The Musicwriter is one of several music typewriters created to print sheet music. Some music typewriters were their own thing, whereas the Musicwriter started life as a normal typewriter before being converted to print notes and staves. You operated it by typing with the right hand and moving the carriage with the left, which sounds a bit tricky to get right—like writing music with an Etch-a-Sketch. Several typewriters served as Musicwriter root stock over the years, including the 6-series Smith-Corona and, more recently, the Olympia SG3 (an example of which can be seen in this Facebook group post). More about Musicwriters from Ted Munk in Et Cetera 109 (2015), pp. 12-15, and in this addendum collecting all kinds of photos, ephemera and type samples.
Author: Jonathan Crowe Page 1 of 16
- The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte (2018). Reviewed here.
- City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer (3rd edition 2004). First volume of VanderMeer’s Ambergris trilogy, which has just been released in a new one-volume edition. Deeply weird book full of squids and mushrooms; the back matter is even weirder, and marvellous, and probably not included in the omnibus, more’s the pity.
- On Fragile Waves by E. Lily Yu (2021, forthcoming). Fabulist novel focusing on the experiences of an Afghan refugee family in Australia. I have mixed feelings about this book, which I will explain in a review closer to its publication date.
- The Typewriter Revolution by Richard Polt (2015). Engaging look at the present-day typewriter enthusiast counterculture, exploring how the epitome of bureaucracy can become a subversive tool; plus lots of advice for people who want to acquire, use and maintain old manual typewriters.
- Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear (2019). Fascinating space opera with engaging aliens and worldbuilding that is nonetheless not a fun read due to its unflinching focus on emotionally abusive relationships.
- Where Do Camels Belong? by Ken Thompson (2014). Polemic challenging our assumptions about invasive species: what makes them invasive, whether invasive actually a problem, et cetera. About half of the points made are valid, or are valid in some contexts but not others. It depends, as usual.
- Typewriters for Writers by Scott Schad (2014). A buying guide for writers who want to use typewriters, based on the writer’s own collection, experiences and opinions (he’s awfully exercised about the absence of the “1” key). Lots of photos result in a very large Kindle file size.
- The Book on the Edge of Forever by Christopher Priest (1994). Reread occasioned by Straczinski’s announcement that The Last Dangerous Visions really, for sure, truly is coming out this time.
- To the Letter by Simon Garfield (2013). Book about the art of letter-writing that spends rather more time than I expected on letter-collecting.
For the first time since before we moved out here, the Pontiac’s weekday bus service is seeing some major changes. Based on what I can figure out from what’s been announced, for most people they should be improvements.
What we’ve had until now is a standalone commuter bus service that started on Isle-aux-Allumettes and ran the length of Route 148 before terminating at Ottawa’s downtown bus station. It was run by Transport Thom for many years before being taken over by Transcollines, the rural bus service of the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, a few years back. Transcollines didn’t change anything about the service—same route, same schedule, same price—and kept it essentially separate from the rest of the network, but did promise that the route would be upgraded and integrated at some point in the future.
It’s years later than originally promised, but those changes have now been announced. New as of next week is Transcollines’s Route 910, which from what I can gather has a number of notable changes over the old service.
Finally got this blog reconnected to Dreamwidth: posts made here will also be mirrored there. The trick to making the JournalPress plugin work again was to use an API key (generated here) instead of trying to log in with my username and password. I expect that this was always the solution; it just took me until yesterday to stumble across it.
The overwhelming feeling one gets from reading The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is of motion. Rather than static relics exhumed from rocks of the deep past, dinosaurs are in motion: they came from somewhere; they lived somewhere; they migrated from one continent to another. The approach the author Steve Brusatte takes is obvious in hindsight, but a revelation all the same: his questions are predicated on a past world in motion. Continents drifted apart, climates changed; dinosaurs moved, evolved, transformed in response. They were animals in the context of their time and place, and Brusatte explains that context. What, for example, happened after the various extinction events that first enabled and eventually extinguished the dinosaurs? How did the Triassic climate prevent dinosaurs from spreading across Pangaea?
- Driftwood by Marie Brennan (2020). Fixup collecting short stories about the place fantasy worlds go to die, and the enigmatic figure who helps people survive the wreck. Review in production.
- Pirate Freedom by Gene Wolfe (2007). Time travel novel in which a young man from the near future is transported back in time to the Golden Age of Piracy. Replete with temporal paradoxes, vivid historical detail and, erm, Catholicism. Another Late Wolfe.
- Kim Stanley Robinson by Robert Markley (2019). An entry in the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series of monographs; this one (obviously) surveys Robinson’s work.
- Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch (2019). Nonfiction by a linguist who explores how we talk online, from the proper punctuation of text messages, to emoji, to the deployment of memes.
- Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (1972), trans. William Weaver (1974).
- Pardon This Intrusion by John Clute (2011). Another collection of reviews and critical essays. I should remember not to read Clute collections when trying to write reviews myself: his recondite word-tangles have a habit of infecting my own damn prose.
- City Under the Stars by Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick (2020). Expansion and completion of their 1995 novella “The City of God,” which in turn was an expansion of Dozois’s uncompleted “Digger story” ca. 1970, said expansion cut short by Dozois’s untimely death in 2018. Swanwick’s completion is (understandably) truncated, its ending more personally satisfying, I think, than supported by the story. But some tremendously brilliant and affecting passages here all the same.
- Being Gardner Dozois by Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick (2001). Rearead inspired by #34; book-length interview of Dozois by Swanwick discussing his stories and novels to date. I wanted to look at the genesis of “The City of God” and its contemporary stories.
- Underground Cities by Mark Ovenden (2020). Reviewed at The Map Room.
- Thunderer by Felix Gilman (2007). Epic fantasy; Gilman’s first novel, about gods, intrigue and revolution in an endless, unmappable city. First-rate worldbuilding and character work, not quite flawless technique.
- Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi (2019). Literary fantasy about an immigrant family from a secluded Ruritanian nation and their history.
- The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood (2020). Epic fantasy novel involving competing religions, gates between worlds, and young women who defy the altar to assert their own agencies. Liked it more than I expected to.