Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Confession

I have never read H.P. Lovecraft. Not a word. Okay, I said it, it’s out.


Dredging Through Time Travel

So I’m soaking my mind in things time travel. I call it sponging, I’m just out there grazing all things time travel and then spitting my thoughts out in my journal – seeing what sticks (bad metaphors, apparently). Anyway I happened on this forum where there is discussion of good time travel stories, and someone comes up with this thought:

Time Travel must be impossible. Just think of how messed up things could get if it could happen.”

My immediate, and somewhat cynical, thought was:

So, you’re saying that there is time travel, then?

It could be a book of idiocy. IDIOTS THROUGH TIME! MORONS OF THE TIME-SCAPE!

A group of people are convinced that the mess the world is in is due to the influence of time travelers wrecking havoc with our timeline. They invent time travel to undo the damage. Turns out there never was any time travel before they invented it, and now they have really F’d up what was, now that they have made their mess, a not so bad world.

It could be a series. I  could even go through my classic (a la Heinlein, Robert Silverberg et all) horny middle-aged man theme in the middle of the series TITTIES THROUGH TIME! Then wrap it up in my old age with really splotchy plots WHAT TIME IS IT?

Sometimes these ideas don’t sound so bad when I write them down. For satire the above premise (even the self-mocking entries I like) is pretty damned fertile.

Hey, don’t anybody be taking these… (I write really slow…)


Good Science Fiction Sites

Let’s first say that it ain’t the big sites. Unless you are interested in what is happening… right now… No! you missed it… right…wait…NOW! No! You missed it again. Myself I like the past stuff better than the current stuff. I have three current authors I read: John C. Wright and Vernor Vinge (Vinge certainly doesn’t write enough) and Gene Wolfe.

There is just too much great stuff to gamble on the present and reading the tastes of current authors at SF Signal gives me no indication I would enjoy their works. Perhaps that is not fair, but as a consumer I merely have to choose, I don’t have to be fair.

Anywho the first up is the site of author John C. Wright. He does a lot of other topics other than science fiction (and will have opinions that are bound to piss some people off, but that’s your problem) but the man knows his stuff. I can’t even begin to enumerate the authors he opened me up to over the last several years: David Lindsay’s Voyage to Arcturus, C.S. Lewis’ space trilogy to name but a few. I even got turned onto Lafferty because he mentioned the outlandishness of Past Master and I thought the title cool enough to look up. Hence a love affair commenced and the rest is history (between I and Lafferty, not I and Wright although I am to be counted as a fan of his works as well). Best to search his site by keywords; his subjects can vary wildly.

Next up is a site devoted almost exclusively to science fiction literature, particularly New Wave science fiction of the 60’s and 70’s, by a Mr. Joachim Boaz called Science Fiction and Suspect Ruminations. This is a great site. This guy digs up the most arcane, forgotten books and does pretty in-depth reviews of them. He has turned me onto some real gems. One such was Brian Aldiss’ Non-Stop (also known as Starship); one of the best constructed books I’ve ever read. Some of what he digs up I’ve never heard up, and sometimes the author I’ve never known about either.

The third site is a specialized site for fans of R.A. Lafferty called The Ants of God are Queer Fish (it is a Lafferty reference and unfortunately not one I fully get as I have never got my hands on the story referenced). But if a Lafferty story or novel leaves you scratching your head (and that will happen) Mr. Petersen should be able to help you out. This is for the initiated, if you have never read Lafferty then not much is going to make sense on the site. There is also a FaceBook page for Lafferty fans started by the same author of The Ants of God are Queer Fish. I myself don’t have a FaceBook account as I don’t want unwanted communications from ghosts of the past. But… there you go.

If all you’ve been exposed to as a science fiction is the latest Star Wars tie-in books or the latest whoever it is, give these sites a look – and spread your wings!

 


Not to Mention Camels and Time Travel

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Last night I decided to start notes on a time travel story. I have wanted to write one forever. And I mean forever. If God begat his only Son, in the same instant he begat my desire to write a time travel story. I just happen to move a lot slower.

