Sunday, May 13, 2007

Home Again

Just popping my head in to say that I am back, safe, sound and exhausted, from my travels. Brazil was gorgeous and I will have pictures and reports up soon.

The big news from my period of absence is that M. John Harrison's Nova Swing won the Arthur C. Clarke award. Congratulations to Mr. Harrison and a hearty 'well done' to the judges.

In less satisfying award news, the Nebula winners were announced yesterday. Given the general mediocrity of the ballot, I can't quite find it in myself to get worked up over the winners, and of course things could have been much worse--"Unfinished Business" might have won the best script award.

Finally, if you haven't done so already, be sure to check out Andrew Rilstone's ongoing series A Sceptic's Guide to Richard Dawkins, in which Rilstone mercilessly filets Dawkins's failures as a religious historian and as a philosopher in his recent The God Delusion, in a sort of counterpart to Fred Clark's by-now monumental takedown of the Left Behind series. Be sure, as well, to read Bruce Alderman's hilarious The God Delusion: A Source Criticism.

6 comments:

Mike Taylor said...

Welcome back -- the Internet's been quiet while you were away :-)

Now, can you please give us some of your typically penetrating insight on the new Doctor Who series, since Mr. Rilstone is unaccountably failing to provide his own take on it?

Abigail Nussbaum said...

the Internet's been quiet while you were away

All evidence to the contrary...

History suggests that Mr. Rilstone is incapable of remaining silent on the subject of Who for very long. As for myself, I'm still struggling to have an emotional response to the third season, which thus far seems to have settled into a pleasant mediocrity - no "Aliens of London", but no "The Girl in the Fireplace" either. I might have more thoughts once the monstrous jet-lag/cold combo I've been trying to fight off for three days finally gives up the ghost.

Raz Greenberg said...

Well, it's nice to see my favorite animation director winning over such fan favorites as "Battlestar Galactica" and "Dr. who", though I feel that he should have been given the award for either "Princess Mononoke" or "Spirited Away" (he was nominated for both in the script category).
And welcome back :-)

Alison said...

I don't find that Rilstone series very compelling, although I haven't read the Dawkins book. It seems to me he is glossing over the underlying point of Dawkins work in general - the harm done to people (particularly women and children) by religion. To say 'I am talking about my special invisible friend and there's no way you can challenge me' is all very well, but if your special invisible friend tells you that 'girls are icky' then there's a problem.

Mike Taylor said...

Abigail, my response to series three is worryingly similar to yours: I don't know whether we're getting blase about New-Who quality, but it seems to me as well that, six episodes in, we're yet to hit a truly memorable episode. Even now, when I think of Father's Day, The Empty Child or The Girl in the Fireplace, there's a gut reaction. So far, nothing like that.

Still the best thing on telly, though.

... and whenever I am tempted to take New Who too much for granted, I always have my Genesis of the Daleks DVD to smash down my rose-tinted recollections of Classic Who. Bearing in mind that GotD is generally considered to be the best story in the Classic Who cannon, is sure does suck a lot. We easily forget how lucky we are to be living in the RTD era.

(Alison: you'd probably get more response to your comment on Rilstone's own blog. I won't reply here :-)

Alison said...

I don't feel like exposing myself - it's just too painful

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