Saturday Snippet: Dragon of Sunset

I was reminded of this the other night, when we had our first brilliant winter-like sunset since last spring.


Rachel gave General Rahoul Khan as much of a sideways look as she could with him standing on her blind side. “Sir?” He can’t know about my little outing last week, and nothing’s set off the smoke detectors recently that I know of. And I had nothing to do with the minor disturbance in the NCOs mess.

“Why is my daughter insisting on going to Lands’ End to see the dragon?”

“What?” She turned so she could see him clearly.

He had a very familiar look of wary curiosity on his face, arms folded, not patting his foot but giving the impression of it. “Sita wants her mother to take her to Lands’ End to see the dragon. What dragon?”

Rachel tried to recall if she knew any True-dragons, HalfDragons, Houses, or grumpy librarians in Cornwall. “Ah, I have no—Belay that.” Rachel smiled. “She wants to see the dragon of sunset.” Continue reading

This day in History

Oops, apparently in 1009 the peaceful and tolerant Muslim Caliph Al-hakim bi-Mir Allah had the Church of the Holy Sepulchre destroyed, torn down to the foundations. How awkward for his PR department. The building, constructed on the site believed to be that of the crucufixion of Jesus, had been a temple of Venus after the Romans drove the last Jews from Jerusalem. Emperor Constantine (no doubt at the urging of his mother) ordered the temple torn down and a church constructed on the site in the mid AD 300s. Continue reading

The (Babylon) Bee Stings again…

Excerpt from the Bee: U.S.—A recent survey performed by CCLI confirmed that AC/DC’s hard rock classic “Highway to Hell” is more theologically accurate than 96% of the songs that most worship bands play on any given Sunday.

The study examined over 800 songs and compared their theology to the Scriptures, and found that the Australian rock group’s 1979 classic was “significantly more accurate” than over 96% of them.

“While modern worship songs tend to contain little theology, an anemic view of sin, and a poor understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit, ‘Highway to Hell’ has a very biblical view of the doctrine of hell,” a CCLI rep said. “Lead singer Bon Scott had a clear understanding of man’s natural inclination toward sin and the inevitable judgment of God that follows.”

So… is it satire? Or a case of “Life Imitates Onion/DuffleBlog”?

Well, that was new…

I’ve had class interrupted by fire drills, intruder drills, the Birthday Howl, parents seeking children (phone call from the office), teachers seeking students, the Joker and Batman chasing each other through the lecture theater (Halloween at Flat State U). . .

This was the first time I’ve had class interrupted by a conch shell trumpet. Two classrooms away.

Someone has a good set of lungs.

Do all Staré have bad taste?

It seems so to Rigi and her human associates, at least when Staré food is involved. The natives of Shikhari will eat things that make humans think twice, or just back away slowly before fleeing. Rigi does her best to pretend that she does not see tam being served under her roof, or notice when boxes from a tam-patty take-out place appear beside the waste-disposal combustion unit behind the house. If she does not see them, they are not there.

Continue reading

Columbus Day

Well, at least the other fusses and furors have driven the Usual Fussers-About-Columbus off the front page for the moment.

1. He didn’t discover the Americas because a) he never reached the mainland, b) people already lived here, c) the Vikings and Basques got here first.

Well, the islands are considered part of the package, and were covered by the later treaties dividing the Americas between Spain and Portugal, so no.  The people who lived here had not published and made known that they’d found the place. Neither had the Vikings (because not many people had read the sagas in 1492), and the Basques kept quiet so as not to have their cod fishing encroached upon.

So if you mean Columbus was the first to reach the Western Hemisphere and then go inform lots of people about what he found, and document it, then yes, he discovered it. The same way Lavoisier discovered oxygen and Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium. Continue reading

Adventure Tales: Or Why I Like Haggard, Talbot Mundy, and Burroughs

A re-run in honor of the release of Pouchling and Hopling

Short version: because they have fun, or at least you get the sense that they were having fun when they wrote their stories. Tarzan, Athelstane King, Alan Quartermain, none of them spent long hours pondering the meaning of existence and the shallowness of bourgeois society. Nope, they explored, fought, played the Great Game by Asia’s own rules and won, dared to pursue the beautiful woman and won her hand and her respect, stood up for their honor and kept their word. And the books are a romp that leave you feeling better and dreaming of your own adventure when you finish. Continue reading

October ’19 State-of-The-Author

Looking forward to a three-day weekend, for starters. And enjoying the fruits of the first hard freeze since April (no more mosquitoes. No more crickets.)

I’m still waiting on the final cover for Hopling and Pouchling. I have a temporary cover and will launch the book next week, then replace the temporary with the final cover once that arrives.

I need beta readers for Called to the Council. That’s Shikari six. I will also need alpha readers for Eerily Familiar by Tuesday. I need to go through and tuck in a bit of foreshadowing first. The cover for E. F. is done already.

Frighteningly Familiar is now at 4K words. The plot is roughed out, and yes, we get to learn a little more about Arthur Saldovado. If he’s willing to cooperate with the author.

I hope to start back in on White Gold and Empire this coming week, to finish it in early December.

I give up trying to look past that. I’ve got a few ideas flitting around, and I hope they wait until both White Gold and the other Familiars book are finished before attacking me.

If anyone is in the Albuquerque area, I’ll be over that way for a few days in early November.