Anyway I went to the always knowledgeable about all things sci-fi and consulted John C. Wright’s blog for a post on time travel stories. I came away with a list of books (the book above is not one of them, but more on that later) that included The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold

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And Keith Laumer’s Dinosaur Beach

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The Man Who Folded Himself is available and easy to find. I opted for the kindle edition as I try to keep my book space from spilling out unto the streets and overtaking the planet. Dinosaur Beach is not in print nor in eBook form (although I did find a copy at Baen books as a freebie), but then most everything Laumer wrote is out of print. But the Baen one is merely an online text file. I’ll take a hard copy, thank you.

I decided to go to a different Half-Priced Books than the normal one I go to. Their science fiction section was depressingly small and they had none of what I was looking for. But, stuck in the very bottom corner of the L section I see the words Continue reading


A Quick Rant Against THE MAN

After being begged for the last several years by every company I hold an account with to go paperless, I gave in and went paperless with all of them.

BIG FREAKING mistake. I thought I would save time and hassle. Don’t care about the paper saving (it does grow on trees, no, really, it does) and stamps aren’t too expensive… yet.

It is the worst hassle I have. I tried to pay my electric bill on Monday but, because of the way their billing works (or so my wife tells me) I had to accept posting it two days late because if you post after 1pm on the date that it is due you are F’d and have to wait 48 hours before it can post.

Well excuse me, but I don’t wake up till 2pm!

The cable company sent me a late notice because they had a different due date than the paperless copy that they sent me in addition to my e-bill. That would be two fails on their part. They also combined two different bills that had two different due dates and sums. That took a phone call to settle. You know how it is with the cable company, they are the only game in town so you can SUCK IT! I will weep for them not if they ever get clobbered by the government for some reason. “Please vote this November to stop the Prop 40 that calls for state takeover of your cable companies!” My response, “Hold please, your call is important to us and will be answered… SUCK IT!”

Finally I cannot count how many times in just the last two months that I have gone online to pay a bill and get the “Your request cannot be processed at this time. Try again later.” “Site down due to maintenance. Try again later.” I’ve got a damned bill to pay! Are you going to be understanding when my bill is continually late because your trashy website is always down? I will eat both of my legs if that ever happens. I will cut them off and roast them over a campfire just like Richard Pine in Stephen King’s Survivor Type.

Paper? You open the envelop, write the check, just check in return envelop, attach stamp, mail. 5 minutes tops a month. No fuss, no muss. This online pay adds some 40 minutes to my task. What horse crap.


The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

Funny how things run in groups. I was just talking to someone the other day about a scene from one of Dick’s novels after finishing A Scanner Darkly again. And, on a walk with the wife, wandered into Barnes and Noble and found the book at the low price of $6.98.

I had contemplated getting the book for a number of years (you get the price low enough and even I cannot say no). I love his books and have heard about the strange life of the man. The book THE EXEGESIS OF PHILIP K. DICK is culled from over seven thousand pages of notes dealing with experiences he had starting in February and March of 1974 (2-3-74). These were largely handwritten, back to back, single spaced, rarely with paragraph breaks, and little margin on the sheet.

I never really find anything too insane to read, there must be some coherence else the mind simply shuts off. Luckily for my seven dollars Dick rides the rails without completely falling off too many times. Not that I am that far into it, I can only handle small doses. It is not my trip after all and these were never intended for publication.

One passage that decided that I would go along for the ride as long as I possibly could is on page 11. He is Continue reading


That Amazing Logic

I admit I get addicted to the arguments over at Strange Notions. And sometimes I hear some doozies, here is one from this discussion.

In response to the following:

The ten commandments are only a restriction on freedom to one that does not wish to be truly free or a fully flourishing human being 😉

Comes the retort:

So you claim. A Muslim would define a fully flourishing human being very differently. As would an atheist. Yours is only one voice among thousands – and one that causes anguish and suffering for many.

I’m not concerned with the original response, and I do not agree with it. For commandments 4 -10, sure, but I would not accuse a Hindu or a Shintoist an American Indian of not wanting to be truly free or a fully flourishing human being because of the first three items.

But I do find it illustrative to bring to focus the two alternatives he does bring to bear against Judeo-Christian belief. Perhaps the person would back away if he knew the implication of his sentence. Islam does not cause anguish and suffering for many? That is merely a matter of the daily headlines.

But it is the inclusion of Continue reading