Time is a Gypsy Caravan

Steals away in the night. To leave you stranded in dreamland. Distance is a long range filter. Memory a flickering light left behind in the heartland.–

Thus spake the Professor. Neil Peart, aka the Jimi Hendrix of Drums. And I’m feeling those words this week. The nature of life is that the things we value rarely are allowed to leave us in the manner we wish. Happy endings are for stories and dreams. Life can only give us good chapters. If we do not sully memories ourselves, human nature ensures small, petty people will do the same. All we can do is turn back from the bitter end and look to the parts that warm our heart. And hope that those things are enough.

So I give you the greatest Power Trio of all time, Rush:

Pain Is a Message

We go through lives seeking the path of least resistance. This is not unique to humanity, electricity, water, and herds do the same thing. Much of the time there is nothing wrong with this. If the familiar fields are green, the herd eats and waters well. But for the lemming, that comfortable journey has a less than pleasant ending. Safe is ultimately an illusion in this world. No matter how much we insulate ourselves, helicopter parent our kids, or GPS our lives, there is pain.

And that is not always a bad thing. Pain isn’t death. Pain is a message we’re stretching our limits. Pushing at boundaries we haven’t crossed before. Now if we incur pain through acts of stupidity, then it may rapidly be accompanied by actual injury. But the life lived on the couch avoiding pain and contact with the world is wasted.

Nothing worth having is easy. Nothing worth doing comes without risk. Growth does not come without pain. Without stretching our muscles to build them up. Our hearts to cut away what holds us back and make room for something new. Our beliefs to adjust them to the world that is and adapt to new experiences. I doubt there is anything profound in this, except that we have inured ourselves to that message. Inoculated ourselves against pain, and in doing so, stunted our growth.

No life worth living comes without pain.

A Worthy Suggestion

by Kary English: http://karyenglish.com/2015/06/dear-puppies-please-talk-about-what-you-love/

What books do I love? Well let’s set aside Lord of the Rings, which I read annually for two decades, and talk more recently.

Skin Game, and the whole of the Dresden Files. Exceptional action scenes, great characters, and crowning moments of awesome that are cinematic in quality. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/572379433863858784/ http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpdio7jqWQ1qfn5t3o1_500.jpg

The Malazan Book of the Fallen. I’m sorry fans of Martin and Wheel of Time, but Steven Erikson’s Malazan series is THE modern fantasy masterpiece. Epic deep history, characters by the score, and a unique magic system. Oh, and it was 10 books written in about 15 years. Martin’s going to take that long to write THREE Song of Ice & Fire books, and none of them have been *good* since Storm of Swords. Admit it. You know it’s true.

Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. This was what I read when I didn’t read LoTR as a kid. Hilarious buddy comedy as fantasy. The original for playing with tropes and laughing at the conventions. But never so much as to make you think it was laughing at you for liking them. Fritz Lieber was a master.

The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I could be cheesy and call this the true distaff to Harry Dresden. But that’s not fair. Post-apocalyptic Urban Fantasy in a near-desolated Atlanta (and come on, you know that’s a city you want to see a wasteland). Swords and magic one minute, then the tech comes back, and its guns to the fore. The only were society that I’ve actually wanted to read about in fantasy. And then there’s Kate herself, pure buttkicking that makes Buffy look like a wimp.

For a one-off, I’ll go with The Peshawar Lancers, by S.M. Stirling. The best steampunk I’ve read. Cannibals in the northern hemisphere, the British Empire rules from the Raj. And the game of nations continues apace. Action, intrigue, a dash of is-it-magic? And if the characters are not, on the whole, as deep as I’d prefer, they’re not cardboard cutouts either. And what they are is enough to carry the scenes with style. If you’ve never read Steampunk, that’s the book to start with. Until my own is published, that is. ;)

There you go. I might do another of these in a month or so. Because there’s a lot more I could share. But that’s a solid start.

A Tale of Two TORS. Be Warned, I’m Annoyed


And Gee. Seems Tor doesn’t do marketing as well as they think they do, either.

Originally posted on Girl Genius Adventures:


They are the best of publishers, they are the worst of publishers. It all depends on who you talk to. If you can.

Many know TOR books as a science fiction powerhouse. They publish best selling authors who love them to pieces, and well they should.

Then they publish us. This might be a surprise to many of our readers, as we have been self–publishing Girl Genius and other comical books for over thirty years. But, in fact, TOR is the publisher of the first Girl Genius Omnibus; Agatha Awakens. You see, TOR was thinking about starting up a line of science fiction graphic novels, and told us that they thought having a multiple Hugo Award winner as the launch title would be a nice touch.

We agreed, but had reservations, as we had been selling Girl Genius for over ten years at this point, and didn’t want them to…

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Dear Tor


I have to make one exception, Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. Of course, the fact that I make someone like him my exception is a stick in the eye to Tor as well.

Originally posted on madgeniusclub:

Guest post by Jonathan LaForce

As anybody who knows me will tell you, I like reading.  It’s been a life-long pleasure of mine. Someday I hope to have my own private library where I can sit and relax and write to my heart’s content. Something with a fireplace and a real leather chair, and an R2D2 mini fridge full of Dr. Pepper.

There will be books on art, history, various cultures, poetry, novels, literature, the romance novels I’ve written.  Want to know what won’t be found there?

Anything by TOR.  Period. Dot.  End of story.  Why?  Simple really.

You see folks, in the last four years, Tor has shown increasingly that it doesn’t care for anything besides narrative.  It doesn’t care for anything besides lying.  Labeling fellow authors and close friends of mine “misogynistic homophobic neo-Nazis” simply because we prefer telling a good story to pushing political beliefs is wrong. …

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The Puppies need to thank these recruiters


Reblogged for Truth. The Evil League of Evil is well aware that supervillians, axiomatically and by the inviolable laws of tropes (specifically the Starscream and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder), cannot remain in alliances, even of convenience, for long. But thanks to the glorious work of the (a)Social (in)Justice Mob, our schemes continue apace. ;)

Originally posted on Otherwhere Gazette:

Order_of_the_Sith_LordsThe Sad Puppies really do need to thank some people who are not of their number. I’ve been watching this fiasco as someone who is in sympathy with the SP movement without being one myself. The truth for the rank and file SP members is basically that they were informed that they could vote on the Hugos and actually get books they liked on the ballot. From the point of view of the rank and file Puppies this was information on how-to and some recommendations they could follow, but were not required to. Most of the rank and file used some of the suggestions and substituted others as they saw fit. Admittedly this did cause those who did not have enough recommendations in their own reading to use the list as a source for filling out the rest of the nominations. After all, they knew a bit about Brad Torgerson…

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