Saturday, 30 November 2013

Shalee lhiah 2013: Jerrey Mee Houney

Jerrey kied vee jeig ny shalee.

Hoshiaght ny bleeaney: 128 lioaryn

Hoshiaght ny mee: 65 lioaryn

Myr shen, ta mee er scryssey 11 ass y rolley as ta 54 faagit er. Shen 4 ry-lhaih roish jerrey ny bleeaney - wahll, ny smoo my ta mee son freayll y carnane fo 50 trooid Nollick as laa ruggyree... Gambatte, Shim-san!

  • Lioaryn lhaiht aym y vlein shoh (y chied cheayrt): 125 lioaryn!

End of the eleventh month of Reading Project.

The Beginning: 128 books

The start of this month: 65 books

  • Read this month:
  • Not on the list: 1 (restarted and finished reading it after giving up once and marking it as done with)
  • New: 5. Yet more manga, of course. So easy and pleasant to read!
  • Struck off for other reasons: 2 that I've decided I just don't want to read (see elsewhere for details)

That's another 11 off the pile, leaving only 4 that I need to read by the end of the year - although if I want to reach the new year with under 50 through Christmas and a birthday, I'm going to need to read more than that, methinks.

  • Books read (for the first time) this year: 125 books!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 47

Jerrey hiaghtoo hiaghtin as daeed ny Shallee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Maya glyphs (Stephen D. Houston)

Nah lioar lhaih mee 'sy 'traih lioaryn shoh "Reading the Past" (by Egyptian Hieroglyphics ee y chied lioar). S'treih lhiam gra nagh vel Houston wheesh mie as Davies myr screeudeyr da'n lught gyn ynsaghey. Ta mysh kied lieh ny lioar mychione shennaghys sleih heear feaysley ny cowraghyn shoh - castreycair, agh cha nel mooarane dy anaase aym er shen. Eisht t'eh goaill toshiaght soilshaghey magh ny cowraghyn hene, agh cha daink lesh eh, er lhiam. She corys screeuee feer chramp t'ayn, ta covestey jallooyn crampey myr un 'ockle, as cha nel ee rieau cur bun mie dhyt trooid soilshaghey beggan er veggan cre'n aght t'ou uss nyn lhaih. 'Sy chied sampleyr hene, t'eh loayrt er cowraghyn ta cur meehastey da ny reillyn as ta caslys jeh tree cowraghyn crampey gyn coontey mie jeh ny t'ad gra. Cha nel eh rieau jus cur caslys jeed as insh dhyt ny t'eh dy ghra as cre'n fa. Myr shen, cha dennee mee rieau dy dod mee toiggal yn aght ta'n corys gobbraghey. Cha nel mee jerkal rish toiggal ny cowraghyn hene, agh erreish dou lhaih obbyr Ghavies chreid mee dy doig mee cree yn aght screeuee Egyptagh. She lioar hirrym t'ayn nagh vel cooilleeney y dean ta foee, er lhiam.

Cheau magh mee daa lioar elley. Gormenghast trilogy (er lhiam nagh vel mee son lhiah eh, as t'eh liauyr ass towse - cre'n feeu?) as Newid Byd, erreish dou feddyn magh dy nee çhyndaays 'sy Vretnish t'ayn ass y Vaarle. Er lhiam nagh neeu eh ceau traa er y lheid.

The end of week forty-seven of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Maya glyphs (Stephen D. Houston)

The second book I've read in this series "Reading the Past" (Egyptian Hieroglyphics was the first). I'm sorry to say Houston doesn't come across nearly as well as Davies as a writer for the lay audience. A big chunk of the early book is about history, but the history of Western attempts to decipher the script rather than its own history - okay, but I have no particular interest in the lives and rivalries of these academics. When he does begin discussing the scripts, it didn't go too well. It's a very complicated system, involving intricate pictures that are combined in clusters to create words, which are themselves arranged in rows. Houston just never spends the time to explain simply how a basic reading goes, by showing you a cluster and breaking it down into parts. The very first example you see, he's making a point about exceptions to the rules and shows a few signs and a reading, but since he's making about three separate points in the same example I couldn't decipher it at all. It's not clear how the transcription relates to the clusters, let alone the individual symbols. As a result I never had a sound basis to follow the further explanations. I didn't expect to come out understanding Mayan writing, but I did hope to come out feeling like I knew how it worked, as I did with the hieroglyphs. Sadly, Davies doesn't pull that off. It's a pretty dry book that doesn't really accomplish its aim, in my view.

