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Pickle Me This

February 6, 2008

Credible space flight

I’m on the tail end of a short story run– I finished Simple Recipes by Madeleine Thien (whose Certainty was one of my favourite books of last year). Now reading Bang Crunch by Neil Smith, now out in paperback. And then back to novels come Saturday morning, as I’ll have airport waiting and flights to pass (dance dance dance). But lately I have found the short story quite delicious– perfect. Which is probably very fitting, as lately I’ve been writing quite a few of my own.

Fabulous things read lately include from Hilary Mantel’s review in the LRB, “Until the idea of space flight became credible, there were no aliens; instead there were green men who hid in the woods.” The Judy Blume profile that Kate was talking about. Boys don’t get it, do they? Bookninja thought the profile went on “a tad lengthily”. And I do wonder if it is girlishness that kept the Guardian Books blog’s celebration of Anne Shirley as one of the few pieces ever there whose comments didn’t descend rapidly into a churlish a*shole contest. Which is not to say that boys are as*holes, but the ones commenting over there usually seem to be. Or commenting most places, actually (but of course, dear readers, not here.)

Also, though I don’t agree with all she says here, I have fallen completely in love with Tabatha Southey. My love for columnist Doug Saunders is much older, but his piece this Saturday comparing today’s terrorists with those of the early ’70s was fascinating.

And also this stellar piece on the Munich air crash 50 years ago in which 8 Manchester United football players were killed, along with the crew members, team supporters, reporters and coaches: “On February 6, 1958, however, the news has only just begun to find the means of spreading itself at speed through the global village. An international network exists, although it is a primitive and unreliable mechanism compared with the digital world of the future.”

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