Tolkien, the movie

The new biopic, Tolkien, was clearly written for me. But you’ll enjoy it too. What, you may wonder, do I mean by claiming that it was written for me? Of course that is not literally true: the film-makers don’t know… Read More ›

The Odd Clauses

As you know, the President of the United States takes an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” And of course our current president does that faithfully — right? — but not everyone is familiar with… Read More ›

Code Girls

You know how college recommendation forms often ask “What three words first come to mind about this applicant?” In the case of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Codebreakers of World War II, the three words would be fascinating, absorbing,… Read More ›

A Truck Full of Money

As you may know, Tracy Kidder is the author of some wonderful non-fiction books, including Soul of a New Machine, House, and Mountains Beyond Mountains. (He also attended both high school and college with me, but that’s not so important.) Apparently this really is a… Read More ›

Bimbos of the Death Sun

No, it’s not what you think. This hilarious novel, by Sharyn McCrumb, is a satiric mystery about a fictional SF con (that’s science fiction convention, to you mundanes out there). The protagonist is a professor of electrical engineering at Virginia… Read More ›

Friends of Dorothy

In my naive youth, I had no idea what a “friend of Dorothy” was; in-group descriptors, after all, are always known to members of the in group (and allies) long before they are known to the general public. “Friend of… Read More ›

Ingrid Thoft

No, “Identity Theft” is not the title of this book — though you can readily see why Barbara thought so when she glanced quickly at the cover. Identity is Ingrid Thoft’s second novel. In some ways it’s in the tradition… Read More ›