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Books! (Mostly Classic SF Edition)

The Variable Man (Philip K. Dick, 2017/#7): A collection of five novellas. Not his best work, but interesting and enjoyable nonetheless.

Ephemeral City (Rosa Salzberg, 2017/#8): The book's subtitle being Cheap Print and Urban Culture in Renaissance Venice, you would think that I'd love every page, and you'd be right. I've read about Venice's printing industry before, and I'm fascinated by the avvisi, but I hadn't know about the (unprecedented) lower-end of printed media: single sheets or booklets of everything from Papal bulls to ribald parodies of famous works (commercial erotic fanfic, in other words), produced sometimes very quickly, sold sometimes in "proper" bookshops and sometimes by street sellers peddling them together with, say, soap. Singers and actors promoting them (listen to a comedic song on the street, buy the lyrics to sing them to your mates at the pub), or using them to promote their acts. Et cetera, et cetera. The sheer *energy* of this new medium.

The Year's Best S-F 11th Annual Edition (Ed. Judith Merril, 2017/#9): Seems like the early 1960's were a very good year for short SF. Highly recommended.

Tales of Ten Worlds (Arthur C. Clarke, 2017/#10): Mostly meh. I find Clarke overrated; I like his best at his most bradburian.

The Hugo Winners (Isaac Asimov, 2017/#11): Classic stories, both for the genre and in my life. A reread.

Galaxies Like Grains of Sand (Brian W. Aldiss, 2017/#12): A "deep time history of the future" in the form of very loosely interlocked short stories. I didn't like it too much; it tries to be poetic and philosophical more than grounded on believable developments, but it doesn't quite pull it off. The last story was a particular disappointment.

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