Sometimes A Story Is About Making the World Better
I’m a freelancer and have been reading and watching fantasy
for more than forty years, so when I read that the protagonist of Rachel Aaron’s
Minimum Wage Magic was a freelance mage, I was tickled.
I had previously read Aaron’s Eli Monpress stories and her Heartstriker
Series so I was confident I’d love Minimum Wage Magic and I bought it on the
I was not disappointed. (more…)
42 is More Important than That
When I mention to people that my favorite number is 42, I am
generally met with some sort of Hitchhiker reference, and that’s…fine. Tribes need
their cultural touchstones, and I am a Hitchhiker fan, so it would be churlish
of me to take offense at that recognition.
And yet, for me, 42 is much more important than a mere cultural touchstone.
The Absurdity of Human Conduct
One of the hallmarks of Douglas Adams’ work is commentary on
the absurdity of human action.
To illustrate that point, I’ll merely point out that
immediately before the destruction of Earth, Arthur Dent was lying in the mud
in front of a bulldozer trying to protect his house from destruction. He was
talked out of it by a friend who wanted to go for a pint, and who talked the
demolition manager into lying in the mud instead.
What followed was the destruction of the planet, the escape
of Dent and his friend by dint of an electronic thumb and with the cooperation
of some cooks who liked to piss off their bosses.
And remember, the entire narrative thread resulting in 42
involves humankind building an enormous computer, pouring data into it, and
letting it cook for millions of years without ever giving it a proper question. (more…)
New Spring is not the beginning of the Wheel of Time. There
are neither beginnings nor endings to the Wheel of Time. But it was a
And it begins with Lan Mandragoran going around waking up
sentries which might be the most borderlander thing ever. In the borderlands,
they’re overwhelmingly aware of their duty to stand between the Blight and the
rest of humanity. Lan Mandragoran is often presented as a distillation, the
platonic ideal of what it means to be a borderlander. (more…)