Big thick doctoral thesis about Swedish police and crime novels and movies from the 1960s until today.
Covers Sjöwall-Wahlöö, Mankell, Stieg Larsson. To appreciate it, you have to read it for what it is, an academic work, and also know how to read Swedish.
So quite a lot has happened in 2 years when it comes to the stuff I use, and as I was bored I thought I shoot the collection as a series of thematic “kits”.
As before, click through the pics to see them on Flickr.
The “pre-AI” kit.
A classic 70s era focal length collection: 35, 55, 105.
I finally got the 35mm ƒ/1.4 I was lusting after, and it happened to be an AI-converted Nikkor-N with radioctive thorium glass. It’s been through a CLA as its aperture was sticky and is now nice and smooth.
The pancake kit
Another new lens: the Cosina-Voigtländer 40mm ƒ/2 Ultron.
The “assignment” kit
(Scare-quotes as the only “assignments” I get involve being the resident photographer at company trips and family gatherings.)
I actually only use the 28-105 in anger. The 70-210 is usurped by the 30-110 below.
The travel kit
This has actually worked out well for me. A fast wide for environments and indoors, and a very compact telezoom for reach.
I need something wider than 28mm equivalent, and I’m planning on getting a 18-35mm zoom for either the D700 or (more likely) the V1.
I’m growing more and more disaffected with the size and weight of the Nikon D700, compared to the enjoyment of actually bringing it with me and taking pictures.
Right now I’m teetering between streamlining my lenses towards using them with a Sony A7 and adapter, or simply getting the Df as a new FX camera. In any case I’ll probably get rid of stuff that I see as dead weight, such as the 70-210/4 and a couple of redundant primes.
 Flickr doesn’t use notes anymore, but all the images are tagged with the lenses in them.
This is a full-length novel set in McAuley’s “Jackaroo” universe, previously the setting of some short stories early in his career.
In the Near Future(tm), the alien Jackaroo appear over an Earth ravaged by climate change, economic collapse and rampant nuclear terrorism - The Spasm. They offer humanity free transport to fifteen habitable planets via wormhole gates. There are no strings attached (well our space program is ended, but it’s not clearly forbidden as it is in the previous stories).
Humanity has a new chance. Just like the countless other civilizations the Jackaroo have assisted in the past.
The gift planets are rife with artifacts left over from the “Elder Races”, not all of them benign or useful. For every fast-growing coral useful to constructing dams against the rising oceans, there’s a new drug spreading havoc. People have the chance to emigrate and start a new life on a new world, where they promptly fall back into a life of crime or start McDonald’s franchises.
Our protagonists come in contact with an alien eidolon, a ghost left in an artifact from the planet Mandala, and are caught up in a race against time to reach a dig site out in the planet’s outback… where something’s coming through…
I’m a huge fan of McAuley and really enjoyed this book. It’s an artful blend of first contact, humans vs alien and police procedural, and it takes a while to figure out how the two strands of the story is intertwined.
Big props to my local library for ordering this book basically as soon as it appeared in stores!
Search this site for the term: mcauley.
A good overview of that most dramatic period of the French Revolution. Andress puts it into the context of foreign war and domestic insurrection.
The Revolution casts a long shadow, and Andress does a good job explaining why. After 225 years, we take constitutional government and the separation of church and state for granted. But the French nation went from quasi-medieval absolutism with a de-facto Catholic state church to radical republic and official dechristianization within a few years. All this was lubricated by hectoliters of blood and the complete suspension of due process.
No wonder the existing powers of Europe viewed this much as they later viewed the Bolsheviks (themselves conscious imitators of the French) and pulled out all the stops to oppose the Revolution.
Also interesting is that the designation of “Terror” as an official policy wasn’t a later calumny, but actually the official name.
The revolutionaries were also horrible misogynists. Politics was not for women, in fact individuals like Mme Roland were especially singled out and vilified.