Of Rats and Men

This is a (very preliminary) prologue to a sci-fi novel I’ve been thinking of writing for some time. It’s called 100 YEARS TO VICTORY, but obviously liable to change. My sole question is: Would you continue reading the rest of this book? It’s been nearly a decade since I built my first cage. It was […]

Book Review: C.S. Friedman – Black Sun Rising

Black Sun Rising (Book 1 of the Coldfire Trilogy) by C.S. Friedman, published in 1991. Rating: 3/5. The Coldfire Trilogy is sometimes described as a successful fusion of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. So what better work to start reviewing on this site? I will be forthright: By far the most wondrous and intriguing element of this series […]

All The Books I’ve Read, Running Through My Head. This Is Not Enough.

Over the past week I’ve completed one of my most significant projects, though I’m not megalomaniac enough to think it will present much interest to other people. It’s a list of all the books I’ve ever read. Well, not all of them, of course. That’s unrealistic. Since completing it, I’ve remembered a couple more. But […]

Our Lady of Shadows

An original poem: And there shall come a time of wist and woe, When flesh grows weak and spirit fails, Of dark foreboding (and of secret glee), When I look down into the Abyss. There in its sad and murky depths, Where daemons lurk and spirits fall, The realm of death awaits. With its tenebral […]

The Top 5 Books On Everything

Good books are of course far better than almost anything you can read in a magazine or find on the Internet. They are also of double the benefit when the reader actually interacts with them, e.g. by writing a review. I have about 25 of these on my two blogs, but they still come very […]

Whiskey Trickles Into Russia’s Drinking Culture

Russia has a long and proud drinking culture; according to the chronicle of its founding, the main reason it chose Christianity over Islam was the latter’s prohibition of booze. Vodka has been distilled there since at least the 12th century. As of the time of writing, it is the world’s largest spirits market by volume […]

Esperanto Estas La Plej Facila Lingvo En La Mondo

In the course of my Chinese adventures, all other languages started to seem a lot easier. So needless to say that Esperanto, one of the easiest of them all, looks like just a walk in the park now. In particular, I’m interested in what the glossophiles here think about it, i.e. yalensis and Lazy Glossophiliac. Here […]

More On Learning Chinese

So today I finished my intensive Chinese class, which I celebrated by drinking lots of 啤酒 (and silently toasting the heroic oppositionistas struggling against UK bourgeois state tyranny). Here is my third set of observations. 1. Most other languages now look really easy, especially Spanish which I’ve long planned to learn but never really found myself […]

Updates On Learning Chinese

It’s been a few weeks since my last post on learning Chinese, so here is new info for anyone interested. 1. In case you missed a late update to the original post: “Because of the simplicity of the grammar, Chinese often feels like slang to speakers used to more formalized languages; i.e. slang such as ebonics. […]

Learning Chinese

Seeing as I’m known as a “Sino-triumphalist” anyway why not go the full nine yards and learn the language? That is what I’m doing (c. 300-500 汉字 to date) and here are my thoughts so far. 1. Tones. In stark contrast to every major European language, Chinese pronunciation is based on tones. Four of them: […]

Top 10 Most Useful Languages

Knowing a second language is a highly desirable trait in today’s world, especially if your work or hobbies have an international focus. But for most people, learning languages is an arduous undertaking, constituting a big investment of intellectual resources. The best advice is to learn something you enjoy or gives you meaning, as by far the biggest […]