FF: Dare I Hope?

Roary Contemplates

I dare hope that I am finally done with setting up computers, printers, and the like.  It’s been really quite a bit more stressful than I ever would have imagined.  Stress makes me an unambitious reader, I will admit.

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.  The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.  And it’s also a great place to tell me what you’re reading. 

Recently Completed:

Fool’s War by Sarah Zettel.  Future SF with intelligent AI characters.  Would be done, but my reading time this last week got traded for other things a couple of times.  It still holds up very well.  Recommended.

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers.  Audiobook.  I could probably recite parts of this one along with the reader, but that’s okay.  Ian Carmichael does a brilliant job.

Uncovering Pylos a publication of the Archeological Institute of America.  More a pamphlet than otherwise, I picked it up thinking that a great deal more must have been learned about the Minoan/Mycenaen civilizations since my last delving into this topic.  I was astonished to find how little new there was, although the Griffon Warrior stuff is very cool.

In Progress:

Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayer.  My library doesn’t have this as an audio, so I pulled this one off my reading shelf.  Many people dislike because it’s “mystery light,” but I love the language, and the focus on the characters.


I’ve been reviewing supplements, compendiums, and the like for the GURPS RPG system.  With advent of vaccinations, my group is back to more or less regular meetings.  Yay!

15 Responses to “FF: Dare I Hope?”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    I am glad you completed your machine assembly. May you be problem free for a Long Time to come!

    This week, I read Treecat Wars by David Weber and you. I really enjoyed it. I get very involved in these characters. I think I felt every emotion – joy, anger, fear, dread, etc! I am now ready for the next book.

    I also read Puss ‘N Cahoots (Mrs. Murphy #15) by Rita Mae Brown. This mystery took place at a Saddlebred horse show. Harry and her pets were in the big middle of the action and the critters solved the case. An easy read.

    • janelindskold Says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed Treecat Wars. The next book about Stephanie and friends (human and otherwise) is written, turned in, but seems stalled somewhere in production. I should probably check on status, but after I’ve gotten my current project done. Deadline is just over a week away.

  2. Harry Palmer Says:

    I enjoyed Treecat Wars as well as the other books in the series. Although they are written for the YA group, there is enough meat in the stories for an adult to enjoy.

    I’ve been reading another series on my e-book by James E. Wisher “The Complete Soul Force Saga”. Overall the stories are decent but the foul language is not appreciated especially since it is quite abundant. Way too much for my tastes. I’m almost through the series so I’ll complete it and make my comments.

    Enjoy the weekend, it is supposed to cool down a few degrees.

    • janelindskold Says:

      The books will gradually embrace more complex, broader themes as Stephanie and her associates get older. However, even in Fire Season, we looked at the complexities involved in ecological management, and when a risk is justified.

  3. HelixRook Says:

    Sometimes I find myself forced back to reread stories to gain a better perspective of what was happening to the characters, or to relive the stories.

    I just finished rereading the Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.

    I just started rereading Eragon and the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.

    What I am finding is that I am a reading snob. I find myself frustrated by the writing styles I thought I knew and liked. Rereading Eragon has made me realize that I am very picky when it comes to writing styles.

    The Obsidian Trilogy is rich in detail and focuses outward and inward. The sentence structures flow well.

    With Eragon I am finding laziness. Sloppiness. Casual writing. The writing that children will dive into. Granted this is a children’s book much more than the Obsidian Trilogy was. But as I read through the first book I am left questioning myself as a reader. Am I really such a book snob?

    Part of why I love your writing style is that you are diverse and thoughtful with how you shape your worlds. Your sentences flow more naturally, with less “he did this. She threw that” laziness in every sentence.

    I will continue to reread through the Inheritance Cycle and hope and I can shove my snobbery down enough to enjoy it. I do like reminding myself of the world and how it’s structured. Am I a harsh reader? Prolly. But it’s just how my mind works.

