The always interesting Antigone Journal looks at the drinking practices of the classical Greeks and Romans.
The materialist philosophy that dominated the twentieth century is evaporating, but what is rushing to fill the void is not uncomplicated Christian faith, but instead a complicated mismash of pagan LARPing, gnosticism, and occultism.
This deservedly hostile review of Harry Turtledove’s contribution to an anthology purportedly in honor of Poul Anderson never ceases to stagger me. The sheer disrespect and misunderstanding is astonishing. Also that Greg Bear is Poul Anderson’s son in law.
I’m not at all surprised at this development.
Professor Dr. Raymond Kuo has developed games of negotiation and statecraft that sound really interesting.
I want to try this scenario about counter-insurgency, as it overlaps with my reading interests.
You are the commander of a light infantry company. You have been given the mission of protecting Dullsville, a critical supply, transportation, and medical depot for your brigade. You have been here for two weeks. Your forces consist of two infantry platoons (your third has been detached to battalion to conduct reconnaissance), a section of HMMWVs armed with TOWs, a separate section of HMMWVs armed with M2s, and a mortar team.
This story reminds me of the intersection of psychological manipulation and corporate domination that you find in the works of J. G. Ballard. I find it a little hard to get into the mindset that prompted his work, but I think the very successfully advertising campaign sponsored by the De Beers diamond monopoly gives good context for why 1940s and 1950s sci fi authors wrote stories about the immense power of applied psychology.
According to the author, a world history only really became possible in the past thousand years, because the second Christian millennium was the time when the major regional civilizations of the world achieved substantial and continuous contact. Though the author gives considerable attention to events in Africa and the Americas, he is, for good reason, something of a Eurasian chauvinist. For most practical purposes, the history of the world since the year 1000 A.D. can be understood as the joint and several life stories of just four great cultures: China, Christendom, India and Islam.
With Both Hands: The Lost
Swords Against the Night, the fourth book in Peter Nealen’s The Lost series, is out now. Why not check out my reviews of the first three and then grab a copy of this great series that combines action and adventure with a real sense of the numinous?
I plan on reviewing book 4 in the near future.
Don’t forget that you can get the first 9 volumes of Cradle free on Amazon right now!