'm only mildly annoyed myself -- but it's true, and should be noted.

Quiver -- a word which always put me in mind of Amos Starkadder -- is a Tor hardcover, available October 13.


This is the second novel about those lovable rogues Darger and Surplus, world-traveling con men in a post-failed-Singularity world plagued by murderous AI "demons" trapped in various bits of old technology and scheming to murder as many live creatures as they can.

In best Marvel Comics movie style, it's an evil version of Adele, someone with the exact same powers as her on the side of the vampires, and if Our Heroes can't rush around the world and do their plotty things in time, Everything Will Go Pear-Shaped. This is a trade paperback from Pyr, available on November 3rd.


Since Hellboy is dead in his main series -- that doesn't stop him, since he's basically a prince of hell to begin with, but it does keep him from being on Earth, at least for the foreseeable future -- and perhaps because the main B.P.R.D. book is so gloomy these days, what with the end of the world and all, someone clearly thought there was room for a slightly happier, more positive killing-Nazi-monsters comic in the Hellboy universe. And this is it.

(As I've said before, it looks to be Northern Exposure, only somewhat further south and on the other side of the Pacific.) I did read the first volume of this series last year, and blogged about it, if you'd like more details.


So it was the tenth anniversary of this here blog back on October 4th, and I missed it.

But if you're willing to get more than one -- and we three-rocks devotees are silently sending brain-waves to bring you over to our side -- this is not just a signpost on the way to full Bushmiller, but a great collection of gags in its own right. 

Next year, you'll get more of the same --and you'll like it!

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