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April 22, 2011

Ursula K LeGuin can even make beige fascinating

BOOK VIEW CAFE BLOG -- Beige The whole thing is worth a read.
The reason I got thinking about it was that I realised about half my clothes are either beige or very near it, and most of the rest (leaving out an enclave of bluejeans and blue t-shirts) are black, which goes well with beige. I hate the Spring catalogues that come out thirty seconds after Xmas with all the pretty sherbet pastels and the bright redwhiteandblues and the lilac polka dots and there won’t ever be any hope of anything beige until next October and then they’ll probably be off on one of their screaming lime kicks again. If I had black or brown skin I still wouldn’t go for screaming lime, but I’d be a sucker for crimsons and scarlets and golds. I love the colors and they’d look good on me. If. But they don’t, because my skin is beige. Most of the year it’s a kind of fishy, pallid beige; sometimes in summer by sitting in the sunshine the way the dermatologists say we must never never do, I achieve a warmer tone, a feebly reddish speckled tan, like a farm egg. Never more than that. So, do I wear beige as camouflage – to make me disappear?

April 19, 2011

Review: The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham

The Long Price Quartet (along with Abercrombie's Third Law series) are the books that got me reading fantasy again. I had honestly written the genre off as uninteresting to me personally (outside of GRR Martin) but an intriguing review got me to read The Price of Spring and I was hooked and pulled back in. Since then I have been on a feeding frenzy of recent fantasy novels and have found them to be quite extraordinarily well done with richly drawn characters and plots that flow organically from the characters' motivations. The review below says all I could hope for about these books, except I should add that they are about poets who write poems so thoroughly beautiful that they are able to capture and harness the forces of nature themselves. Only over time all the forces have been harnessed and lost, so the modern day poets struggle to find something new to say about the world, which of course does not end well. Wizard poets. How can you not love that? Fantasy for grown-ups: Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet | tor.com | Science fiction and fantasy | Blog posts
The Long Price Quartet is a series of four fantasy novels that is complete, no more waiting required. They are, in order, A Shadow in Summer, A Betrayal in Winter, An Autumn War and The Price of Spring. They each stand alone, but contain spoilers for the earlier ones, so I recommend reading them in order. These are books about love and death and power, about gender and cultural expectations, about parenting and fertility, about growing up and growing old. The more I read them the better I like them, and I liked them a lot the first time. They have wonderful complex characters, and while each book is a complete story, when you read all four together they make a continuing thing that is more than the sum of its parts. Abraham has a new book out, The Dragon's Path, but it hasn't got to Montreal yet, so I thought I'd re-read these four. Once again, they knocked me over with how good they are — they're not afraid to take on the big issues and say interesting things about them. And they have a fascinating world that's well thought through. And they don't have villains — everybody is comprehensible, even when they're doing awful things, so they have some of the best conflict I've ever read. . . .

April 18, 2011

The 2011 Pulitzer Prizes have been announced

blog | Reviews index
Fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan Drama: Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris History: The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner Biography: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow Poetry: The Best of It: New and Selected Poems by Kay Ryan Nonfiction: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The William Carlos Williams poetry generator

Dave-o made a poetry generator back in college. I think it was better than this one.Though his didn't use the word "Batman," so it's debatable. joshmillard.com :: William Carlos Williams generator
This Is Just To Say I have burst the trousers that were outside the bordello and which you were probably withholding for Batman Forgive me they were rapid so abortive and so vulgar
*Thanks, Jeff!*