Tag name:books

Errata for 21 Years of The Chronicle (Jun 2017)

I recently printed a few copies of a collection of The Chronicles (PDF ODT). As you would expect I've noticed a few errors that had I spotted them before printing I would have fixed. I did do two proofing runs which did flag up quite a few other errors which were, of course, corrected. So, I would have fixed:

Copyright page, Fifth Paragraph
Missing word are which should appear after the word interludes in Many interludes from background...
Major Events, Galemir 137
...begins constriction... should read ...begins construction...
Second paragraph following Linrodeth Sherrifs
Add in 148 between ...became Lady of the City and following the invasion.
Linrodeth (following Midsummer 139), Last Paragraph
The comma at the end of It has some advantages, should be a full stop.
Heliora 140, Fourth paragraph
Add paragraph break immediately before Cllr Perignon's problems have not ended with the....
Menderal 142, Sixth and Seventh Paragraphs
These paragraphs should not have been this deeply indented.
Pipetal 142, Paragraph immediately before Late News
its should be it's in ...its for your own good...
Pipetal 142, Second paragraph in Late News
Insert a comma between elections and Lady in ...just prior to the elections Lady Cox has completed by Decree...
Pipetal 144, Second page, Second paragraph
Extraneous spaces inside the quoted the motion text.
A Map in the Gelt Mountains (following Kryll 145)
This image needs resharpening or something. Compare with the map of catacombs following Menderal 1421.
Jasmarill 150, Second Paragraph
Remove the s from the word votes in ...and declared his intention to votes against the motion.
A Map of Oldgate Ward
This map was based on Aldgate Ward in London. As such it needs reflecting horizontally across the middle of the map2. Compare with the map of Linrodeth as whole.
Ternost 151, First Paragraph
Change off to of in ... and killed by a group off masked assailants.
Caralingas Lineage
Birth year of 131 for Eleanor is wrong (since that would make her only 10 when Alexis was born). 121 is the correct year.
Skelern 158, Fourth Paragraph
The following should be inside quotation marks: We now wait to see which of our Aldermen will vote for the right people and which will follow orders and vote for the grubby deal we were first presented with. At the end of this quotation should be a sentence break. Also a missing comma before the very last word are:.

Let me know if you find more!

Last updated: September 14, 2017 at 9:38 am


  1. Not sure what happened here - this looked fine in the proof print
  2. Sigh, had I spotted when I first created the map it would have been relatively easy to do by just reversing the greaseproof paper I used to copy the road layout - and then scribe in the road names and annotations. To fix it now will require some significant work in an image manipulation program!

Quiet (Apr 2015)

One of the reasons that you don't see many posts here is simply down to the fact that I'm an extreme introvert (from memory, on the Briggs-Meyers test I ended on the extreme end of I). I thus really enjoyed one of my recent reads - "Quiet" by Susan Cain (ISBN 978-0-141-02919-1). While I don't exhibit all of the anecdotes, I will admit that I did feel that I could empathise with the vast majority of them. I do thoroughly recommend this book - it opened my mind to the viewpoints of both introverts and extroverts.

Recently Read (May 2014)

I read a lot of books (enough that I have separate rooms for fiction and non-fiction bookshelves and that's
still not enough!). Here's I'm going to attempt to record at still some of the most recent ones I've read and perhaps
manage a few words. The most recently read will be at the top of the list.

A note on the rating scheme - I've deliberately widened my original scheme, so you note that a 'D' rating does not
indicate that the book is rubbish (I'll save the 'F' for that), just I don't rate it as highly as others on the list (you could treat as
3 of 5 stars on some other schemes)

May 2014
2312 (Hard Science Fiction by Kim Stanley Robinson)
Hard science fiction stories are now relatively hard to find, but this one is recent exception. Kim tells a good tale while
weaving in a good mix of future history and explanatory information on various terraforming efforts. I certainly won't think of
Mercury in the same again.

Overall Rating: A

The Great Railway Conspiracy (Non-fiction by David Henshaw)
A strongly pro-rail history of the railways focusing on the beeching era (but not ignoring either before or after that date). Definitely
a good review of the history and, given by own pro-rail views, not an inaccurate one either.

Overall Rating: C

The next 100 years (Non-fiction by George Friedman)

Billed as a reasonable guess of world politics for the next 100 years (written in 2008), this is an interesting read. George manages to
do a well reasoned prediction. I do buy into some of what he says, though I do feel he's too quick to dismiss both China and the European Union
(he does explain his reasoning though). As usual with these kind of books, the more fun comes in several years time when you can compare what
actually happened with the guess.

Overall Rating: C

The Colossal Book of Mathematics (Non-fiction by Martin Gardner - reread)

Hmm, a lot of mathematics recently. This is one of Martin's last books. It reprints the greatest chapters from
his earlier books (largely based on the classic columns from Scientific American) together with addenda covering discoveries and thoughts that
post-date that earlier book.

Overall Rating: B

The Great Mathematical Problems (Non-fiction by Ian Stewart)

A description of the big questions in Mathematics - whether still open or now closed. So it includes a chapter
on Fermat's Last Theorem and another on P=NP. Ian manages, in the main, to explain the problem and the topics that arise (or
were created) from trying to solve the problem.

Overall Rating: B

On the road bike (Non-fiction by Ned Boulting)

Ned is a TV journalist covering road bicycle races (Apparently he also commentates on football, but that not my thing). This book
covers some of the history and characters in the middle 20th century bike racing in the UK. A fun easy read assuming you like
bike races ☺

Overall Rating: B

Metamaths (Non-fiction by Gregory Chaitin)

Informally, Ω is the probability of that a "random" computer program will actually halt. It's an example of a real number that not computable. Assuming
you're happy reading/playing with deep mathematics, this is a fun book - it's also partially an autobiography. It still blows my mind that
almost all reals are:

  • transcendental
  • uncomputable
  • unnameable (since the names of numbers make up merely a countable set)

Overall rating: B

Immortal Coil (fiction - Star Trek)

Read after I followed a link on tvtropes (Summon Bigger Fish)
Not quite as good as I anticipated, as its resolution left plenty unexplained. Still I only expected a light read and got that

Overall rating: C

The Better Angels of Our Nature (non-fiction by Steven Pinker)

This book main line of argument is that violence has been on a downwards trend whether you measure over decades, centuries or
even millennia. It's a reasonably good argument even if there's a bit too much of "Here's a graph with four data points
- obviously there's a trend". While I do have sympathy with Nassim's view (expressed in the book I read immediately before this one) about
social scientists being naïve about statistics and distributions I am convinced by the longer term (centuries) trends described.

The one worrying conclusion though is the violent events seem to follow a power law relationship and hence the probability of an event
kills everyone is decidely higher than zero and much higher than you would expect from a normal distribution. Luckily that probability is
still quite small.....

Overall Rating: A

Antifragile (Non-fiction by Nassim Nicholas Taleb)

Nassim tries to show that there are things that not only not fragile, but actually gain from shocks.
He does qualify that with not too violent a shock (for example shocks that are even too extreme for
Evacuate Earth would destroy the earth and hence destroy just about anything that matters to us).
Nassim is definitely an author I would hope people read simply for the ideas - this is one of those books that is better than simply
being a longer form of a short paper (though I admit that is what this book - the paper is even an appendix))

Overall Rating: A