wrote 2,000 more words in two shifts, morning and evening;
read about ⅓ of Dreyer’s English, chortling all the while;
went for a 3.5km kayak ride on the lake;
did a quick 5km bike ride to the coffee shop and to Co-op for groceries;
and went back out for some more astrophotography, this time in the river valley to the north.
Here’s a quick sample of the writing so far (still 1st draft):
Your nose is broken, she’d said. I reached up and touched it, gingerly, expecting pain. Instead it felt cold and numb. Touching it felt like I was touching someone else’s nose. Like it was made of wax.
I felt a thin strip of metal or metal-like plastic that ran from between my eyebrows down the bridge of my nose to its tip. I tried to lift it off, to pry a nail under it, but couldn’t. It was like it was a part of me. Maybe it was a part of me now.
You’ve been concussed.That part I didn’t need to check to believe. I remembered the headache, the nausea that never quite went away and never quite resolved into actual vomiting. When I lay down on the bed, the room seemed to shiver and spin, slowly, an orbit that I didn’t like.
Read at least a couple of the books I brought: Provenance by Ann Leckie (I’m about ¾ of the way through, so that should work out); The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro; Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer; and The Knight by Gene Wolfe (because it’s a tradition, apparently, that I read Wolfe while I’m at the cabin).
I’m also due in Winnipeg for my nephew’s birthday party, which means I’ll be able to pick up the copy of Michael Swanwick’s The Iron Dragon’s Mother that I pre-ordered in (checks notes) (…these notes are illegible) February? maybe. And a friend is camping at Clear Lake starting mid-week, so I’ll probably go bother him for an afternoon or something.
As my darling wife is wont to say, “Write faster, Johanneson.”
Header image: last night, reading Provenance on the deck with a glass of Writer’s Tears.
This anthology features a collection of stories ranging far wider than I anticipated. There is, perhaps, a Canada-wide tendency to underestimate Manitoba. […] Amazing what stories the contributors wrested from its soil. I confess this book exceeded my expectations. Well worth reading.
I really want to like the new The Twilight Zone. But I think the problem with an anthology series is that you’re always starting from square one. Every episode requires an all-new round of exposition, and exposition is hard to do well.
I really don’t like the “as you know, Sally” style of expository dialogue, where characters say things to each other that they both already know, for the benefit of the audience. It sticks out like the cliché sore thumb for me.
And there’s a lot of it in this first season of The Twilight Zone.
Maybe it’ll get better, but so far I’m on the sixth episode, and it’s not been living up to my hopes.
(On the plus side, the acting has been top-notch, across all the episodes. Even the child actors have mostly impressed me.)
Well, episode 6 — “Six Degrees of Freedom” — was definitely a brighter spot, at least for me. It had some issues, sure — technical quibbles on the level of CBC’s SF attempt Ascension, q.v., but at least they tried harder. (For instance, they gave a reason, however ludicrous, that the Mars ship would have artificial gravity.) The story, though, manage to capture me and hold me till its end, even with a bit of clunky “as you know, Katherine” bits of infodump.
Seems I can forgive a bit of clunky writing if the overall story is good enough.
The science fiction and fantasy community has lost a beloved icon. We are extremely sad to report that author and SFWA Grand Master Gene Wolfe passed away on April 14th at age 87.
I came to Mr. Wolfe’s writing late in life. My dad had a copy of Urth of the New Sun but, as a teenager, I could never get into it (not realizing, then, that it was essentially book 5 of a 4‑volume series). I decided he was too highbrow, too highfalutin for my tastes.
Over the years, though, writers I very much enjoyed, writers whose opinions I respected, continued to tout the virtues of Wolfe. Neil Gaiman wrote on how to read Wolfe. Michael Swanwick was effusive with his praise. Wolfe, they insisted, is the writer’s writer.
So I checked the Wizard Knight duology out of my local library, and I found myself hooked. I chanced upon a copy of The Fifth Head of Cerberus at a local used bookstore, and was entranced. Later, I read The Book of the New Sun and its coda, Urth of the New Sun. This past summer I read, and loved, Pirate Freedom.
Gene Wolfe’s prose deserves to be read, and more, it begs to be re-read. Time, I think, for a re-read.
It is always a temptation to say that such feelings are indescribable, though they seldom are.
The 2019 Hugo awards, to presented at WorldCon, recognize excellence in speculative fiction. Congratulations and good luck to all the finalists. I’ve only read a few of the works on the list, and I’m reading a couple more.
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 SPEAKLIKETHIS. 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.