I've also slung out two books unread. The first is the Gormenghast trilogy (in one book). I just realised that, from what I know of it, I'm not really interested in reading it, and since it's a massive and rather heavy book it's not something I can plough through quickly so's to have at least read it, nor skim over to get the gist. The other is Newid Byd, which turns out to be a Welsh translation of an English book. Since I got it because it was Welsh, I don't really feel much point in bothering with that.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Cohirrey Skeealaght Laa Ruggyree Himmin Beg

Chaarjyn! Ta my laa ruggyree çheet dy leah, as cre'n gioot share dou agh cooid 'sy Ghaelg dyn lhaih? Myr shen, ta mee kiarail Cohirrey Skeealaght Laa Ruggyree. As ta mee shirrey erriu goaill ayrn aynsyn, my saillt; mannagh jean, cha bee shirrey erbee ry-akin, gyn çheet er y cho-.

Ta aundyryn argid (beg) ry-gheddyn assjeh, dy jarroo.

Nish, reillyn. Shegin dou soiaghey y lheid.

  • Shegin diu screeu 'sy Ghaelg!
  • Ta mee shirrey skeealyn beggey. Cha nel poyntyn ry-gheddyn ny ry-chosney bentyn rish liurid. Ny screeu harrish 2000 focklyn my saillt. Cha nel "cooid sloo" erbee.
  • Ta çhyndaayssyn ass çhengey erbee cooie dy liooar - agh, shegin dou gra my lioarlannagh, cha noddym goaill rish çhyndaayssyn jeh skeealyn nagh vel ass coip-chiart foast!
  • Cha nel mee gaggyrt kied elley er ny t'ou screeu, agh by vie lhiam ny skeealyn share y chur er my vlog.
  • Verrym jerrey er y cho-hirrey rish jerrey ny bleeaney, as jannoo briwnys laa ennagh ayns Jerrey Geuree.
  • My t'ou son goaill ayrn, cur dt'ennym heese, as cur skeealyn dou ec btinternetponkcom fo'n ennym shimminbeg.

Reddyn nagh vel reillyn, agh cur tastey daue ny yei shen:

  • Ta mee shirrey skeealyn as blass reddyn yindyssagh oc. S'mie lhiam fansee, feayn-skeealleydaght, far-skeealaght heanse, ny reddyn elley bentyn rish reddyn quaagh.
  • Share lhiam skeealyn taitnyssagh. Cha nel mee soit er spotçhyn, agh bare lhiam goaill soylley jeh ny ta mee dy lhaih! My t'ou screeu skeeal bentyn rish sleih boght doolagh surranse, ny "grimdark" ennagh, cha nel monney caa ayd.
  • My ta Gaelg schlei ayd, ta caa share ayd. Ny yei shen, cha verrym flout da skeealyn anaasoil screeut dy jeean jus kyndagh rish marranys ny ghaa. Cha nel kied erbee aym myr briwnys çhengey. Failt er paitçhyn, aegidee as sleih aasit goaill ayrn.

As failt ort y naight y skeaylley, my ta caarjyn ayd as Gaelg oc. Cha nel monney sleih lhaih y blog shoh.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 46

Jerrey heyoo hiaghtin as daeed ny Shallee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Wirral Vikings: The Wider Context (Hrolf Douglasson)

Coontey giare jeh shennaghys ny Wigganee 'sy Wirral. Cha nel eh fo Douglasson soilshaghey mynphoyntyn; t'eh loayrt er sampleyryn as cleaynyn fo hoilshey taghyrtyn mooarey: reeghyn, reeriaghtyn, as cummaltee ny h-ardjyn. T'eh cur tastey da imraaghyn Sostynagh, Bretnagh, Yernagh as Wigganagh (as t'eh çheet er Mannin keayrtyn ny ghaa). Shoh toshiaght vie da sleih as beggan anaase oc er shennaghys y Wirral; cha nel eh ard-scoillaragh ny lane dy har-termeeaght, agh t'eh er bun scoillaragh, er lhiam.

