R.C. Sherriff's 1931 novel, The Fortnight in September, is about a happy family on a pleasant seaside vacation during which nothing really bad happens. Try selling that to a publisher. But when you think about it, it's actually a tantalizing premise. Pretty much all fiction illustrates what happiness isn't. It's much harder to write a … Continue reading The Fortnight in September
Ian McEwan’s first “sci-fi” novel, Machines Like Me, published earlier this year, has not been getting the best reviews, but I found it enjoyable to read. I can’t say it was my favorite of his, but he set the bar pretty high with Atonement and On Chesil Beach. As one member of my book club put it, … Continue reading Machines Like Me: How did it REALLY End?
The Great Courses now has streaming, so we've been binge watching lectures as we "learn" Spanish. For me the most entertaining lecture series so far has been the Story of Human Language by John McWhorter. I also like the other course, Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage, although the first is clearer. But here's … Continue reading Language Evolution and Gingerbread
A while back I did some Googling to find out whether someone out there had written a book similar to mine, and in my research I came across Charles Johnson's novel, Faith and The Good Thing. Too good to be true. He too makes use of the most powerful centerpieces in Plato's works: The Allegory of the … Continue reading The Challenges in Writing a Philosophical Novel
This post is a little break from phenomenology and AI, but one I've been meaning to write for some time now. I read this novel, Submission, by Michel Houellebecq, without knowing much about the author or the controversy surrounding it...I did this on purpose. I wanted to read it on its own merits, then do … Continue reading Submission