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March star trails

This past Sat­ur­day, the sky was clear and the auro­ral fore­cast looked promis­ing, so I drove out to a dark spot to check out out. The auro­ra, if it was there at all, was a very faint smear at the extreme north­ern hori­zon. But I had bought a cof­fee, so I stuck around long enough to get some star trails.

The pho­to is about 150 images, 10 sec­onds each, ISO 800, f/2.8, 11mm, all stacked in GIMP. The wax­ing half-moon lit the fore­ground for me.

The Tao of Pratchett

Over on Tor.com, a dis­cus­sion of Sir Ter­ry Pratchett’s works, and how there’s more to them—far more—than just sil­ly puns and goofy char­ac­ters.

Ter­ry Pratch­ett is best known for his incom­pe­tent wiz­ards, drag­on-wield­ing police­men, and anthro­po­mor­phic per­son­i­fi­ca­tions who SPEAK LIKE THIS. And we love him for it. Once we’re done chuck­ling at Nan­ny Ogg’s not-so-sub­tle innu­en­dos and the song about the knob on the end of the wizard’s staff, how­ev­er, there’s so much more going on beneath the sur­face of a Pratch­ett nov­el.

Read the whole arti­cle; it’s worth it.

Today’s library haul

I can’t decide which one I want to read first. I real­ly like Join Scalzi’s writ­ing; I loved Son of a Trick­ster and I’m look­ing for­ward to read­ing more of Eden Robinson’s prose; but man, Sara Gran’s last nov­el end­ed on such a cliffhang­er, so I’m lean­ing towards The Infi­nite Black­top.

Aurora Awards

Aurora Borealis at Minnedosa, MB

This one’s for the Cana­di­ans in the crowd. Writ­ers, SF/F fans, help­ful fam­i­ly mem­bers…

The Auro­ra Awards nom­i­na­tions have opened, and will be open till the 18th of May. My short sto­ry “Vin­cent and Char­lie” is eli­gi­ble for nom­i­na­tion, as are a myr­i­ad of oth­er great sto­ries both long and short. You can check out the eli­gi­bil­i­ty lists at the Prix Auro­ra Awards site (you’ll need to be a mem­ber of the site to nom­i­nate any­one; it’s $10.00 Cana­di­an for the year).

For those that haven’t read “Vin­cent and Char­lie”, it’s avail­able in the anthol­o­gy Par­al­lel Prairies, which is avail­able from McNal­ly Robin­son, Indigo/Chapters/Coles, or (if you must) Ama­zon.

The sto­ry, in a nut­shell, is about a retired farmer, afflict­ed with demen­tia, who hap­pens across a crashed alien craft and res­cues the pilot. This attracts the atten­tion of some peo­ple whose atten­tion you’d pre­fer not to attract.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Auro­ra Awards”

Review: Son of a Trickster

Son of a Trickster

I read Eden Robinson’s Son of a Trick­ster this week­end.

It’s the sto­ry of six­teen-year-old Jared, who’s doing his best, try­ing to bal­ance bak­ing weed cook­ies, car­ing for his elder­ly neigh­bours, keep­ing his dad from los­ing his home, keep­ing his aggres­sive mom off his case, and gen­er­al­ly just try­ing to not fail grade ten.

It’s not real help­ful that he’s start­ed hear­ing crows talk­ing to him.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Review: Son of a Trick­ster”

Edmund Fitzgerald

The Edmund Fitzgerald

My first encounter with Gor­don Lightfoot’s clas­sic song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzger­ald” was actu­al­ly read­ing the lyrics pub­lished as a poem in a high-school Eng­lish read­er. (I had a sim­i­lar expe­ri­ence with Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”, though I think I’d prob­a­bly heard that one on the radio, my dad being an afi­ciona­do of the ’60s sta­tion KY58.)

So for Throw­back Thurs­day, please, enjoy this tale of human woe and the sink­ing of a mas­sive freighter in a storm on (spoil­er alert!) Lake Supe­ri­or.

Head­er image from Wiki­me­dia Com­mons, CC-Attri­bu­tion-Share­alike, orig­i­nal­ly by Green­mars.