Spies (Michael Frayn)

Nah lioar 'Rayn ren mee eab urree. S'cosoylagh dy row meehreisht aym urree kyndagh rish y chied lioar. Cha dod mee feddyn anaase aynjee, ga dy dooyrt carrey ny ghaa dy vel ee mie. Er lhiam dy row yn aght screeuee ro-liauyr (as shoh mish dy ghra!) as ro-aggyrtagh; agh er y laue elley, cha row yn aght "purple" shen aalin dy liooar dy jannoo ah anaasoil. Va'n ughtar er hene 'sy roie-skeeal bentyn rish ennym lus ennagh, shirrey dy ghoostey anaase er lhiah, agh cha daink lesh eh. Rish lhaih toshiaght y skeeal, ren mee briwnys nagh row eh cooie dooys. Ta'n ard-charracteyr cur coontey trooid cooinaghtyn jeh'n traa paitçhey echey, as nagh dree eh! Gilley boght fo gurneil carrey s'berçhey, lughtyn-thie nagh mie lesh ny lhiams eu... cha row cowrey erbee dy beagh taghyrtyn aitt ny anaasoil erbee ry-lhaih, ga dy row coontey cooyl ny lioar lhiggey er dy nee skeeal contoyrtyssagh v'ayn. Er lhiam shen jus meechormid jerkallys - s'cosoylagh dy row eh baghtal ass towse da'n lught screeuee dy nee "noaskeeal lettyragh" t'ayn, as screeu ad rere shen, gyn smooinaghtyn dy dod peiagh erbee meehoiggal. Agh mish smooinaghtyn er gillyn as spionyn, shen skeeal contoyrtyssyn, nagh nee? Aghterbee... cha mie lhiam lioaryn lettyragh, as cha neeu eh dou.

The end of week forty-six of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Wirral Vikings: The Wider Context (Hrolf Douglasson)

A brief overview of Viking history in the Wirral. This doesn't make any attempt to detail specifics, but looks at the broad patterns in the context of historical events (kings, kingdoms and settlement patterns) and discusses the evidence from English, Welsh, Irish and Viking sources. A decent taster for someone with a mild interest in Merseyside history, which doesn't delve into technicalities or use academic prose, but still offers a scholarly perspective.

Spies (Michael Frayn)

The second Frayn book I've tried and failed to read. It's likely the first one prejudiced me against this, despite assurances from my family that it's good. I really couldn't get into it. The style seemed unnecessarily wordy and somewhat pretentious, but wasn't satisfying enough in itself to make it interesting. There was an early irritating touch in the protagonist finding out the name of a plant and refusing to divulge it to the reader, presumably an attempt to seem either interesting or mysterious, and achieving neither. After a prologue that was seemed as pointless as prologues usually seem, Frayn moved on to depicting the slightly unsatisfactory childhood of the protagonist through his own recollections. Deducing from the first few pages that the protagonist was likely to be miserable, his affluent older friend domineering, that nothing particularly fun seemed likely to happen, that the style grated on me, and - in short - that it read like a literary novel rather than a story of childhood adventure, I decided it wasn't worth my time.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 45

Jerrey wheiggoo hiaghtin as daeed ny Shallee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Swordspoint (Ellen Kushner)

Chionnee mee y lioar shoh erreish da carrey aym screeu barel jeean as moylee jee. Va mee son goaill taitnyss jee, gyn ourys. Agh s'treih lhiam gra nagh dod mee geddyn greim aigney urree. Cha nel mee gra dy vel ee moal trooid as trooid, agh cha venn ee rhym. Ta barelyn kenjal er cooyl ny lioar, gra dy vel ee lane dy "aitt neuyerkit", as karracteyryn nagh dod oo nyn nyarrood. Atreih... ga dy nee skeeal cliweyn as marroo as cochialg t'ayn, cha dooar mee anaase aynjee. As c'raad ta'n aitt shen? Ta folliaght ny ghaa ayn, agh cha dennee mee dy row ad feeu feddyn magh: c'raad ass ta'n fer aeg nagh vel jannoo monney as nagh vel oyr aym anaase aym y ve er? nee fer ooasle ennagh goaill ynnyd fer ooasle elley? By gummey lhiam eh, dy jarroo. Shoh y red: er lhiam dy vel y lioar shoh croghey er ny karracteyryn t'ayn, as aght ennagh nagh row anaase aym orroo, as myr shen by gummey lhiam ny yinnagh ad ny haghyragh daue. S'bastagh eh.

