finished reading Philip Pullman's Northern Lights
, the first volume in a British kids' fantasy trilogy. I'm over the moon with delight. This is a brilliant novel: gripping, funny, dark, heartwarming and vivid. I haven't been so glad of a BritLit book since The Borribles Trilogy
-- up until now my absolute favorite kids' fantasy books, not least because of their unflinching grimness and refusal to be even slightly twee. Northern Lights rivals Borribles, outstrips the Hobbit, and leaves Harry Potter in the dust.
The book revolves around the quest of a little girl to uncover the nature of the universes parallel to her own -- beginning in an alternate, steampunky Oxford University and ranging through London, the fens, and Lappland. The fantastic creatures and the magic that fuels them is utterly captivating and brilliantly executed. The book reveals its oddities and back-story in tiny sips, interspersed masterfully through the fast-paced action. I've just contacted my corner bookstore to see if they have volumes two and three in stock: I plan on devouring them.
I'm intrigued to see that there's an audio edition with Pullman reading: sounds wonderful.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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