Cold Iron & Rowan-Wood

July 13, 2009

Species classifications

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Sam @ 10:03 pm

One of the infallible signs of traditional SF – a ten-letter species classification. ‘Doc’ Smith used it, James White used it, and I’ve just found it in a Diane Duane. (Wizard’s Holiday – in which Duane shows off her Star Trek roots)

July 4, 2009

Lord Dunsany – Poltarnees, Beholder of Ocean

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Sam @ 12:24 am

Toldees, Mondath, Arizim, these are the Inner Lands, the lands whose sentinels upon their borders do not behold the sea.

Like all of Lord Dunsany’s work, this is a beautiful and strange story. The full text is available online here. It’s about the same unconquerable, barely expressible yearning for the Sea that Legolas experiences in The Lord of the Rings, and which seems to be an interesting characteristic of elves-done-properly generally. (Not that the characters in this story are elves, or even elvish; people are quite strange enough for Dunsany as it is.)

It’s hardly an exclusively fantasy, theme, however – Kipling and Masefield both expressed it perfectly.

For some reason I cannot articulate, this story reminds me of The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. It may be mere coincidence.

June 22, 2009


Filed under: meta,Uncategorized — Tags: — Sam @ 9:23 pm

I decided against continuing with the series; it’s frankly just too depressing right now, and the themes of possession and mental health are really not ones I want to read about for some time yet.

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