Tuesday, 9 June 2015


Less posts today. Some days I am on a roll with a topic like Mars. Other days I am:

reading other kinds of fiction (see here);
watching a dvd (see here);
walking around Lancaster (see image).

The Queen visited the Castle (see image) where she met a few local worthies. It is appropriate that, when the Head of State visits, she meets not everyone resident in Lancaster but at least some that we know, in my case the current Mayor and a local newspaper cartoonist.

Agenda for the blog:

finish reading SM Stirling's In The Courts Of The Crimson Kings;
decide what next to read by Stirling;
continue to track down the NESFA collections of Poul Anderson's shorter works.

Of local interest and relevance to Poul Anderson:

St Patrick is a character in Poul and Karen Anderson's The King Of Ys;
there is a ruined St Patrick's Chapel on the coast in what is now Lancaster City District;
last night, a member of our (Buddhist) meditation group said that Patrick lived as a hermit at the site of the Chapel for a year between evangelizing Ireland and returning to Ireland;
he thought that this story was historical whereas I suspect that it is legendary;
either way, we are again that close to a piece of our history.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'm rather sorry you were not among those invited to meet her Majesty! I hope all involved are having a pleasant time during the Queen's visit.

I'll be very interested in any further comments you care to make about IN THE COURTS OF THE CRIMSON KINGS. I hope the last part of the book makes up for how the earlier parts did not quite satisfy you.

S.M. Stirling did write another stand alone novel, CONQUISTADOR. I think that might please you more than COURTS has done. After that, you would have to think of tackling Stirling's longer series, such as his Draka books, "Island in the Sea of Time" books, the HUGE "emberverse" series, the three volumes devoted to the "Shadowspawn," etc.

Some readers have been VERY disturbed by Stirling's Draka books. I'll only say Stirling has protested he did not LIKE what the Draka had done, that he was writing DYSTOPIAN science fiction. That he was speculating about what might happen if almost everything had gone wrong that could go wrong. I enjoyed the Draka books, esp. once I got it straight that they were dystopian SF, but not every one might.


David Birr said...

The alarming thing about the Draka books is that, in the one set in World War II, you may catch yourself thinking that *by comparison*, the Nazis aren't so bad.

A comment I saw on one forum stated that *wiping out ALL life on Earth* would be worth it if it meant the Draka were destroyed. The first reply to that statement began, "True, but...."

Ketlan said...

'Less posts today.'

Fewer, surely?

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Birr,

I agree! Compared to the Draka, even the Nazis and Communists are "comparatively" better. What makes the Draka so terrifying is that they were so much more efficient and intelligent at being tyrants than the Browns and Reds.

And was it you who said "True, but..."? Whoever it was, what did he say?


Sean M. Brooks said...

Another point I should have added about the Draka was how DISTURBINGLY admirable, at least as INDIVIDUALS, Stirling made some of his Draka. He shows them as courageous, intelligent, loyal, even kindly to those who submitted to their rule, etc. Some of these Draka even had some doubts and regrets about what their hideous philosophy/ideology/history had shaped them into becoming.