November 12th, 2006

Books 03

What, You've Never Woken Up Cranky?

Show, don't tell. That's what they always say to do, and Glen Cook is a believer. His The Dragon Never Sleeps contains nary a bit of exposition until right near the end. The learning curve is steep. It was fifty or sixty pages in before I started feeling like I had a clue as to what was going on and who was opposing who. If it hadn't been Cook writing it, I may have set the book aside.

I didn't realize that Cook had written any science fiction until Chad Orzel gave this long out of print book a glowing recommendation at a Boskone panel on space opera. I'm a huge fan of Cook's Garrett series of fantasy detective novels, and I knew about his other fantasy stuff, but his SF stuff was new to me. (I notice that in my notes from Boskone, it was mentioned in another panel that Cook is an example of a guy who writes very good SF, but writes far more fantasy, because apparently that's what his fans will buy. Kind of an interesting trap.)

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Idle Thought...

In the "Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead" number in the Wizard of Oz, there a bunch of Munchkin soldiers marching about in time to the music, and I was just wondering why they were there. The Witch of the East had ruled Munchkinland. Were the soldiers the ones who rounded up any Munchkins that stepped out of line? Why else would there be soldiers? And what happened after Dorothy danced down the yellow brick road? Did the rest of the Munchkins exact rough mob justice upon their oppressors? And where exactly does the red brick road go?

Perhaps I'm overthinking...

(And yes, I have read Wicked.)

Not a good night last night. Overdid it yesterday, and the body stiffened up badly as I tried to sleep. I finally gave up around 5, after narrowly escaping from a dream where someone played by Sean Bean was about to stick a knife in me, and got up. At least that meant I was one of the first in line at one of the Dept. of Health's roaming flu shot clinics. That was at 8 in Wickford. I wanted to run down to the Shaw's in Wakefield, which I thought didn't open until 9, so I had some time to kill. It was raining, but I decided to take the long way around, driving down "scenic 1A" for the first time in, like, years. I followed 1A all the way down the coast until I got to Pt. Judith lighthouse, then I cut over to a near deserted Galilee before finally heading back northwards to Wakefield. It's been so long, I'd forgotten how empty the shore is in the off season. Empty beaches and no traffic at all.

In my travels, I managed to drive by all but one of the places I've lived since the ex tossed me out (I've lived on or very near a lot of main roads), which was a depressing thing. Not so much about the tossing out part, but rather that given a chance to start my adult life over, I have so little of value (to me) to show for it since.

The rest of the day was a mixed bag. I made soup. I applied another coat of primer to the door down in the basement. I also managed to collapse the table that I had all sorts of mostly clean laundry on down there, dumping a good bit of it on the very dirty floor. Bother. I decided to spend the rest of the day watching TV while playing Spider Solitaire on the "difficult" setting. On the plus side, the spot on my arm where they gave me the flu shot doesn't seem to be the least bit tender. Now I'm worried it was a placebo.