1) Go right now and read Lucius Shepard’s “The Taborin Scale.” Right now! Holy carp it’s good. I saw the Subterranean hardback at Readercon, but only well after I had (over)spent my book allocation. I was thrilled to see this up on their site for free, and it is fantastic. The Dragon Griaule stuff is rich and enticing, some of his best work. And Subterranean produces lovely books (although the shipping is a bit hefty for their titles). Go browse and drool. . . .
“SUCCINCTLY: THE QUIDAMIOUS LACHRYMALIA (published 1557, [Gregorian 1938]):
The MEROVINGIAN AMMONITE: This venerable dux ducis is cowled in a luminous, aureate planisphere shell whose hue manifests its disposition and counsel. It’s scintillating scarlet tendrils are reminiscent of the hair of King Dagobert II, who fashioned it an aquarium of pellucid vitaenium. The imbibement of its tenebrous, delphian tears allowed him to foresee assassination and preserve his bloodline to this day. Similar in size to but more ostentatious than Regent Churchill’s cuttle-king, with it’s murky, unadorned shell-pate, its limpid cirri guide the fate of one-fifth of humanity.”
I like the idea behind this. There’s gotta be a story in there somewhere. . . . I spent too much time on this, doing a bit of research, condensing phases, and choosing evocative words. It may have too much flash and set-up to win, but it was fun to ponder. I wonder if the squiddies are aliens, Cthulhuan beasts, or mere curiosities used as political window-dressing?
Winner has not been posted yet. Sad Ogre is sad. . . .
3) A nice reflection on Style in fantasy fiction. I think I need to write about temporality and “timelessness” for my Apex blog this month. It would be interesting to tease out the disjunctures between science fiction (often very “timely” and temporally-bounded) and fantasy (with this idea of timelessness combined with being out of “real time”).
4) Did you ever think you would see the word “new” to describe Stonehenge?
5) Boardgames are awesome. Even the Financial Times thinks so! An homage to game-playing, with a dash of ethnography.