2019 in books:


(I read a lot of SFF this year!)

[Spanish] Fascinating article about the forgotten history of the women muralists of Mexico. Put it through Google Translate, it's worth it:


Starting the new year finalising an exciting non-fiction 2020 calendar with Strange Horizons, and some new additions to our columns writers. Watch this space.


Happy new year, everyone.

Some personal news: I ended 2019 by concluding a project that has been twelve years in the works - a science-fiction novel - and sent the final draft to my publisher.

It's called The Wall, and it is set in a far-future world. It will be published in mid-2020.

A little bit of imposter-syndrome, but a lot of excitement. Will keep y'all updated.

Listen to speaking to @gautambhatia about and

Differences in statements of various ministers including Amit Shah and Narendra Modi about the and

The arrests of activists, students and others in who were peacefully protesting against

and in


Fell behind on His Dark Materials because, you know, stuff over the last couple of weeks. Binge-watched the last three episodes tonight. Totally get the criticisms about the absence of daemons and the pacing at points, but that closing moments of the finale were absolute magic. Looking forward to Season 2 now.

Just finished Ted Chiang's book of science fiction short stories, 'Exhalation.' A brilliant set of tales exploring the interface between technology and free will.

Apropos of a thread I'd done a couple of weeks ago, here is an article by one of the foremost Latin American constitutionalists of our time, Roberto Gargarella, on why Chile is clamouring to rewrite its Constitution. (In Spanish, but the automatic translation is pretty decent)


His Dark Materials, Episode 5. Deliciously creepy, makes you fall in love with the world all over again - and, some particularly well-thought through departures from the text that serve to tell an important backstory. Don't miss it.

Zimbabwean High Court delivers a landmark judgment affirming transgender rights, relies upon both Navtej Johar and NALSA:


Fencing coach comes up with a new existentialist line each session. Last time it was "épée is about time and space."

Today it was "your movement is your language."

Maharashtra: How the Constitution was betrayed (and how every actor - the four political parties, the Governor, the President, and the Prime Minister - are all responsible) --


Oh my. Episode 4 of His Dark Materials is the best yet!

That soundtrack is killing me each time.

Just caught up to speed with the His Dark Materials TV series. Deliciously faithful to the book. The departures from the text are innovative and brilliantly done. And oh gosh, that soundtrack - legendary!

New blog post: "Engineering a constitutional crisis in Maharashtra" --


In this guest post, Ziauddin Sherkar discusses the Governor's actions ever since the Assembly Election results in Maharashtra. He argues that the Governor's discretion in this area is circumscribed by "constitutional conventions" - which, by their very nature, are difficult to enforce.

Nonetheless, going by precedent, the SC should mandate a floor test once a set of political parties stake claim.

Sometimes courts offer hope. On the J&K High Court's judgment striking down the Beggary Act, and the idea of punitive constitutionalism.


The Beggary Acts date back to "Vagabond laws" in medieval Britain when people who didn't live "settled lives" were deemed criminal (primarily because it was harder to tax them). The Brits introduced these laws to India, and the post-colonial state just carried on with them.

It's been seven decades, and courts are finally waking up.

For Strange Horizons, I reviewed Chen Quifan's Waste Tide, a near-future SF novel about an island off mainland China that has become the worldwide dumping ground for prosthetic waste, and its reprocessing. Quite a fascinating read.


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