    After rereading the Eragon Cycle I am tempted to retain the children’s fantasy book theme and am looking into the Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Thank you for the compliment. I definitely work at my prose, which is why my revisions take me a while. I don’t think writing for children or a younger audience is any excuse for sloppiness–perhaps less. Nor is it an excuse for younger writer. A good editor can help a lot.

  4. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    I’m very happy to read that your RPG group is able to meet in person again. Little expressive things like eye-rolls, or crooked half-smiles get lost over Zoom or whatever. Plus, pot luck!😂

    Is Jim all recovered? You may have said and I missed it. I took a few weeks away from blog. No reason except it seemed like a good idea😉

    • janelindskold Says:

      Jim is 75% recovered from the knee replacement, which is where he should be. It takes about a year. He is still rebuilding muscle and endurance, including what was lost during the “slow down” pre-surgery. Most people would say he’s “All better,” but he’s aware of what he’s missing and is working to get it back. Thanks so much for asking.

  5. Louis Robinson Says:

    I wound up rereading War of Honor and Honor Among Enemies this week. No good reason that I can tell, other than the discussion we had a while ago triggered something.

    However, that means I haven’t gotten very far on anything new. Still working on Courtesans and Fishcakes – and no, Socrates wouldn’t have been buying wine with loose obols. Apparently that was a serious budget item right alongside bread. Even shelling out for the good stuff.

    I have no idea when your last foray into the Bronze Age Aegean was, but I’m not surprised that you aren’t finding much new. I get the impression that most of the serious open questions about those cultures need some sort of narrative records to answer – they’re things that just don’t turn up in the trash heaps of history, like the social and economic relationships between the palaces and everybody else or the myths and legends and convictions that animated their religious lives. Unfortunately it would appear that nobody except the bean-counters wrote anything down. Either it never occurred to anyone else to do so, or they used media that are so ephemeral we can’t even tell that such records ever existed, never mind read them. Probably why the Greeks gave up on writing for the next 5 centuries: there weren’t enough beans to go around, let alone count, and they hadn’t figured out any other uses for it. A pity, since something like the commercial and domestic correspondence the Assyrian merchants left behind in … [insert name of Hittite city here ;(] would be invaluable in illuminating peoples actual lives in Mycenae or Pylos.

    • janelindskold Says:

      It had been a while since I read both Evan’s own work, and about his digs from secondary sources. And, of course, Schielmann and Troy and all… A lot of writing systems seem to have started with the need to record commercial transactions, so what’s really surprising is how it evolved to record less “important” things like poems and plays and e-mails and all.

      • Louis Robinson Says:

        IIRC there’s some evidence that the Chinese system grew out of divination rather than accounting, but yes, it is wonderful how writing developed from its roots. The interesting thing about how Linear B _didn’t_ develop is that those Greeks would, some of them at least, have seen for themselves the uses writing was being put to in the Levant – the idea of doing something seems to transmit readily even if the specific ways and means didn’t make the jump. I’m inclined to think that the limited use Mycenaean cultures made of writing reflects, if not a conscious decision, at least a definite attitude towards the acquisition and transmission of knowledge. One quite different from their descendants who reengineered the alphabet into an effective and well-adapted system for Greek literature in what seems to have been very short order.

      • Peter Says:

        @Louis Robinson:

        Last I checked (Sinology isn’t my specialty) “evolution from divinatory inscriptions” is pretty much the accepted theory for the development of written Chinese (these then evolved into inscriptions on ritual bronzes used as grave goods, then into “seal script” – still in limited use – for signature seals, and then into the clerical script that’s the direct ancestor of both modern forms of written Chinese (Simplified and Traditional).

      • janelindskold Says:

        Yes. I knew that about the Chinese system, but I did say “a lot.” In both the cases of divination and accounting, there is a desire show to systematize quantities, so that regular results can be acquired. That’s fascinating!

  6. futurespastsite Says:

    I thought at first that opening paragraph was meant to have come from Roary!

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