George V. Reilly

Review: The Blackhouse

Title: The Blackhouse
Author: Peter May
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Quercus
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 501
Keywords: mystery, scottish
Reading period: 29 May–3 June, 2016

Detective Inspector Fin McLeod hasn’t been back to the Isle of Lewis in twenty years, but he’s been seconded to the task force in­ves­ti­gat­ing a murder. The dead man had bullied Fin and his friends throughout their childhood. Returning home brings up a lot that had been long buried: secrets and re­sent­ments. Fin’s childhood and youth is gradually revealed throughout the book, informing his present-day in­ves­ti­ga­tion. He acted badly in the past and that has not been forgotten.

May skillfully weaves these two tales together, revealing details of character and plot, all continue.

Review: The Dead

Title: The Dead
Author: Ingrid Black
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 345
Keywords: mystery, noir
Reading period: 2 April–3 June, 2016

At the end of March, I read an article in the Irish In­de­pen­dent, The girl who stole my book, about a blatant case of plagiarism. A Kindle All Star author by the name of Joanne Clancy had taken two books written by Ingrid Black a decade earlier, and rewritten them in her own words, changing the names and adjectives but preserving the plot. Eilis O’Hanlon, one half of the pseu­do­ny­mous duo behind Ingrid Black, only found out about the plagiarism by accident, thanks to a tweet from a sharp-eyed continue.

Panel on Marriage Equality

There was supposed to be a second showing of The Queen of Ireland doc­u­men­tary this morning at the SIFF Uptown, preceded by a panel discussion on Marriage Equality. We attended the discussion, which was moderated by Phil Grant, the Consul General of Ireland. The three panelists were Rory O’Neill, aka Panti Bliss, out of drag, the accidental activist who became the face of marriage equality in Ireland; Mayor Ed Murray, an Irish-American and Washington state’s best-known gay politi­cian; and Gary Gates, an LGBT de­mog­ra­ph­er, married to an Irishman, who advised the Irish cam­paign­ers.

I have a strong interest in marriage equality, going back more than 20 years—I was wearing a HERMP shirt that continue.

Review: The Very Best of Kate Elliott

Title: The Very Best of Kate Elliott
Author: Kate Elliott
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Tachyon Pub­li­ca­tions
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 386
Keywords: sf, fantasy
Reading period: 19 May–3 June, 2016

A collection of short stories and essays from Kate Elliott, some of which are drawn from her various story universes. In the foreword and the essays, she discusses the cultural biases that lead to the “male gaze” and male characters being the un­con­sid­ered defaults for many readers and writers. These stories amply demon­strate that good, in­ter­est­ing fantasy and SF stories can be written with strong female characters and subtle plots. (I already knew this; some in SF fandom still don’t.)

Review: The Queen of Ireland

In the last few years in Seattle, I’ve met the Prime Minister (Taoiseach) of Ireland, the President of Ireland, and now the Queen of Ireland.

Title: The Queen of Ireland
Director: Conor Horgan
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2015
Keywords: doc­u­men­tary, ireland, lgbt
Watched: 2 June, 2016

The Queen of Ireland is a doc­u­men­tary about Ireland’s best-known drag queen, Panti Bliss (Rory O’Neill), who became an accidental activist and the face of marriage equality in Ireland.

Filming started in 2010. In early 2014, O’Neill appeared on an RTÉ chat show and alleged that some in­di­vid­u­als in Irish journalism are homophobic. They threatened to sue and RTÉ backed down, apol­o­giz­ing and paying them €85,000. This became known as continue.

HouseCanary PyCon2016 Progamming Challenge

Yesterday, while at PyCon, I whipped up a quick, brute-force answer to the House­Ca­nary PyCon2016 Progamming Challenge in a few minutes. That was sufficient to pass the first two test cases and win me a very pretty House­Ca­nary t-shirt.

The answer ran in O(n⁴) time, so it failed miserably on the larger problem sets in the third and fourth cases. I mulled it over and came up with an O(n²) solution that runs in reasonable time on the larger problem sets. On the second test case, input1.txt, runtime drops from 5.2s to 0.2s.

I submitted my new answer. I’ll learn on Monday if I won the speed challenge.

Review: Jimmy the Kid (audiobook)

Title: Jimmy the Kid
Author: Donald E. Westlake
Narrator: Brian Holsopple
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Highbridge
Copyright: 1974
Keywords: crime, humor
Listening period: 27–31 May, 2016

I rarely listen to audiobooks, except on long driving trips. We listened to another Dortmunder book on our drive down to and back from Portland for PyCon.

Dortmunder’s jinxed associate Andy Kelp spends a few days in jail and reads a book called Child Heist by Richard Stark, which Kelp believes to be the blueprint for a perfect crime. Dortmunder, always wary of Kelp’s schemes, doesn’t appreciate having a plan brought to him, since he’s always been the planner of the crew. Some of the crew aren’t eager continue.

Review: A Colder Kind of Death

Title: A Colder Kind of Death
Author: Gail Bowen
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Copyright: 1994
Pages: 218
Keywords: mystery
Reading period: 27–28 May, 2016

Joanna Kilbourn’s husband, Ian, was sense­less­ly murdered along the Trans-Canada Highway six years ago. Now the killer has been murdered in prison. And his vile girlfriend, who was acquitted of Ian’s murder, is making threats. Then she’s found dead, strangled by Joanna’s scarf, and Joanna is the prime suspect. Joanna, who is a quietly competent mother, professor, and political com­men­ta­tor, starts digging and she finds things that alarm her about Ian’s past, things that she had missed in her fog of grief after his murder.

This continue.

FlyingCloud Documentation Updates

I made a number of updates to the Fly­ing­Cloud Doc­u­men­ta­tion tonight. I hope to give a lightning talk about Fly­ing­Cloud at PyCon on Monday evening or Tuesday morning, and I put together some slides for that too.

Powell's City of Books

We drove down to Portland, Oregon yesterday for PyCon. No trip to Portland would be complete without a trip to Powell’s bookstore. I don’t have much time this trip, but we did manage to spend an hour there last night, before they closed at 11pm. There’s nothing like it in Seattle. I like Elliott Bay Bookstore but it’s a pale shadow of Powell’s. A long time ago, someone described Powell’s to me as “the best bookstore in Seat­tle”—mean­ing that Seat­tleites who want to visit a world-class bookstore have to visit Portland.

I got out lightly. I spent only $85.

Previous » « Next