AndyHat (andyhat) wrote,

The past few weeks have been spent playing entirely too much Lego Marvel Super Heroes and Assassin's Creed IV (finished the main story in both, leaving trophy mop up and DLC for AC at some point), along with a bit of Gran Turismo 6 and Forza 5 for variety. I do wish the PS4 were backwards compatible with the PS3 (and the XBone with the 360) so we could ditch the old consoles and simplify our wiring. Also finally picked up the new Mario 3D World; Mario's cat form is ridiculously cute.

With all the gaming, I haven't been reading as much as I'd like. I did get through Lavie Tidhar's The Violent Century (from PS Publishing, though I believe there's a trade edition coming soon). It's an alternate history in which an accident in 1932 causes superpowers to randomly manifest in the population (rather than merely being recorded in the pages of comic books). However, since every country has their own superheroes, twentieth-century history (and especially WW2) proceed more or less unchanged except in small details. It's a fairly dark book (focusing as it does on violent upheavals) but still a fun read.

On the short fiction side, only a handful of stories. For Boxing Day, G.K.Chesterson's Father Brown story "The Flying Stars," featuring a jewel theft during a Boxing Day pantomime. Thoroughly charming, as all the Father Brown stories are. Also dipped into the new issue of Crimewave (#12) with Melanie Tem's "Singularity," a somewhat creepy tale about two old friends who are trying to escape their pasts until they're forced to reveal their secrets to one another. And finally, the December 2013 issue of Cosmos includes a short story, "Swarm" by Craig Miller about self-driving cars and the take-over of ordinary life by insurance companies. It starts off with a bit too much info-dumping (especially given the short length), but it comes to a fairly satisfying conclusion once it gets to the plot.

On the music side, I started dipping into Decca's amazing box set of Britten's complete works. Amazing how much wonderful but seldom heard music is in there. One of my favorite new-to-me pieces so far was the posthumously published variations on God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, "Men of Goodwill" (as performed by the Minnesota Orchestra under Neville Mariner. I do hope Minnesota is eventually successful in preserving that excellent orchestra!)

And to close: Jake & Mimi around the Christmas tree.


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