I’m across several books right now. As most of you know, I read on Kindle, which allows me to easily highlight and save text, like this bit from THE ORIGIN OF EMPIRE by David Potter:
Roman coinage, minted in Rome, was simply not user friendly. It consisted of heavy bronze bars, weighing slightly less than five pounds, which seem to have been used for large-scale transactions; silver and bronze coins copied from coins circulating in southern Italy; and bronze discs, weighing nearly a pound.
I mean, god knows when I’d ever need that nugget of trivia. But I’m pleased by the notion of someone heaving five bronze discs up onto a countertop just to get a coffee. Also, on the root of the word proletariat:
proletarii – that is, people whose duty to the state was to ‘bear children’ as they did not have enough property to be classified as assidui, ‘the settled’ or ‘the landowning’, who made up the membership of the other centuries.
Which I think I once knew and then forgot? Therefore worth saving as a note.
The new William Gibson, AGENCY, landed on my Kindle automagically a few days ago, and it may be that I pause the several books I have on the go and just descend into that, because it’s Bill and because I always learn new things about writing from reading Bill. It was my great delight to bump into him again in the green room at NYCC, and I’ve been looking forward to this one for awhile.
…but probably I should save it and go straight into Lavie Tidhar’s new one, BY FORCE ALONE, which is not out yet but Lavie sent me the manuscript and shit this does actually look really good damnit
Britannia, AD 535.
The Romans have gone. While their libraries smoulder, roads decay and cities crumble, men with swords pick over civilisation’s carcass, slaughtering and being slaughtered in turn.
This is the story of just such a man. Like the others, he had a sword. He slew until slain. Unlike the others, we remember him. We remember King Arthur.
This is the story of a land neither green nor pleasant. An eldritch isle of deep forest and dark fell haunted by swaithes, boggarts and tod-lowries, Robin-Goodfellows and Jenny Greenteeths, and predators of rarer appetite yet.
This is the story of a legend forged from a pack of self-serving, turd-gilding, weasel-worded lies told to justify foul deeds and ill-gotten gains.