Archive for March, 2008

Professional SF Babe Blogging

March 23, 2008

There is nothing quite like being humbled by a master.
I used to have this regular feature around here, an SF Babe poll every Tuesday. I was actually pretty proud of it, and thought I did a pretty good job making it entertaining and easy on the eyes.
Well, I’ve been kind of meaning to revive it, just to find something to engage me on this blog. But I doubt that will ever happen, since published writer E.E. Knight has created the most perfect SF Babe poll you will ever witness, in honor of the great Shat’s birthday.
Feast your eyes, for this is as good as it gets. That will be a very tough act to follow…

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On The Passing of Gary Gygax

March 6, 2008

I read of the death of Gary Gygax many places, but The Order of the Stick has the best tribute I’ve seen so far.
I’ve been transcribing some old journals and writings of mine recently. Just tonight, I ran across this entry from November 1982, and thought it appropriate for the occasion:

I Know…
I know a dwarf. His name is Ixthos. I know a man. His name is Peldar. I know another man. His name is Ralt Gaither. I know yet another man, but he doesnít have a name. I know a pegasus. His name is Ariel. I know an animated box. His name is Tavtos. I know three horses. They donít have names.
I met all of them once while strolling through a hilly, rolling countryside. There were towns, people, good ale, and warm beds. But not all things were so good. Aye, there were dangers–dragons, orcs, goblins, and worse still.
There were swords, sorcerers, monsters, friendly yet stupid barkeeps, beautiful wenches, blue skies, and projects which needed doing. Yes, projects which needed doing such as killing hydras, riding dragons, finding treasures, and cleaving orc heads.
I met them all on a Sunday at 12:00PM and left them at 5:00PM, promising to be back at the same place at the same time within the next few weeks. Yes, I know them all. They come from the realms of my imagination.

His creations brought me weeks, nay, months of fun during some critical times of my life. RIP.

John’s Reading Report (February 2008)

March 2, 2008

Here’s what I’ve read since my last report:
Bill Bryson’s The Life And Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.
Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. I love his show No Reservations, and reading about life in the “culinary underbelly” was simultaneously fascinating and funny.
Orbit, John J. Nance. Surprisingly entertaining. I had low expectations, but the story grabbed me about half the way through and I couldn’t put it down.
In progress:
Flashman, George MacDonald Fraser.
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett.
On deck:
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemerovsky. One offered up by the Amazon algorithm based on product searches and past purchases. I hope it is as compelling as the author’s own story.
The Forever War, Joe Haldeman. I’ve been meaning to read this for, like, forever.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
Still about five months’ worth of Analog magazine.