Pirates of the Asteroids (Isaac Asimov)

Skeeal contoyrtyssagh far-skeealaght heanse. Rere cliaghtey Asimov, ga dy nee contoyrtys t'ayn, ta aght trome-chooishagh er as t'eh lane dy 'ishag. Cha dug eh monney yindys orrym, hoig mee y firrinys v'ayn leah dy liooar, agh t'eh giare, anaasoil dy liooar, as cha dooar mee monney dy 'accan er noadyr. Cha vow uss aase karracteyryn ny coloayrtys taitnyssagh ayns shoh, agh cha nee adsyn ta dean y liooar, agh contoyrtys beg 'syn 'eaynid mooar.

Philosophy and the Christian Faith (Colin Brown)

Shennaghys tappee jeh fallsoonys Heear as ny h-aghtyn venn eh rish Creestiaght. Cha nel anaase aym er fallsoonys, agh nish ta mee toiggal beggan beg myechione, ny mychione fallsoonee aghterbee. V'eh trome dy liooar, as ta'n screeuder currit da cosoylaghey cagh marish "lhiabbee Phrochrustes". Er lhiam nagh ghow mee monney assjee, trooid as trooid.

The Big Sun of Mercury (Isaac Asimov)

Skeeal far-skeealaght heanse elley. T'eh geiyrt er Pirates of the Asteroids, as t'eh casley ree: folliaghtyn beggey as contoyrtyssyn, as ny karracteyrtyn jannoo ram ymmyd jeh shease dyn veaysley. T'ee giare dy liooar, as ta cormid mie ayn eddyr folliaght as contoyrtys, er lhiam.

The end of week forty-five of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Swordspoint (Ellen Kushner)

I bought this after a friend enthused about it, and expected and wanted to like it. Unfortunately I've got to say it just didn't grip me. I'm not saying it's awful, but it didn't really do much for me. The cover features various nice quotes like "witty, sharp-eyed... full of interesting people" and promises "remarkable plot twists and unexpected humour". Sadly, I didn't really notice any of those things. Although it's a story of swords and killing and plotting, I couldn't find much to be interested in. There's some mystery, but I couldn't muster much enthusiasm to find out the truth. Where does the mysterious young man come from and why is he in the ghetto? I'm not sure why I'm expected to care about him. Will some nobleman manage to oust some other nobleman, neither of them particularly distinctive or interesting? The thing is, a book like this seems to depend heavily on its characters winning your affection or at least interest, and somehow they didn't - and so I don't really care what they do or what happens to them in the end. Certainly not enough to read another 250 pages about them. It's a shame.

Pirates of the Asteroids (Isaac Asimov)

A sci-fi adventure story. As with most Asimov, although it's an adventure story it takes a fairly serious tone, and is full of hardish science. It didn't really throw up anything unexpected, I'd guessed the main points of the plot fairly early on, but it's quick, fairly interesting and I didn't see much to complain about either. It doesn't feature character development or sparkling conversation, but that's not really what it's going for. Scientific Adventure in Space is what this is.

Philosophy and the Christian Faith (Colin Brown)

A quick history of Western philosophy and its relationship to Christianity. I'm not interested in philosophy, but I now know a little bit more about it, or at least about some philosophers. It's fairly stodgy and the author's obsessed with calling everything a "Procrustean bed". I don't feel like I got that much out of it, to be honest.

