The Fell Gard Codices

Archive for the ‘Books’ category

In Stores Now!

April 26th, 2013

I’ve got a piece in the just-released Speculative Fiction 2012 anthology. Subtitled “The best online reviews, essays and commentary” (mostly to do with science fiction and fantasy), it’s available in paperback or as an ebook. You can find it on Amazon here, or here. Proceeds go to support Room to Read, an international charity […]

Another Thought on Gibbon

April 9th, 2013

I mentioned I’d been reading Gibbon lately. Here’s a great aside he had, after describing the convoluted attempts by the Byzantine Empire to smuggle silk worms out of China and develop a silk industry of their own: I am not insensible of the benefits of elegant luxury; yet I reflect with some pain that, if […]

The Image of the Historian

March 23rd, 2013

I’ve been reading Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire off and on for some time now. I’m well into volume 2, somewhere around page 1500 (out of about 2500). One thing that’s only recently occurred to me is how much the book seems to have shaped the idea of the historian in at […]

More Books

March 12th, 2013

I visited a friend the other night who’s thinking of moving this summer. I came away with a few books as a result. Here’s the list:

Zero Surprises

January 11th, 2013

I’ve started reading Charles C. Mann’s book 1491. I’m really just a few pages into it, but so far it’s quite well-written. I came across a mention of something that surprised me: in discussing the Olmecs and their accomplishments, Mann mentions that the idea of “0” (zero) as a number didn’t reach Europe until the […]

A Thought, However Tentative

January 5th, 2013

So I’ve begun slowly reading The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a classic Chinese historical novel. It triggered a thought, which I expect I’ll be considering more as I read further. That thought is this: modern western fantasy frequently seems to imagine a setting in some ways much more like historical China (and Chinese fantasies […]

New Books, Xmas 2012

January 3rd, 2013

I got a dozen books for Christmas this year (among other things). Here’s the list:

An Observation on Allegory

December 4th, 2012

Of late I’ve started reading both The Vision of Piers Plowman and Harry W. Robbins’ verse translation of The Romance of the Rose. I’ve read parts of both books before, but this time I’m aiming to get through both of them. What’s become clear so far, reading them together instead of apart: allegory is actually a […]

The Limits of Reading

November 7th, 2012

Back in 1994, Harold Bloom published a book called The Western Canon, and controversy ensued. Mostly, as I remember it, due to the book’s appendices. The main body of the book was a series of essays about various great books of the Western tradition. But the appendices were a set of lists in which Bloom […]

McGill Book Fair, 2012

November 3rd, 2012

Every year, Montreal’s McGill University hosts a large book sale. I once wrote about it for Black Gate. This year’s edition, held a couple of weeks ago, was the first under new management. It seemed fairly smoothly run, all in all, and I made some nice finds. After the cut, a list of the books […]

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