Finished Charles Stross’s ‘Glasshouse’ on holiday recently and whilst I’ve liked his other books (quite a bit actually) ‘Glasshouse’ is the best I’ve read to date. An intelligent sci-fi thriller centred around what memory means to us as individuals and as a society, the Glasshouse of the title is supposedly a research sociological experiment aimed at recreating an earlier era of humanity. But of course there are foul deeds afoot.

The device of an amnesiac main character is tried and trusted but the revelations of his/her past serve the story well. In fact the book’s whole pacing is impeccable and, as with the other Stross novels I’ve read, there are plenty of things to ponder about (for example how electronic storage is actually likely to be less long lasting than paper/photos etc). I’d definitely recommend this one to anyone.

I didn’t manage to pick up on a direct musical reference when I last talked about a Stross novel but this time it’s quite easy since at one point there’s reference to a song I own although the song is used as a hymn in the book!

This version below isn’t the original Leonard Cohen original but is instead taken from the rather good ‘I’m Your Fan’ Cohen tribute which came out a long time ago. Too often these things seem thrown together but with many big names of the time (and MPT favourites) such as David McComb, Pixies, That Petrol Emotion, Ian McCulloch, Robert Forster and Fatima Mansions this is one of the best tribute CDs I’ve ever come across. And what’s more it still seems to be available.

R.E.M. – First We Take Manhattan (from ‘I’m Your Fan’) [Buy the CD]

Am I alone in thinking that this is one of the best 20 things R.E.M. have ever done?


  1. jc says:

    “Am I alone in thinking that this is one of the best 20 things R.E.M. have ever done?”

    I suspect so…..doesnt hold a candle to the original.

  2. Well, I don’t mean top 5 or anything but rather I’d definitely put it on a double Best Of. And someone out there agrees cos it’s jumped to 2nd most downloaded song ever already!

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