Pain and the Soul

I saw Seamus Heaney interviewed about his translation of Beowulf tonight on the BBC documentary about the ancient epic. He said the most beautiful thing, that Beowulf was born into life as an intelligence and shaped by pain into a soul. An idea I  must remember.

Elsewhere..

Jetse de Vries gives some statistical feedback on the first hundred or so SHINE anthology stories. With this in mind it might be time to take a shot at writing a story for him…hmm…

Jean Hannah Edelstein over at the Guardian asks if there is any longer an appetitie for 1000 page books. If the next George R R Martin is a thousand pages then yes.

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The Tomes of San Francisco

So I did a bit of book shopping whilst is SF at the wonderful Borderlands. If you happen to be near enough to shop there at any time please do so. Empty your wallet in support of our much needed specialist genre stores, and get great books in return!

On the flight out I read the mildly disappointing first Harry Potter. Yes, it was fun and frothy. But bottom line it is the story of a boy whose problem is that he is both ordinary and poor, with the soultion being he is actualy rich and the single most special boy in the world. Those of us who grew up ordinary and poor, only to discover we were actualy ordinary and poor say boo! Down with potter! Continue reading The Tomes of San Francisco

A Long Sleep

I have been asleep almost the entire time since getting back to England, catching up with friends and grabbing snatches of news. The British parliamentary systems has fallen into disrepute, the economy is in freefall and Tarantino has been allowed to release a new film. I go away for a few days…

San Francisco was a tremendous experience. It has left me with a lot to think through, especially regarding what I learned from 826 Valencia. No doubt I will do some of that thinking in future posts. i also have a rather wonderous selection of SF tomes to devour courtesy of Borderlands.

In the podosphere:

The Sofanauts discuss Orson Scott Card. Opinions are not divided. Mundane SF also rears its head. My thoughts are on record here.

Bye, Bye American Pie

My last full day in San Francisco and I have had a feast of American cuisine. Dunkin Donut, mid-morning Chinese tea and tiramisu cake thing, California sushi for lunch, cherry pie and extra thick milkshake for tea, deep dish Chicago pizza for dinner and a round of Earl Grey tea to finish. To paraphrase Homer Simpson…hhuuurrhhhhhh…

Of possible interest…

Realms of Fantasy still not re-opened for submissions, but progress is being made according to Monstrous Musings.

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road will soon be coming to a big screen near you. Looks good. The book almost induced me to suicide. Lets see if the film can do any better.

End of Days

My holiday in San Francisco is entering its final days. It feels like I have been here forever, so long that I’ve established a routine and the streets around Union Square now seem very familiar. I’ve had a lovely time seeing old friends from Clarion, and taken time out to read some and write more. San Francisco is a great city for walking, and I have taken Shank’s pony all over the place. And I have been intensely smitten with 826 Valencia. More on this in a future post however.

A few items of interest for this Wednesday evening… Continue reading End of Days

Surprise Translation

I was nicely surprised to wake up this morning to find a wonderful translation of Im Abendrot in my inbox. I have posted before about this poem by Joseph von Eichendorff, which I discovered via the music of Richard Strauss. Teh generous spirited Richard Gardner found my ear;y post and has furnished me with a brand new translation all his own, which sticks rigourously to the structure and rhythm of the orignal. I love this translation…it may even be my favourite. Continue reading Surprise Translation