Friday, January 23, 2009

Last night we went with some friends to see Hot Club of Cowtown at the Little Fox Theater.

They are a modern western swing trio (fiddle, guitar and bass) and put on a great, great show - one of the best I have seen in a long time. I don't think there was a single song in either set that I didn't love.

All three members of the band were in good form and they did a nice mix of instrumentals and vocal pieces, including a blistering Orange Blossom Special at the end of the show.

Simply amazing, and a must see if they come by again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I finished The Atrocity Archive by Charles Stross this morning.

As is stated in the book in both the introduction and the postscript, The Atrocity Archive is a cross between Len Deighton and H.P. Lovecraft. It takes a fairly generic idea, a secret gov't organization that deals with the hidden magical nature of the world, but portrays it with the feel of a classic spy novel.

The closest comparison is Tim Power's Declare. Powers attacks it from a more historical point of view, illustrating the history of the cold war with a mystical component, while Stross creates new stories without many references to real events. Both are good books, but in very different ways. Stross has a more light hearted, almost parody, feel while Power plays it very straight and serious.