Tag Archives: science fiction

It’s Fantasy & Science Fiction time again

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Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine May/June 2012

The new Fantasy & Science Fiction issue is here! Thank the gods, because I’ve had nothing good to read lately and have been morosely picking through the back issues on my Kindle.

Now, if only I could read it in the bath. 

Hmm, I do have that older Kindle and some gallon zip bags

Thursday Nextisms are Inflectious

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Today was another day of rest, so I finished One of Our Thursdays Is Missing. Some of my favorites:

  • “The taxi was the usual yellow-and-check variety and could either run on wheels in the conventional manner or fly using advanced Technobabble™ vectored gravitational inversion thrusters.”
  • “Technobabble™ Swivelmatic vectored-ion plasma drive.”
  • “Verb-Ease™ for troublesome irregularity.”
  • Malapropism: “The average working life of a Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals was barely fifty readings. The unrelenting comedic misuse of words eventually caused them to suffer postsyntax stress disorder, and once their speech became irreversibly abstruse, they were simply replaced. Most ‘retired’ Mrs. Malaprops were released into the BookWorld, where they turned ferrule…”
  • “‘Now, then,’ I said, using an oxymoron for scolding effect, ‘it is totally unproven that malapropism is inflectious, and what did we say about tolerating those less fortunate than ourselves?”
  • “Large sections of dramatic irony were hacked from the books and boiled down to extract the raw metaphor, rendering once-fine novels mere husks suitable only for scrapping.”
  • TransGenre Taxi {every time I see this, my brain first thinks TransGender taxi}
  • Dark Reading Matter (DRM). “The hypothetical last resting place of books never published, ideas never penned and poems held only in the heart by poets who died without passing them on.”
  • Metamyth
  • Narrative Clunker Unit (NCU)
  • “Distilling metaphor out of raw euphemism was wasteful and expensive, and the euphemism-producing genres on the island were always squeezing the market. Besides, the by-product of metaphor using the Cracked Euphemism Process liberates irony-238 and dangerous quantities of alliteration, which are associated with downright dangerous disposal difficulties. – Bradshaw’s BookWorld Companion (9th edition).”
  • “Don’t anyone move… I think we’ve driven into a mimefield.”
  • “I was reminded of Clark’s Second Law of Egodynamics: ‘For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.’”
  • “Plot 9 (Human Drama) revolved around a protagonist returning to a dying parent to seek reconciliation for past strife and then finding new meaning to his or her life. If you live anywhere but HumDram, ‘go do a Plot 9’ was considered a serious insult, the Outlander equivalent of being told to ‘go screw yourself.’ – Bradshaw’s BookWorld Companion (3rd edition).”
  • Antikern: “What this does is remove the white spaces entirely – within an instant this entire boat and everyone in it will implode into nothing more than an oily puddle of ink floating on the river.”

Also, I learned a new idiom—“Wheels within Wheels”:

“Complex interacting processes, agents, or motives, as in It’s difficult to find out just which government agency is responsible; there are wheels within wheels. This term, which now evokes the complex interaction of gears, may derive from a scene in the Bible (Ezekiel 1:16): ‘Their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.’ [c. 1600]”

and a new word—Epizeuxis

“Repetition of words with no others between, for vehemence or emphasis.” Example: “O horror, horror, horror.” (Macbeth)

Missing things

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Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, Mar / Apr 2012

I finally finished Something Rotten tonight. I can’t believe how little time I’ve spent reading over the last few months. Very uncharacteristic of me. But there is a lot of stuff going on, namely 3 new people who need attention and shuffling around. I have to figure out how to give myself that reading time again. First Among Sequels is the next one in the series.

But before I start that, I’m going to start on Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar/Apr 2012, which just appeared on my Kindle a few days ago!

Crammed in the corner, time travelling with Connie Willis

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Gave up my home office last summer for a kid bedroom. Being crammed in the corner of the master bedroom is getting very old. Everything’s a bloody mess. Maybe tomorrow I can reorganize somehow. I miss having my own space.

In the meantime, so many good books to read right now.

I’m on the library wait list for the hardcover All About Emily by Connie Willis. {I wish more books were available as library ebooks. But pretty cool that I could get the Kindle book from Amazon right now for $4.99, when the hardcover is not yet released.}

I loved To Say Nothing of the Dog {probably the first time travel fantasy that I ever appreciated} and enjoyed Bellwether and Lincoln’s Dreams as well. I didn’t know Willis had published several other books in the last few years, including Blackout, which I got from the library today. It sounds like All Clear is the followup to Blackout, so I have that on order too.

But first, I still have to finish up Shades of Grey. Nearly there. Not sure if I want to jump into another Fforde next, or go with Willis…

The wider the grin, the sharper the blade

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 27

Optimism. Mindfulness is all about the present moment, yet we often live our lives in the past and future. Since we cannot change the past nor predict the future, remaining hopeful seems the best course of action each time we are taken out of the present moment. For this reason, I spend time observing my thoughts. My outlook and attitude depends upon it. When we think negatively about things, more negativity occurs. When we think positively however, more positivity follows. Like increases like. This week’s theme is optimism. Optimism is all about our thoughts – having a bright outlook.

I’m all for being mindful—definitely something I’m constantly working towards. But don’t even get me started on optimism. A natural skeptic, I’m not convinced that it’s healthy or helpful to constantly try to think “positively.” In fact, it can be detrimental at times (think: cancer patients feeling guilty that they’ve made themselves sick or are not getting better because they have not been “ positive” enough).

Have you ever met a person who smiles all the time? Who you can describe as constantly cheerful? Don’t trust them. Don’t trust them to be honest with themselves—or with you. They’ll be the first one to have a mental breakdown—or to stab you in the back. Someone I was once close to used to say, “The wider the grin, the sharper the blade,” and for the most part, I’ve found that to be true. I did not realize at the time that he was essentially quoting one of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: “The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife,” but it makes sense because he was a big Star Trek fan. (For the record, I’m an appreciator of Star Trek, but not sure I’d consider myself a fan, namely because I do not watch the movies and episodes over and over again, memorizing the dialog. Also, I’m sure the origin of the idiom goes further back than Star Trek.)

This does not mean that we all need to be full of gloom and doom, nor does it give us an excuse to be assholes to each other. Nor does it mean that I don’t appreciate that rare individual who has faith in humanity but has not lost their critical thinking skills or sense of humor. It does not even mean that I’m not sometimes hopeful. If I didn’t have a glimmer of hope to latch on to at times, I wouldn’t be here.