Nightstand II

It’s always nice to have things easily to hand. From bottom to top again:

Yogi Kondo et al. Interstellar Travel and Multi-generation Space Ships. This seems to be papers presented at an AAAS symposium with the same title as the book. In other words, some serious looks at a few of the technical issues such an undertaking raises.

Jacqueline Koyanagi. Ascension: A Tangled Axon Novel. Kameron Hurley’s blurb promises us “…badass women running around doing badass things….” Both this and the book above were in the swag bag at Capclave 2014. I’ve barely glanced at either. But (hey!) free books — what’s not to like?

John Clute. Scores: Reviews 1993–2003. Speaking of Capclave, here’s the first of my loot from the dealers’ room. Clute is one of the best critics writing today, but this book’s typography is absolutely appalling: pale, spindly, too tight, and littered with errors.

George R. Stewart. Names on the Land. The classic study of American toponyms.

Henry Mayhew. London Labour and the London Poor, Volume II: The London Street-Folk (continued). Another classic study, in the Dover facsimile reprint. This is the place to go if you want to learn about, say, rag-pickers. And who doesn’t want to learn about rag-pickers?

John Clute. Canary Fever: Reviews. Further Capclave loot. More of the same from Mr. Clute: perceptive writing, rendered painful to read by incompetent typography. It’s set slightly larger than Scores — but such sloppy proofreading! such stingy margins! such horrendous spacing!

John Clute. Look at the Evidence: Essays and Reviews. Ah! What a pleasure this one is (yet more Capclave loot). Here the craft of the physical book is at a level with the writing in the book. Clever apercus! Proper small caps! Insightful critiques! Even typographic color! And — something amazing for a book at this price — a sewn binding!

Avram Davidson. The Island Under the Earth. The last of my Capclave purchases: a pristine Ace paperback of a fine story by a criminally neglected genius. I am making progress towards my goal of acquiring a copy of every word the man ever published.