Ada Lovelace Day
is an international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technologies and sciences. 24-March-2010. Be there, or be square.
---Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World
by James E. Lindsay
This book was my second foray into the history and culture of Islam, after Islam: A Short History
(which I cannot recommend enough). It's very, very good for providing a general cultural feel for the medieval Islamic empires. However, since it's trying to cover three continents and seven hundred years, it really doesn't work as a 'daily life' book, or at least not the kind I'm going for.
Well worth reading, but I definitely need to find another book if I want to get more detailed information.
by Da Chen
A children's book I've had on my Amazon wishlist for a while. Wound up picking it up with some Christmas money, since the cover kept catching my eye whenever I scrolled through. Read it in two days - would have been finished sooner except I was reading it at work, and my bosses actually expect to me to work
while I'm there.
The author grew up in China and moved to the United States. The story he tells does not at all follow Western story tropes, which I find quite interesting. A kung-fu novel, Sword
tells the tale of Miu Miu, the daughter of the murdered master swordmaker Miu. On her fifteenth birthday, instead of receiving the traditional visit from the village match-maker, her mother tells her she is betrothed to her the son of her father's apprentice, who has been charged with avenging her father's murderer, the evil emperor.
Miu Miu begs from her mother the right to take this battle on herself, and her mother agrees. She gifts Miu Miu with the sister-sword to the mystical sword Master Miu made for the emperor, and Miu Miu goes out to the capital to find a way to avenge her father's death. While at the capital, she unknowingly runs into her betrothed and challenges him to a kung-fu duel.
It's a very awesome story, but it's definitely not a Western one. Saying more would be spoilers.
*The Ruby Dice
by Catherine Asaro
Science-fiction with psionics, political intrigue, and delicious emotional porn. I'm kind of madly in love with this book and want to pick up some more novels in this universe.
The Skolian Empire is an interstellar empire made up of human-variant of whom the dominant classes are psionics. The Eubian Concord is another interstellar empire, where the vast majority of the population are slaves owned by Aristos. Aristos are a human-variant, originally created through an attempt to make a human who would not pain empaths with their emotions. However, the attempt created people who feel like psionic blackholes and who get their pleasure-centers seriously tweaked by feeling psionics in pain.
As you can imagine, the Skolians and the Eubians hate each other. Lots and lots.
Years before the beginning of the novel, the Skolian Imperator Kelric disappeared for almost two decades. He was held prisoner and enslaved on the neutral planet of Coban. He had some kids there and left the woman he loved there when he finally escaped. He then fell into the hands of an Eubian Concord woman and had to escape from there, and his people think he spent those two decades in the Concord.
Eubian Emperor Jaibriol is secretly a psionic, the product of several generations of breeding to produce a Ruby psionic to finally allow the Eubians to counter the benefits of the near-instant communications the Skolians posses through their psionic-net. The Ruby Dice
seems to be the culmination of both Kelric and Jaibriol's individual plot-lines as shown in other novels. It stands alone, however. (I've yet to read another book in the series, so it definitely stands alone.) It has all sorts of delicious political machinations, psionics, emotional porn, and a more or less happy ending.