Wednesday, August 05, 2009
One of my oldest friends is in town and so I am meeting him at the Admiral after work. I'm thrilled about this because we rarely get to see each other and also because I usually, parsimonious broke bitch that I am, don't eat at the Admiral, just drink $2.50 PBRs. Tonight, though, it's all out, damn the torpedoes, also the calories & money, and I'm actually going to get to eat something scrumptious, albeit tiny, for dinner. Yum.
In other news, I'm worried about my pumpkin vine, which would appear to be developing the same fungusy stuff on its leaves that took the zucchini away. I didn't care about the zucchini - I had reached my zucchini creativity limit - but I want some pumpkins, dammit. And if the fungus is going to take something, why, oh why, can't it affect the patty pan squash, which continues belching forth giant flying saucer discs of squash every day? Patty pan squash is driving me to despair.
I am reading (surprise, surprise) yet another mega giant multi volume fantasy saga - this one by Sara Douglass. It is not bad, actually. Unfortunately, neither is it particularly good and the not so good parts are way ramped up into unintentional fantasy saga hilarity by the novelist's inability to come up with good fantasy saga names. I grant you this is a difficult task and in my younger years, when I still held forth hopes of an overly thick novel with a scantily dressed barbarian and a sword and possibly a dragon or maybe an explosion on the cover appearing in the Fantasy & SF section of your local Barnes & Noble with my name on it in a suitably Gothic font, I thought much about it. I decided the way to go was to use the tried and true "grab tiles from the scrabble game" method - meet my hero, Epfgh - but Douglass, alas, has not done this. I'm not sure what she's done, actually, but her names suck. There is Silton, god of something or other, who I immediately assumed was Stilton, God of Cheese, and Ho'Demi, leader of stereotypical barbarian tribe and, one would hope, eater of many a half ho ho cake. There is Axis, the hero, and a whole race of winged people named stuff like FarSeer SoarFlight. I mean, urgh.
Anyway, names aside, the interesting thing about my reaction to these books is they've really been making me want to read or even write a giant multi volume fantasy epic where things just don't work out. The Prophecy fails; the evil king keeps the crown; the separated lovers never rejoin and so on and then eventually things just sort of work out on their own in the sort of half ass muddled way they do in real life and people start dissecting bugs and holding elections. Sean McMullen is good at this, by the way. I know, this is called Literature and I should turn my mind to it rather than reveling so in books with characters named Azhure and StarDrifter who have wings and magic powers, but damn, I can't bring myself to it. I got burned at some point by one too many New Yorker stories abut a bored and boring upper middle class middle aged suburban Connecticut white woman who spends an entire short story looking around her yard and fucking musing. Eeeeee, and I say that as a middle aged sort of middle class (high socio, low economic) white woman. Thus I run in fear back to the genre shelves where, yes, I will probably be disappointed again. Still, I know that it is possible, in books as in movies, to combine swords and explosions and Art, and so I will keep right on reading in hope. Also, it's cheaper and more effective than serious drugs at blocking the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Real World (it's going to cost me EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS to replace my furnace) out of my head.