Category Archives: read

Some things haven’t changed (1971)

Today’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations bring deju vu for veterans of 1971 protests – The Washington Post

The New York Times noted: “The more important innovation was the use of mass arrests to clear the streets and detain demonstrators, even for hours after the city was calm. Many of yesterday’s record 7,000 arrests, it was clear this morning, were dragnet captures of people who had had nothing to do with the demonstrations.”

The City and The City, by China Miéville (sci fi, 2 stars)

Just finished this book, which won a sci fi award in the past few years. China Miéville has written several award winners and topped several ‘best’ lists, so I wanted to read something by him. The story is a police procedural, with the narrator being a cop in an Eastern European city, who is investigating a murder. The sci-fi aspect is that there are two cities that intersect / overlap / occupy much the same space. Separate cities that require boarder crossings, but occupy much of the same space, it seems. The premise was fascinating, but the actual description of how these two cities co-exist disappointed me.

At times the language was challenging, not merely because of references to the two cities, which speak different languages, but also because the English sometimes read as if translated. I could not decide if this was intentional, underscoring the foreign scene.

On the whole, this was better literature than Nevada Barr, but not nearly as compelling or exciting.