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Author: Iain M

Visions in Exile: An Update

Visions in Exile: An Update

For those who have been waiting a long, long time for the sequel to my first book, Imperial Visions, there is good news! I’ve hit a key milestone for the sequel, Visions in Exile: I’ve finished the end of Part Two. In chapter terms, this means Chapter 18 out of 25, or about 72% of the way through. 16 of the existing chapters are on 3rd draft(1); one is on 2nd draft and one is on 1st draft (but will…

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Book Review: A Wrinkle in Time

Book Review: A Wrinkle in Time

Minor spoilers for A Wrinkle in Time. I first read this book nearly thirty years ago. It stands out in my memory as one of the few books I read at that age – perhaps eight or nine – that I actively didn’t like: I can remember trying to, and feeling it was the sort of book I ought to like, but simply not really getting it. At the time I think I dismissed as being an odd American book;…

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GuestBlog: ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold’: Where next for the Liberal Democrats?

GuestBlog: ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold’: Where next for the Liberal Democrats?

Jack Nicholls was once very nearly a political academic, but is now another thing. He considers himself an egalitarian liberal and Euro-pragmatist. He’s gotten used to the wilderness now. All views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the host of this blog. I have a leaflet in my house, somewhere, with the words ‘Project 320’ on it. It is amber and white, it was delivered in I think mid-November, perhaps earlier. It…

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2019: Year in Review

2019: Year in Review

2019 was a bit of a crazy year on all fronts. A lot of things happened that weren’t predicted and where I ended up at the end was, in many areas, very different from where I started. Personal We had a lot of ups and downs with the health of our youngest (daughter, 1). Around Easter we found out definitively that her health problems would be likely to be ongoing for years, not months, and throughout we had a large…

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What If? A Brexit Fantasy

What If? A Brexit Fantasy

This post is a fiction, a fantasy. The subject of this post was chosen by the winner of my pre-election sweepstake. It is intended to be plausible (though see the afterword), rather than probable, and a light-hearted exploration of how history could, in a very different world, have turned out differently. In particular, none of the positions, statements or actions taken by real-life politicians referred to in this piece should be taken as the actual positions, statements or actions they…

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Christmas Quiz XIV: Winner, Honour Roll and Answers

Christmas Quiz XIV: Winner, Honour Roll and Answers

The answers are now out for Christmas Quiz XIV, Sequences. Download the answers here. This year Alex Morris, Alex Craven and friends triumphs again, this time with a sole victory – and five and a half points clear of their nearest rivals! The full Honour Roll is below: =1st: 87 Alex Morris, Alex Craven and Friends 2nd: 81.5 Soozy Smith and Family 3rd: 79.5 Julia, Owen, Nick and Iain 4th: 75 Richard & Co 5th: 73 Pellereaux 6th 72.5 Team…

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The definitive Star Wars film ranking

The definitive Star Wars film ranking

At last, as someone once said, this blog is finally tackling a subject of real importance. I know that many of you will be checking here today to get the Christmas Quiz answers, but as I won’t finish marking and get these uploaded until this evening, here’s something to keep people going in the meantime. If this doesn’t spark as much heated debate as the typical Brexit/election/World Book Day post I will be sorely disappointed in my readership! 1. The…

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Christmas Quiz results out on Monday

Christmas Quiz results out on Monday

The answers and results to Christmas Quiz XIV will be out on Monday evening. Anyone who wishes to submit answers should do so by 11.59pm UK time on Sunday evening. Now, this next part comes with the caveat that I’ve only seen a small subset of people’s answers. But from what I have seen, it appears to have been a more difficult year this year, with most people/teams getting 10-20 points less than they did last year. If this holds…

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Guestblog: The problem with the Labour Party (by Stephen Burgess)

Guestblog: The problem with the Labour Party (by Stephen Burgess)

Stephen Burgess is an academic scientist. Politically speaking, he self-identifies as left-of-centre, although he typically feels to the right-of-centre amongst other academics. He grew up with a pathological hatred of the Tories, but to this day isn’t fully sure where that came from. The views expressed in this post are those of the author alone. I am a scientist. When you are writing a scientific paper, you make your main point at the beginning, and then you provide evidence to…

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Stuck for Christmas presents?

Stuck for Christmas presents?

A few books written by me and friends of mine that might serve to fill those last minute ideas. For science buffs, Cosmos, the Infographic Book of Space, by astronomers Chris North and Stuart Lowe provides brilliant visualisations that will make you think about the universe in different ways. For historians, try Jacqueline Reiter’s The Late Lord, a biography of the Earl of Chatham (a relative of Pitt). If you’re buying for children, Cluck Cluck Duck by Jean Blakey is…

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