Linkfest 2020-10-23

Pre-Tolkien Fantasy Challenge: The Gods of the North aka The Frost Giant’s Daughter

I can remember reading this post by Woelf Dietrich a couple of years ago and not seeing the point of looking at fantasy pre-Tolkien. Now that I have started to do so myself, I very much get the point, and I encourage anyone even remotely interested in books like this to try and read three fantasy books published before 1954.

Tom Lehrer has put all his works into the public domain.

Eastern Story Structure

A nice summary of how popular fiction is written in the East.

O-ring Industries versus the Seven Wonders

Greg’s blog has been less interesting since he started using Twitter, but the comments on this post are really good. Greg invited his readers to speculate about what were the greatest technological achievements of the years 1 AD and 1500 AD.

Rodney Brooks: The Seven Deadly Sins of Predicting the Future of AI

A very long read, but a very good one, casting cold water on the recurrent explosions of enthusiasm/worry that robots will take all the jobs.


Falkenberg's Legion (The Prince) Book Review

The decade since I last reviewed the Colonel Falkenberg books by Jerry Pournelle have only made them more interesting. In the early 2000s, I found Jerry’s 1970s style urban unrest and political decay a bit over the top, as I was a sweet summer child of the post-Cold War 1990s. Now, in 2020, when the 1970s have dropped by for a visit, I see what he was getting at.


The Long View: Anno Dracula

John J. Reilly reviews Kim Newman’s Wold Newton pastiche of the vampire book, Anno Dracula. This is an example of what I mean by stupid but awesome, a story that works in every pulp and penny dreadful reference it can, but is remarkably well-informed about Victorian London while telling an incredibly ridiculous story.