My 2009 in (mostly) fiction

January
Middlemarch by George EliotA World Too Near by Kay KenyonChasm City by Alastair Reynolds

February
Starship Troopers by Robert HeinleinSpin by Robert Charles WilsonThe Inferior by Peadar O'Guilin Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles NordhoffAccelerando by Charles StrossPreacher, no. 6 by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon

March – no books?!

April
The Music Room by Namita DevidayalSinger from the Sea by Sheri S. Tepper

May
The Forever War by Joe HaldemanPredator's Gold by Philip ReeveA Confederation of Valor by Tanya Huff

June
The City & the City by China MievilleTrading in Danger by Elizabeth MoonThe Heart of Valor by Tanya Huff

July
Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edogawa RampoMarque and Reprisal by Elizabeth MoonValor's Trial by Tanya Huff

August
The Margarets by Sheri S. TepperEngaging the Enemy by Elizabeth Moon The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West

September
Downbelow Station by C.J. CherryhThe Dunwich Horror and Others by H.P. Lovecraft

October
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

November
The Prefect by Alastair ReynoldsThe Waitress Was New by Dominique FabreDaemon by Daniel Suarez

December
Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

This post was made possible by LibraryThing, where I tag books I’ve read with the month and year I read them, and keep track of what I want to read in the future.  Now that I’m into the swing of it, hopefully the year in review for 2010 will be more complete.

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Isaac Asimov’s predictions

The March 29 issue of Advertising Age has a feature on the history of advertising.  One article is a reprint of a 1977 essay by Isaac Asimov, forecasting “what the advertising future would be like in 2000”.  It’s impressive how accurate a lot of his ideas are.  It’s also amusing how many sci-fi writings from the 60s and 70s mention microfilm as the media of the future.  I remember reading old articles in library school and laughing at that.  Asimov’s predictions focus on the personalization of media consumption and advertising, which has obviously become reality. The odd thing is that he describes it as if consumers would voluntarily subscribe to certain types of ads, instead of ads being targeted at consumers based on company-created consumer profiles. Excerpt:

Ad Specialties Inc. is, for instance, widely recognized among the advertising community representatives as being the wave of the future. It produces coded ads much as a library produces a coded catalog.

Its philosophy is that people who view ads as intrusions on their newspaper or on their TV programs do so because most of the time they have no interest in the product being advertised. If they were looking upon, or reading, an ad dealing with something that they very much want at that time, it would be the news or the program that would be viewed as the intrusion.

It is now possible, therefore, for subscribers to Ad Specialties Inc. to inspect an elaborate catalog of product listings (“from plasma lights to plastic leads,” one of its own ads says) and then code their TV sets for the reception of ads dealing with some particular type of product. They can inspect the various ads for that product, facsimile those they choose to, and be prepared for further inquiries.

Then the grandiose but equally prescient suggestion that advertising and marketing tactics can play a part in political and social change:

We must sell the world, through the persuasion techniques developed by advertology, on the necessity of reducing population, of conserving and recycling the Earth’s resources, of exploiting space to supplement Earth’s energy supply. Most of all, humanity must be sold on the necessity of employing its aggressive impulses not against itself, but in battling ignorance and folly and in extending the frontiers of knowledge and wisdom.

And in that manner, we may all be saved.

He also talks about holograms. ❤ Asimov ❤


(image from positivepsychologynews.com)

interesting LCSHs for December

From the Library of Congress weekly lists for December 2 and 9, 2009.

Aggressiveness in art [Not Subd Geog] [sp2009009189]


Andy Kehoe – “Kick Us When We’re Down

Androids in literature [Not Subd Geog] [sp2009009278]
Philip K. Dick’s website has a fun gallery of cover images from all the various versions of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

androids japan cover

Architecture photographers [May Subd Geog] [sp2009009076]

Kim Høltermand“Monolith”

150 Crime in music [sp2009009410]
680 Here are entered works on the depiction of crime in musical compositions. General works on the relationship between crime and music are entered under Music and crime.
550 BT Music
681 Notes under Music and crime

150 Heroines in dance [Not Subd Geog] [sp2009009518]
550 BT Dance

150 Landscapes in music [Not Subd Geog] [sp2009009236]
680 Here are entered works on the depiction of natural landscapes in musical
compositions.
550 BT Music

Mood films [Not Subd Geog] [sp2008025676]
680 This heading is used as a genre/form heading for films that emphasize a mood or
atmosphere rather than a plot.
555 BT Fiction films
The record for the above heading indicates that there’s a genre of Japanese fiction film to which the term “mood film” has been applied. A friend suggested that something like Wavelength might be considered a “mood film”. However, it also seems to be a common term in the advertising field, where it refers to things like this. According to NTC’s Dictionary of Advertising, 2nd ed, a “mood commercial” is a “commercial message designed to establish a particular atmosphere.” Or perhaps a commercial that encourages you to match your fridge to your mood?

Odeon of Agrippa (Athens, Greece) [sp2009008379]
410 UF Agrippa, Odeon of (Athens, Greece)
410 UF Agrippeion (Athens, Greece)
410 UF Ōdeio tou Agrippa (Athens, Greece)
410 UF Odeion of Agrippa (Athens, Greece)
410 UF Odeum of Agrippa (Athens, Greece)
550 BT Theaters—Greece

Odeon of Agrippa
image from http://www.agathe.gr/guide/

The Athenian Agora Excavations website from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens is a lovely example of how archaeological data can be digitized and presented in a clear, interesting way. Also, check out the catalog card on this page. And I thought library catalog cards were messy…

I’m including this next one not because I’m a Potter fan, but because I find it bizarre and amusing that there was probably a discussion (or a lively debate?) about whether Hogwarts should be considered a place or an organization. I guess imaginary places are as worthy of accurate subject headings as real places, or, um, organizations…?
150 Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Imaginary place) CANCEL
(C) 150 Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Imaginary organization) [Not Subd Geog] [sp 00002633]
450 UF Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Imaginary place) [EARLIER FORM
OF HEADING]

150 Legislators’ pets [May Subd Geog] [sp2009009244]
550 BT Pets
Ted Kennedy and pet
In My senator and me : a dog’s eye view of Washington Senator Kennedy’s dog, Splash, follows the senator around for a day and introduces readers to the White House.

There’s also a Presidential pet museum?!