The Big Sun of Mercury (Isaac Asimov)

Another science fiction story, following on from Pirates of the Asteroids. It's similar stuff, a mixture of minor mysteries and adventure, with a hefty dose of science in the mix. It's also pretty short, and I found the balance between puzzle and action decent.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 44

Jerrey kerroo hiaghtin as daeed ny Shallee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Nausicaa y.l. 1 (Miyazaki Hayao)

Skeeal anaasoil as bio, lane dy reddyn yindyssagh (as treih ec y traa cheddin). Ta aght tayrnee Viyazaki bog dy liooar, gyn linnaghyn doo creoi manga-kaghyn elley, agh by vie lhiam eh. Hug eh orrym smooinaghtyn er caslyssyn ayns lioaryn lhaih mee myr paitçhyn tra v'ad foast cur jallooghyn ayns lioaryn lhaih mee. As ta'n aght cooie da'n skeeal as dowan aght ennagh.

The age of the enlightened despot (AH Johnson)

Coontey jeh reeghyn as çheeraghyn ny h-Oarpey eddyr 1660-1789. Cha row fys erbee aym er y eash shen, as by ghoillee dou ee y hoiggal er yn oyr shen. Ren mee skimmal harrish chooid jee va lane dy enmyn caggaghyn as buill as sleih ass enney aym. Ny yei shen, dynsee mee red ennagh er shennaghys ny h-Oarpey jee, as bentyn rish reddyn nagh smooinnee mee rieau orroo. Chammah's shen, t'ee shenn dy liooar (keead blein!) as myr shen ta'n aght as barel eck ass cliaghtey ain.

Ar drywydd y duwiau (Emlyn Roberts)

Noaskeeal fansee mastey cooid veg 'sy Vretnish, as feeu lhaih son shen hene. T'ee beggan quaagh er coontey'n scansh t'eddyr toshiaght as corp y skeeal. Hoshiaght, she skeeal doo t'ayn: aegidee scapail voish ayr ta jannoo drogh-ymmyd jeh'n 'neen, as ad gyn saase er y fa dy nee ard-saggyrt ny caayrey fo-hallooin t'ayn. Ta'n inneen marroo e hene erreish daue scapail. Stoo trome. Scuirr mee jee rish tammylt, agh daahoshiee mee. Er lhiams, shen er y fa nagh vel monney noaskeealyn 'sy Vretnish as anaase erbee aym oc, as myr shen va brod er lheh aym. Ghow mee yindys dy nee skeeal contoyrtyssyn cadjin eh cooid elley ny lioar, as y guilley as kuse dy chaarjyn shirrey yn Eaghtyr as ny Jeeghyn caillt.

Shegin dou gra dy vel y scansh t'eddyr oc bwoailley ort dy trome. Er lhiams nagh lhisagh oo cur drogh-ymmyd as hene-varroo ayns skeeal mannagh vel oo son dellal roo aght ennagh. Cha nee cooid chooie dhyt faagail ad gyn freggyrt as goll royd. Agh ta Roberts goll shaghad rish cooid smoo y skeeal, gyn agh shallid angstagh nish as reesht. T'eh orrym credjal dy hug Roberts ad stiagh 'sy skeeal myr brod daue scapail, agh ny yei shen cha row eieyn erbee echey er ny oddagh y neen jannoo 'sy skeeal, as myr shen varr eh ish. She cooish ghlen jeh ben 'sy choyr rioee t'ayn. Er lhiams nagh vel drogh-chroiaght cooie myr saase skeealagh ry-cheau ersooyl, as 'sy chooish shoh oddagh oo cooilleeney'n dean cheddin ayns ymmodee aghtyn share. Chammah's shen, cha ghow mee rish freggyrtyn ny karracteyryn elley da'n hene-varroo. Moal.

Çheet er reddyn elley... ta'n skeeal elley ny skeeal contoyrtyssyn fondagh. Cha nel eh ro-noa, as shen un oyr chaill mee anaase ayn: Craueeaght Un-Jeeagh Tranlaasagh nagh vel yn ard-saggyrt hene credjal aynjee (shassoo noi y chraueeaght yl-yeeagh kenjal as firryn), y Streebagh As Cree Dooie Eck, y Dunver Kenjal... as eisht ben co-inçhynagh ta moal ec dagh ooilley red, shenn 'er ass e cheeayll 'sy cheyll as fys echey er najoor as eh ny Yee caillt, as y fer lhaih ny shenn lioaryn as foddee eh soilshaghey dagh ooilley red da'n lhaihder. Cha nel mee gra nagh vel ad feeu, agh cha row monney noa dy my chleayney rish y skeeal. Oh, as bare lhiam dy row un ven 'sy skeeal gyn shennaghys skeilleydagh, as ny share foast, ben nagh row boiragh.

