Thursday, September 12, 2013

On Sieges by K.J. Parker

K.J. Parker, author of some of my favourite books (The Folding Knife in particular) did some writing on the history of Sieges:
The only reason to study war is the reason doctors study a disease; to find a cure. Smallpox is now officially extinct, and the same is probably true of the classical assault-and-blockade siege. There are, of course, plenty more diseases. The siege shaped our society at every level. It brought us together to live behind walls, in cities. Its fundamental influence on the nature of warfare directed political life and development for three thousand years. It was, of course, the mother of many of our essential technologies, from mining to metalworking. It would have been nice, of course, if we could have arrived at the same place without such a monstrous waste of lives, resources and effort. It’s impossible to calculate how many millions of tons of earth were shifted in its name, mostly in wooden shovels tipped with iron, steel being too rare and expensive.
Check out the full story HERE, it's fascinating reading.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What Has Richard Morgan Been Reading?

Richard Morgan has fired off some thoughts on books he's read in the last while that have impressed him:
I’ve had so many requests for another Read and Recommended list over the last few years, it was starting to feel churlish not to oblige.  But what with an intense couple of years moonlighting  in the games industry, the sudden impact of  fatherhood and delayed book deadlines raging out of all decent control, it felt like I barely had time to read the books, let alone write them up.  But it has been a while – since late 2009, in fact – so here, finally, is an extra long list covering that period.  Enjoy!
Some interesting titles on his list, and some surprises.

Full Story: HERE