I’ve been working hard at the fine art of making myself itchy (putting ‘earthwool’ or glass-fibre insulation in the wall cavities of our home.) so I thought it had been a long day and it was time I decamped…
Well, de Camp. Lyon Sprague de Camp, 1907-2000, author of many fantasy, sf and non-fiction works. I happened to mention him to a young author I like and respect, who said he had read almost no de Camp… and I thought, sadly there are probably a lot of sf/fantasy readers and indeed writers who have never encountered de Camp’s work. That’s rather sad, not because he was the best author that ever wrote, but because there is quite a lot of value to gleaned from his work. Like Clifford Simak, the ideas are terrific – but sometimes you wish the story execution was better.
It’s the time of year, again, where the amount of things doesn’t really fit into the time allotted for them. For us, we’ve had Mrs. Dave’s ‘rents here for the last few days. It’s been great to have other eyes on the Wee Horde, and they all enjoyed it, too. My brain took enough of a rest that I was actually able to write, yesterday. And the house is still clean! Which I’m promptly going to ruin, as I pack for the imminent holiday departure.
The flickering light of the flames, the pulsing red of the coals, the sheer sensuous pleasure of the radiant heat.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the first major change to their environment early Hominids made was the taming of fire. And then they evolved to better take advantage of that warmth in the cold, the delicious food that happened when things were exposed to fire. The safety from predators in the night, a relatively safe way to drive animals over a cliff. Read more
A commentor here observed that the Merchant and Empire books are set in a small world. It’s an interesting observation, and one that deserves some thought, because a lot of fantasy and sci-fi books seem to sprawl. They cover an epic-worth of territory, sometimes by design, sometimes just because it seems traditional.
But not all stories need sprawling worlds. Some books, even novels or series, fit better in a small space, a human or other person sized space. Which is sometimes difficult to do.
Now once upon a time (your cue that this is merely a made up tale. No real coffee machines or companies were involved), there was a clever young man who made a new kind of coffee machine. It, simply, made better coffee than anyone else’s machine. It was reliable too. He could have sold his patent, but he was proud of his coffee-machine, and wanted the quality to stay the same. So he got his funds together, started a little factory, and made great coffee machines all his working life. He named them after his father, Frederico. They were expensive (because it was small scale, and used only the very finest materials, with craftsmen doing the artisans’ work with love and care), but the best. Read more
It’s Tuesday, and while that means I’m here, this Tuesday is not like other Tuesdays. My own stress is reaching a fever pitch. The Lesser Unknown is pissing me right off, and so are Wee Dave and Wee-er Dave. The usual sitter has appointments out of town, today, so my DARLING CHILDREN are spending their energy working to distract me from, well, anything productive. In addition, we had a long, full weekend full of good and (very) tiring things, and I’m fighting a headache and fatigue. So I’m going to try a thing, and see where it gets us.
It’s been 50 years (and a few days) since the Apollo 11 mission took the first two men to the moon. I remember clearly (and I was rather young) the black and white grainy images and the US flag flying proudly on the moon, and hearing the crackly ‘One small step…’
I’m sure I was only one of millions of little kids who saw that and dreamed of going out there one day. I was already reading sf (and most of it was mediocre to bad science, but great entertainment, great dreams) so this helped my suspension of disbelief, as well filling me with awe, hero-worship and a life-long support for space exploration. Read more