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Mon, Jun. 28th, 2004, 08:24 pm
gvwilson: Bad Bargains

I'm looking for some ideas about bad bargains magicians can make. In my story world, magicians have to trade something of themselves for power: a finger, their memory of their eighth birthday, the ability to wear the color blue or to walk down the same street twice, and so on. There are cautionary tales about magicians who discover that two or more spell prices interact badly. I'm looking for examples, and figure this crowd will probably be able to think up some nasty ones. I'm offering the usual bribes: chocolate, booze, or whatever...


Thu, Jun. 24th, 2004, 07:27 am
megancrewe: Meeting Dilemma

I'm having a bit of trouble working out the meeting scheduling, so I'm hoping to get feedback from all of you about what we should do. This is what I know right now:

June 26--Velvet, Jana, and Carolyn can't make it

July 3--Jana and Lara can't make it (and possibly others too, since it's Toronto Trek weekend)

I'd prefer not to have a meeting with only half of the members present, but it looks like if we push back this weekend's meeting, it'd have to wait all the way until July 10th (if people are free then). The other option, of course, is if people are free on a day other than Saturday. I have Sunday evenings free (unfortunately, I work during the day), as well as Wednesday and Thursday during the week. Or we could just have a very small meeting this Saturday (if anyone else can't make it, please let me know).

What do you think? I'm pretty open, so let me know what you'd like to do.


Wed, Jun. 16th, 2004, 08:40 am
megancrewe: A couple of links

Here's A Reader's Manisfesto, as promised. (This is the article I mentioned that talks about literary fiction as a genre.)

And Greg asked me to post this one: It's about a NASA worker who's now running a Science Fiction Museum in Seattle. Article here.



Thu, Jun. 10th, 2004, 04:06 pm
larah33: Oops!

Okay, my mind is a seive. *blush*

For Caroline and anyone else who's interested:

http://www.czerneda.com has links to her newsgroup via web interface and ... is browser the word I'm looking for? In other words, you can either read it via Explorer or Outlook Express.

Sorry it's taken me so long to post this! *blush*

Tue, Jun. 8th, 2004, 09:40 am
gvwilson: Silk Road

Just finished Jeanne Larsen's "Silk Road". It's an odd book: part historical romance, part fantasy, interspersed with scholarly inserts (some of which are real, some of which are not).

The central story is straightforward: a Chinese general's daughter is kidnapped by Tibetan bandits, sold into slavery, becomes a courtesan, and eventually makes a place for herself in the world. The fantasy back story is that the woman in question is actually the worldly incarnation of a green pearl which was once part of a Go set owned by the Jade Emperor. Her mother, who has been kidnapped by a vermilion dragon's nephew, needs rescuing; a female boddhisattva has decided to help her, and, well, after that, it gets complicated.

I enjoyed the book, but felt it was too long, and had difficulty keeping track of the characters (not least because they all change names two or three times during the story). Still, it's an interesting complement to Barry Hughart's classic "Bridge of Birds".

Wed, May. 26th, 2004, 08:05 pm
thesandtiger: Testing

Here I am - alive and well, and figuring out how to post. Consider this my test run :)

See you all on Saturday!

Sandtiger (Jana)

Wed, May. 26th, 2004, 02:30 pm
gvwilson: "Let's get to work"

They know they can't win. They've just taken out the Circle of the Black Thorn, and the Senior Partners are about to throw every hell-spawned monstrosity they have against Angel, Spike, Gunn, and Illyria. So what does Angel say? "Let's get to work." He has realized, finally, that you can't ever defeat evil; all you can do is keep fighting.

Which is pretty much how the central characters in Alan Furst's novels feel. Where Le Carre's novels explore the Cold War, Furst's explore the dark years of the 1930s and 1940s, when Fascism and Stalinism looked set to devour the world. In "The Polish Officer", we follow the career of a man trying to salvage something---anything---from a situation he knows is hopeless. "Kingdom of Shadows" covers some of the same ground, though its protagonist is a Hungarian aristocrat whose desperate wish is to keep his country out of the coming storm.

His best to date (in my opinion) is "Dark Star". Andre Szara, a Polish-born writer for Pravda, is 'asked' by the NKVD to run a few small errands. He knows full well that their demands will only grow, but in an era of purges and betrayal, what choices does he have? Slowly, as the lights go out across Europe, he discovers that he _does_ have choices, that no-one and nothing can ever take away.

It's a rare fantasy novel that doesn't include the forces of darkness, but few writers portray them, or their corrupting effects, half as well as Furst. Recommended.

Mon, May. 17th, 2004, 08:28 am
gvwilson: red or white?

Would any members of the group be interested in reading the whole manuscript of "Beneath Coriandel" in one go in exchange for a good bottle of red or white wine? I'd very much like to find out what people think of the story as a whole; I've bribed some friends this way in the past, and would be happy to help members of this group overcome their sobriety problems as well. If there are any takers, I'll bring one of the other pieces I'm working on for the group to read instead.

Greg (gvwilson at third-bit dot com)

Tue, May. 11th, 2004, 09:23 pm
larah33: A little help?

Julie Czerneda is putting together a census for scifi readers. I've already sent in mine and my son's information. She needs more statistics, so I offered to ask the group. Details below.

"Gender (M or F please)
Career (includes being a student etc.)
Age cohort: under 10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70 etc.

I'll be using this data to help the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle WA plan their programs. Only totals per category will be used, so nothing personal goes further.

Thanks! Please send your info to me at julie.czerneda@sff.net with SF census in the subject.


Thanks, everyone!


Sat, May. 8th, 2004, 08:20 pm
megancrewe: Writing Prompt Numero Uno

Here's our first bi-weekly writing prompt. Use it if you like. :)

Write a scene that starts with a character falling flat on his/her face (either literally or figuratively).


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