T'eh jeeaghyn dy chowree mee dy row mee er ny lhaih tra scuirr mee jee hoshiaght, as myr shen cha nel y lioar shen caghlaa y towse lhaiht aym.

The stars and under (re. Edmund Crispin)

Çhaglym far-skeealaght heeanse feer vie. Ghow mee soylley jeh dagh ooilley skeeal, as v'ad anaasoil as noa trooid as trooid. Feeu ass towse.

The end of week forty-four of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Nausicaa y.l. 1 (Miyazaki Hayao)

An interesting and vibrant story, full of fantastical things (and also melancholy). Miyazaki's drawing style is quite soft, without the hard lines of other artists I've read, but I liked it. It reminded me of the illustrations in some children's books when books I read still tended to have illustrations. It also seemed somehow appropriate to the story and the world.

The age of the enlightened despot (AH Johnson)

An account of the countries and kings of Europe from 1660-1789. I didn't know anything about this period outside very vague British history, so it was pretty hard to follow. I skimmed over a lot of sections full of names of wars and places and people I didn't recognise, because that's just a meaningless combination. However, I did learn a bit more about European history, sometimes things that had never occurred to me. Okay but tough unless you already know something about the period - and really quite dated.

Ar drywydd y duwiau (Emlyn Roberts)

One of a very small number of "fantasy" novels in Welsh, and probably worth reading for that alone. It's a bit of an odd fish because the start and rest of the story felt quite different in tone. The early stages are grim, and give the impression the rest will be: it starts with siblings escaping a sexually abusive father who's the oppressive priest-despot of their underground city, fleeing into a filthy and murderous ghetto where the girl hangs herself out of shame. Heavy stuff. I put it down around here, but eventually picked it up again. Let me note that I'm pretty sure the only reason was my reluctance to set aside a Welsh novel that was even remotely fantasy, given how rare they are. To my surprise, the rest of the novel is basically an adventure story, as they flee to the surface both to escape pursuit and to seek the rumoured gods.

I've got to be honest: while the rest of the story is fairly standard fantasy fare, the disjunct between the two sections was very jarring. I'm strongly of the view that you should not put things like sexual abuse and suicide in a book unless you intend to damn well deal with those issues. Instead, Roberts flits lightly over them for the rest of the story, leaving them as very occasional sources of minor angst and an under-explained reason for them to be pursued. The impression I get is that the abuse was dreamed up to give these kids a reason to flee their comfy city, but then Roberts couldn't think what else to do with the character and killed her off to leave the others free to adventure. It's simple fridging. I do not think that abusive incest is something you should use as a throwaway plot device, particularly when there are so many other ways to achieve the same end, and I am quite unhappy about this. It's also clumsy because it has minimal impact on the rest of the book, while the other characters' responses weren't very convincing. This did not need to be there at all.

Leaving that aside, the rest of the book is a decent adventure story with some mildly fantastical elements that are technically sci-fi. It's not groundbreaking, and there were some very familiar elements, which is one of the reasons I lost enthusiasm: as well as that old favourite, the Oppressive Monotheistic Religion Whose Boss Deliberately Made It Up (contrasting with the nice polytheistic religion that's based on truth) we quickly meet a Prostitute With A Heart Of Gold and a Benevolent Assassin. There's also a telepathic woman who's useless at everything, a crazy old man in the woods who knows everything and turns out to be a god, and the one who studied all the old lore that explains everything they find. None of these are bad as such, though several are very overdone in my view, but it did mean there wasn't much original to sink my teeth into. I'd also have liked a female character who at the very least didn't have a traumatic backstory, and ideally was actually likeable.

And for some reason this was marked off as read - I think when I first stopped reading - so I don't get any points for that.

The stars and under (ed. Edmund Crispin)

An excellent collection of short science fiction. I enjoyed every one of the stories, and they're all interesting, creative and generally entertaining too. Very worthwhile.