August 29th, 2006

bear by san

I am.

Home safe.

V. bloody tired.

Several books heavier.

I did get a lot of reading done on the plane, however.

Book #55: Vellum: The Book of All Hours, Hal Duncan

I *really* liked this. I found it reminiscent of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and Roadmarks and Creatures of Light and Darkness, not in a derivative fashion, but in an evolutionary fashion. (Upcoming opinion piece in ASIM on just this topic, actually). I loved the fragmentary nonlinear narrative, and the repetitions, and the alterations, and the inconsistencies, and the complexities, and the wonderful headbendiness of it all. I thought it was a courageous and sharp book; I wonder if it will retain its power in ten or fifteen years, when it's no longer quite so topical, however.

I did find the last hundred pages or so sort of anticlimactic. I was hoping for a bit more oomph in The Big Reveal, as it were, but it may just be that (a) I've been writing along similar thematic (although very different structural) lines and (b) I'm a trained professional.

All that aside, however, this book is An Achievement.

Book #56: Shakespeare and Co., Stanley Wells

Stanley Wells, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

This is a wonderful book. Not only does Wells know everything, he can get it on the page concisely, amusingly, and with rather good prose.This is a wonderful book. Not only does Wells apparently know everything about the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage, he can get it on the page concisely, amusingly, and with rather good prose.

This book is full of fascinating tidbits--the usual anecdotes, of course--but lesser-known stories as well. I had to read some bits from this at my reading at Worldcon, it was so good.

Book #57: On Stranger Tides, Tim Powers

An old favorite, which I just picked up a new copy of, as there is a small-press trade printing with a great cover (and a couple of dropped quotation marks.).

Still love it. "Saints be praised! The cook survived!" I had forgotten the bit with the compass needle. I came up with a similiar schtick for The Journeyman Devil. Ooops. Bloody, funny, apt, and full of juicy goodness. review B&I.

The Little Professor reviews Year's Best Fantasy & Horror 2006, and liked the Lovecraftian category romance.

To-do list:

finish "Limerent" (Sept 5)
Whiskey & Water CEM (Sept 22)
Undertow rewrite (?)
The Stratford Man rewrite (?)
write "Chatoyant" (Dec. 31)
write "Lumiere" (Dec. 31)
write "1796" (asap)
revise By the Mountain Bound (Dec. 31)
Dust proposal (?)
rewrite All the Windwracked Stars (January 1)
write space opera novella (April 1)

bear by san

(no subject)

bear by san

noted without comment

Harlan Ellison issues a public apology.

Would you believe that, having left the Hugo ceremonies immediately after my part in it, while it was still in progress ... and having left the hall entirely ... yet having been around later that night for Kieth Kato's traditional chili party ... and having taken off next morning for return home ... and not having the internet facility to open "journalfen" (or whatever it is), I was unaware of any problem proceeding from my intendedly-childlike grabbing of Connie Willis's left breast, as she was exhorting me to behave.

Nonetheless, despite my only becoming aware of this brouhaha right this moment (12 noon LA time, Tuesday the 29th), three days after the digital spasm that seems to be in uproar ...YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!

IT IS UNCONSCIONABLE FOR A MAN TO GRAB A WOMAN'S BREAST WITHOUT HER EXPLICIT PERMISSION. To do otherwise is to go 'way over the line in terms of invasion of someone's personal space. It is crude behavior at best, and actionable behavior at worst. When George W. Bush massaged the back of the neck of that female foreign dignitary, we were all justly appalled. For me to grab Connie's breast is in excusable, indefensible, gauche, and properly offensive to any observers or those who heard of it later.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I've called Connie. Haven't heard back from her yet. Maybe I never will.

So. What now, folks? It's not as if I haven't been a politically incorrect creature in the past. But apparently, Lynne, my 72 years of indefensible, gauche (yet for the most part classy), horrifying, jaw-dropping, sophomoric, sometimes imbecile behavior hasn't--till now--reached your level of outrage.

I'm glad, at last, to have transcended your expectations. I stand naked and defenseless before your absolutely correct chiding.

With genuine thanks for the post, and celestial affection, I remain, puckishly,

Yr. pal, Harlan

P.S. You have my permission to repost this reply anywhere you choose, on journalfen, at SFWA, on every blog in the universe, and even as graffiti on the Great Wall of China.
bear by san

(no subject)

One marvelously clever thing that was suggested at the "Why is SF so White?" panel, as a means of encouraging more non-white writers into the industry, was a mentoring program. (Liz Scheier, from the audience, also mentioned that she doesn't see nearly enough submissions with non-white protagonists or main characters, and would love to see more.)

The idea being that would-be writers of color could be paired with volunteer authors who would help mentor them.

I am not the person to administrate this. I know this about myself. But I thought it was a good enough idea to be worth sailing out into the zeitgeist.
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