Record of a Spaceborn Few, pp. 38 – 40

Self is enjoying this book. She didn’t think she would, because of the alternating viewpoints.  But she already likes one character a lot: Sawyer.

She loves Becky Chambers’s world-building. It is multi-layered and also precise.

For instance, there’s some kind of class system (with Humans somewhat farther down on the scale than they are right now, lol). Self knows this because Sawyer bags a transport to The Fleet. There, he immediately encounters “a branching sign that read Cargo Bays on the right and Central Plaza on the left, all the scales and claws went right.”

Sawyer is “a grounder.” He’s never been to the Fleet before. As a grounder, he’s used to mingling with ‘species.’

But suddenly he’s in a place where there are mostly humans. They speak a language called Ensk. Sawyer isn’t used to speaking Ensk: “His face said Human. His vowels said Harmagian.”

He looks for a place to eat and stops at Jojo’s (What a mundane name for a restaurant of the future!) and asks a woman behind the counter for a menu: “Exoskeletons crunched between her hands.” The woman tells Sawyer, “We’re out of red coaster stew.” So Sawyer says, “I’ll have twice-round pickle.”

Already self’s insides are roiling, imagining what goes into this dish. Sawyer’s insides are roiling as well, since he can’t see what the preparer is doing: “Something was chopped, something was ladled, a few bottles were shaken.”

Too funny.

Self would like to thank The Guardian for recommending Record of a Spaceborn Few. And for recommending The Essex Serpent and November Road.

Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Smooth

Self missed last week’s Fun Foto Challenge. But this week, the Challenge is SMOOTH.

Here are: a sidewalk near Fleet Street, London (smooth sidewalk); a canal in Cambridge (smooth, tranquil boat ride); and sweet potato fries and an assortment of (smooth) dips!

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London, Near Fleet Street: 20 November 2018

And here’s Cambridge University, during last November’s Cambridge Literary Festival:

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Cambridge, England: 25 November 2018

And here’s a dish from Coupa Cafe, whose owner might be Venezuelan because there are a number of Venezuelan items on the menu:

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Sweet Potato Fries w/ an Assortment of Dips: Coupa Cafe, Los Altos, CA

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Selma Blair, Beautiful

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Went to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party! YES! Look at that gown — beautiful and ethereal. Who was the designer?

This actress is so beautiful and so fierce.

She told Vanity Fair that she realized, finally, that what she really wanted to do was to act. “But I don’t know if it’s too late.”

SELMA, YOU CAN ACT.

Stay tuned.

We Meet Aliens: Record of a Spaceborn Few, p. 16

A hatch yawned open. How, Kip couldn’t say, because there weren’t any edges on the outer hull to suggest doors or seams. The crowd broke into a cheer as three Aeluons stepped out. Kip had really wanted to see them up close, but even at a distance, they made his heart race. Bare silver heads he knew were covered in tiny scales. Patches on their cheeks that swirled with color.

abstract architecture background buildings

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Now Reading RECORD OF A SPACEBORN FEW: Isabel (pp. 8 – 9)

The rest of the Exodus Fleet was out there, thirty homestead ships besides her own, orbiting together in a loose, measured cluster. All was as it should be . . . except one, tangled in a violent shroud of debris. She could see where the pieces belonged — a jagged breach, a hollow where homes and walls had been. She could see sheet metal, crossbeams, odd specks scattered between. She could tell, even from this distance, that many of those specks were not made of metal or plex. They were too curved, too irregular, and they changed shape as they tumbled. They were Human. They were bodies.

photography of stars and galaxy

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Gary Kamiya Again

  • Hundreds of giant bison, weighing two tons and standing more than eight feet high, headed through the Golden Gate on their seasonal migration, next to the roaring river . . . At the top of the food chain stood the American lion and the short-faced bear.

— from The Alcatraz Triangle, Ch. 3 of Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco

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San Francisco, Viewed From Point Richmond: February 2015

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View of the Mendocino Headlands from Main Street

Tomorrow, straight to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Sentence of the Day: Gary Kamiya

The oldest skeleton found in the City is that of a female, unearthed during excavation for the Civic Center BART station in 1969, dating to about 5,000 years ago.

— from Cool Gray City of Love, Chapter 3: The Alcatraz Triangle

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Fourth Sunday of February 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

For NOVEMBER ROAD, Memories of a Long-Ago Las Vegas

Lou Berney’s thriller, November Road, is nearing its mournful denoument. The killer’s getting closer and closer.

NOOOOO!!!

Before we get there, however, there’s the 1963 Las Vegas Strip, where Frank Guidry discovers his past and Charlotte discovers her future.

Las Vegas was the one place self associates with “family vacation” — the one place we returned to, year after year, for about five years. We’d stay at a hotel — either the Bellagio, the Venetian, the Paris, or the MGM Grand — and loll by the pool and take in a show. We’d grow fat at hotel buffets. Here’s a picture of self and son, taken about 15 years ago, at Hoover Dam. How ironic that this is the ONE picture she has of a particular trip. And it’s not even IN Las Vegas.

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With Son at Hoover Dam, Just Outside Las Vegas, a Lifetime Ago

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Alita, Robert Rodriguez, November Road

At one point, close to the end of Alita: Battle Angel, self started to see if she could correctly predict the outcome. There was the cute guy (who looks A LOT like one of self’s nephews), the charming father figure (Christoph Waltz) and the Evil Henchman (Ed Skrein). At a certain point, self found herself hoping for a certain outcome, which meant that she was vested. And then she realized she was watching Robert Rodriguez, not Guillermo del Toro. And she suddenly knew the outcome. Which gave her a very satisfying feeling of closure.

Alita: Battle Angel — Five Stars

Now, she is at a point in her current read, November Road, where all characters and all plot lines begin to intersect. And they intersect in what is surely one of America’s most beautiful and most mysterious states: New Mexico. There’s a tiny hamlet called Goodnight that has one sheriff, one deputy, and one jail cell.

Here’s a Wikipedia page about the Goodnight Trail, if anyone’s interested.

The book’s veering into No Country For Old Men territory, with this one crucial difference: the MC, Frank Guidry, is good-looking. AND smart.

Since she’s never read Lou Berney before, she has no idea what authorial quirks are coming into play. She has a feeling, though, that Berney is going to be true to the genre. And that genre is noir.

The writing is of the hard-boiled crime genre category (which is to say, self loves it).

p. 136: Seraphine was fond of Guidry, he knew, but that and a nickel would get him one song on the jukebox.

See what self means?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Missing Cora Seaborne . . .

If self had known a Cora Seaborne in her life, she’d undoubtedly be her best friend. She and Cora would read books, argue about them, and get mud on their shoes and under their nails. They’d collect useless stuff on their walks.

Actresses self thinks could play her:

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Rebecca Hall

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Romola Garai

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Emma Thompson

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Olivia Colman

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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