I thoroughly enjoyed not one but two meetings of the Literary League recently, during which we ate delicious food and talked ourselves hoarse. I received several very helpful suggestions about things readers might like to see in the next volume of The Cendrillon Cycle. What about you? What things in The Battle of Castle Nebula intrigue you and make you want to know more? What things are you sick of reading about?
Other recent adventures included a girls’ night at the farm and watched Charade with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. One day I meandered around the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Museum of History with my beau (which is by far the best way to tour a museum, in my opinion). Last week I turned 28 and enjoyed a lovely dinner with loved ones to celebrate. I also got a haircut for my birthday; Mom obligingly chopped off a foot for me, since it was getting too long to manage easily. If anyone wants to make their own extensions or something, hit me up!
Also, if anyone knows any methods for inducing snow, give me a shout. I’m not above snow dances or building my own weather satellites in my quest to have enough frozen precipitation to build a snow man. This winter has been most disappointing in that regard.
- A compendium of abandoned greenhouses.
- The lost city of Thonis Heracleion.
- A little-known way to get out of execution during the Middle Ages: find some girl to marry you.
- My friend Sam is back into blogging and posting about Notorious with Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant.
- Ballet slippers that make drawings from the dancer’s movements.
- If Disney princesses had realistic hair.
- The video of archer Lars Andersen has been making the rounds with a vengeance lately. I admire his skills, but before you take everything the video says as gospel truth, you may want to check out this breakdown of the historical claims it makes. (GeekDad also did a much crueler critique of the video and its inaccuracies.)
A coworker gave me Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler with the uninspiring promotional statement, “I didn’t like this enough to finish it, but maybe you will.” I finished it, but not because I liked it; I just hate leaving things unfinished. I should know better by now than to expect to love anything on the best-sellers’ list–we don’t have a good history together. If Z had been exceptionally written, I may have been able to get over my distaste for the actual story, but sadly the writing was fairly mediocre. By the end of the book, I hated both Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald (or rather, these fictionalized accounts of them, since the book is by no means biographical). It seemed as though the author was trying to vilify Scott but at the same time give him a larger role than he deserved in the story. Every account was slanted to make Zelda sound like the victim–and maybe she was–but boy, that got old after awhile. The book meandered to a close with Scott’s death and was both unsatisfying and frustrating as a whole.
In contrast, reading Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr. (originally published under the penname Don A. Stuart) was a phenomenal experience. This story is classic scifi, written by the man who single-handedly shaped science fiction through the magazines he published. A whole slew of classic scifi writers got their start by selling their short stories to Campbell. Not only was Campbell a good judge of writing, though–the man was an exceptional writer himself. Who Goes There? grabs you by the throat from the very beginning and doesn’t let you go. It’s almost more horror than scifi; Campbell crafts the sense of panic so effectively. If you’re a fan of scifi at all, be sure to check this one out.
I’m working on A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. right now, and it’s fascinating. More to come!