Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top 10 posts of 2016

It's been a (relatively) quiet second half of the year on the blog, so while there's minimal change since August here for the record are the Top 10 posts by page views.

1. Science-fiction as mind bomb
2. If Meta Filter were filk fixated - File 770
3. Science-fiction needs you - join me as a Hugo Awards voter
4. Trouble at the business end of democracy - the #usepens affair
5. Cute title, sad book - Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
6. Noblesse oblige, Lichfield
7. The shortlist that never was
8. Town and city names in song titles - a non-definitive list
9. YA goes gothic - Frances Hardinge's The Lie Tree
10. In the Lovecraftian mode, but not the Lovecraftian mood - Stephen King's Revival

Or, by topic:

Book reviews - 3
Politics - 2 
Lit criticism (after a fashion) - 3
Website reviews - 1
Random music geekery - 1

The top four posts on the list also made their way into my top ten most-reads, which probably signifies a minimal amount but which is nonetheless gratifying.

Bye bye 2016!

Friday, December 30, 2016

A quick top 10 films of 2016

1. Hunt For The Wilderpeople
2. Sing Street
3. Joy
4. Arrival
5. Spotlight
6. 10 Cloverfield Lane
7. Hell Or High Water
8. The Girl With All The Gifts
9. Ghostbusters
10. Star Trek: Beyond

Honourable mentions: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, My Feral Heart and Rogue One (displaced from the second iteration of the top 10 as it was pointed out to me I'd forgotten Joy, Spotlight and The Girl With All The Gifts)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Welcome to the House of Links

Welcome to the House of Campaigning and Organising Links... which is not the House of the Rising Sun, not The House of Flying Daggers and particularly not the House of Endorsements. 

I'm in the process of going through e-mails from the eCampaigning Forum I've been saving this year, which is where most of these links come from. Thanks to everyone who shares their wisdom there.

Blogs, talks, reports

Beyond vanity metrics - towards better measurement of member engagement (Colin Holtz, Jackie Mahendra, Michael Silberman)

How do networks of people actually generate the power to change communities? (Esther Foreman, The Social Change Agency)

A miscellany of interesting sites and the resources they hold

350.org training resources for facilitation, strategising and organising
Bond theory of change resources (Jenny Ross)
Digital Tribes UK - meetup for people developing online communities
DIY Toolkit - all manner of planning and idea-generating tools
Exposing The Invisible - using social media for investigation
Interests.me - new national platform for community information sharing
Moodle - open source online learning platform
Nextdoor - the private social network for your neighbourhood
New Economics Organisers' Network resources page
Timeline - easy free-to-make timeline tool
Visualising information for advocacy

Sunday, December 18, 2016

An imaginary playlist for 2016

Side One

Public Service Broadcasting - Gagarin
The Associates - Club Country
Ibibio Sound System - 1, 2, 3, Let's Dance
Jurassic 5 - Concrete Schoolyard
Neneh Cherry And The Thing - Cashback
The Beta Band - Dry The Rain
Frank Turner - Get Better
REM - Little America
Gang Of Four - Natural's Not In It
Alcest - Printemps Emeraude
Gold - O.D.I.R
Deafheaven - Brought To The Water
Panopticon - Into The North Woods
The Lounge Kittens - Rollin' 

Side Two 

Van Morrison - And It Stoned Me
Yndi Halda - Together Those Leaves
Mono - Glory
Lambchop - Up With People
Eyre Llew - Vorfreude
Bon Iver - Flume
Hexvessel - Cosmic Truth
Ulver - Island
Myrkur - Jeg Er Guden, I Er Tjenerne (acoustic version)
Steve Von Till - In Your Wings 
Jesu feat Jarboe - Storm Comin' On
The Duke Street Workshop feat Laurence R Harvey - Negative Forces
Chelsea Wolfe - Iron Moon
Thomas Truax - Why Dogs Howl At The Moon

2016 in books

My favourite reading from 2016. Thanks due in particular to @rae10211, the Lichfield SF and Fantasy Book Club, Mr B's Emporium in Bath with its book spa service and the Hugo Awards for passing many of these my way.

Links are to reviews on the blog. 

Ben Aaronovitch, Whispers Underground, Broken Homes, Foxglove Summer and this year's The Hanging Tree 
Viv Albertine, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys
Charlie Jane Anders - All The Birds In The Sky
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
H G Bissinger, Friday Night Lights
Lois McMaster Bujold, Penric's Demon 
Becky Chambers, The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet 
Samuel R Delany, Dhalgren
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, The Man In The High Castle and Valis
William Goldman, The Princess Bride
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius Of Abraham Lincoln
Frances Hardinge, The Lie Tree
Barbara Harford, Greenham Common: Women At The Wire
Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic
Dave Hutchinson, Europe After Midnight
N K Jemisin, The Fifth Season
Ursula Le Guin, The Wind's Twelve Quarters
Cixin Liu, The Dark Forest
R K Narayan, The Bachelor Of Arts
Naomi Novik, Uprooted 
Nnedi, Okorafor, Binti
Sydney Padua, The Thrilling Adventures Of Babbage And Lovelace
Joanna Russ, Extraordinary People  
Philip Sandifer, Guided By The Beauty Of Their Weapons
Neil Stephenson, Seveneves 
Charles Stross, The Annihilation Score
Koushun Takami, Battle Royale
James Tiptree Jr, Her Smoke Rose Up Forever 
Catherynne M Valente, Deathless
Jo Walton, The Just City
Alyssa Wong, Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers and The Fisher Queen