The Night Clock by Paul Meloy. Urban fantasy/horror with extradimensional nasties fighting a group of individuals with special powers, first in a possible series.
Has some nice touches, with some neatly grotesque characters like the cowardly PCSO and a few good scenes. But it's hampered by weak plotting. The plot constantly switched between characters, mostly doing mysterious things without any clear goals. Despite interesting scenese overall it's a bit dull and confusing. I found it hard to get motivated to pick the book up each time.
The book is already in a crowded space, with David Wong, Jim Butcher and Ben Aaronovitch already doing similar things, so really needs to try harder to stand out.
Not really recommended, though the series might get better. Unfairly while this book is probably better than the first Dresden files, it's now competing against a much tougher field.
There does seem to have been a bit of a Great Resmuggening among the more establishment minded commentators and bloggers lately. They seem optimistic that Brexit can be cancelled by some combination of Civil Service and Parliamentary resistance. They're relieved that the Parliamentary Labour Party has finally openly turned on Jeremy Corbyn, and reassured that a comfortable defeat for Donald Trump will chasten the Republicans. Overall they're confident that the status quo of early 2015 can be restored.
I expect they can get some of these things, but I doubt they'll get everything.
Brexit seems almost to be a case of irresistible force versus immovable object. The Remainers seem to have talked themselves into believing that public opinion will become a resistible force when it turns out that the magic combination of full single market membership, banking passports, no budget contributions and no freedom of movement isn't available. The thing is, everyone has a lifetime of political experience where there's a campaign where extravagant promises are made, then someone wins and you get some but not all of the promises fulfilled. A Brexit deal where some of the promises get fulfilled will therefore probably seen as acceptable politics. Cancelling Brexit altogether would be seen as an unreasonable betrayal: people expect something to happen after they've voted.
Whether the Republican Party turns away from Tea Party/Donald Trump populism seems dubious too, though it depends on the scale of the result. If there's a catastrophic defeat for the Republicans, it might change some minds. The usual benchmark for a catastrophic Republican defeat is Goldwater in 1964, when he lost the popular vote 38.5% to 61.1%, left the Senate 66 to 34 Democrat and the House 258 to 176 Democrat. Unless the polls change drastically, something that dramatic looks unlikely: FiveThirtyEight's current prediction is popular vote 48% Hillary, 43% Trump. NYT is predicting a 55% chance of Democrats taking the Senate, and most seem to think Republicans can hold the House. Republican populists might just conclude they need one more heave with a slicker campaign.
It's hard to guess what will happen with Corbyn. He looks set to win again, though it's significant that longer-established party members are more in favour of Owen Smith. It remains to be seen if the MPs will keep up their anonymous tough talk of perpetual war or find a fig-leaf to rally round him.
Socioeconomics. German budget surpluses are bad for the global economy. When Economic Doomsayers Stumble. Graph of UK income inequality vs. household disposable income at the 50th percentile under various Prime Ministers.
Sci/Tech. How to get engineering teams to eat their vegetables. OMICS vs. The FTC: Plagiarism at a Predatory Publisher Bizarre ant colony discovered in an abandoned Polish nuclear weapons bunker. Automatic recycling.
Politics. David Cameron's fatal insouciance. Harry Potter and the Conscience of a Liberal. YouGov/Times poll of Labour leadership race, Small print: "Smith is seen as even less likely than Corbyn to lead Labour to victory... Corbyn’s support is broadly consistent amongst all age groups". France acts tough but looks powerless. The court that rules the world, via.
US politics. A Farewell Guide to Political Journalism. The union movement's problem isn't that workers don't want to fight; it's that they don't want to lose. The new ancien regime arrives in the white house. Bleeding heart libertarians? Phone and online polls tell different stories about US election. (This happened with Brexit polling: phone predicted massive Remain win, online slight Remain win, pollsters expected something in between, in fact result was slight Leave. If that happens again, Trump could win...)
Local. The Secret Caves Of Blackheath.
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