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Do any fictional apocalypses take place in 2008? I have lost track.

Look, books:
Elizabeth Bear, Carnival
Dorothy L. Sayers, Whose Body?
Laurie J. Marks, Earth Logic
Dorothy L. Sayers, Clouds of Witness
Dorothy L. Sayers, Unnatural Death
Sarah Monette, The Bone Key
Dorothy L. Sayers, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (reread)
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear, A Companion to Wolves
Emma Bull, War for the Oaks
I did actually finish all my papers in time, by the way; sorry I forgot to provide you with closure, livejournal. Assuming that my professors are not each embroiled in a darkly-intentioned conspiracy toward my academic complacency, a possibility which I assure you that I have considered, apparently they (the papers) were all better than it felt like they were at the time. All of the books you see here were completed after I turned the last in on the 14th, in a kind of a delirious state, as I picked up every piece of entertainment that tempted me and cackled at not feeling guilty about it.

Now, or on Monday, school comes back; I'll post an exegesis of my new class schedule shortly. Meanwhile, I have two days to reorient my sleeping schedule so that I can catch that 9 AM bus. Um.

Neko Case has a song called 'Andy', which I think is actually a cover. I like it (musically, I mean), but -- maybe because she says my name separately and with emphasis -- it triggers a false positive in my sense of being addressed in a way that other songs that include it, like the one by the Killers or the one by REM, don't; it is a very peculiar feeling. I wonder if this is how people named Michelle or Cecilia feel all the time? (I dare not contemplate too long the complications of being a Roxanne.)

Date: 2008-01-05 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chiave-trust.livejournal.com
I wonder if the fact that there's a 2, and 8 is 2 to the third power, means something for 2008.

But no, I don't remember any fictional signs of the apocalypse happening in 2008.

Date: 2008-01-05 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meta4mix.livejournal.com
Yes! Only real signs of the apocalypse are good enough for 2008! Death and doom! Rain and gloom! Thunger, lighting, brain and spoom! BWA HA HA HA HA HA!

...ok, I should sleep now. o_O

Date: 2008-01-05 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] verselogic.net (from livejournal.com)
Truely, only the loneliness of Void truely frightens me this 2008.

Date: 2008-01-08 09:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
Most fictional what-was-then-the-near-future apocalypses, like Chrono Trigger's, took place back in 1999; the earliest I can think of offhand is the one in Akira, which wiped out Tokyo in 1992. I did not have a weblog in either of those years (not many people did!), but if I had, maybe I would have made posts celebrating the continuing world on every specified date.

I guess I can still do that for the Mayans, although the rest of the internet will probably have it pretty covered.


-Garran

Date: 2008-01-05 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] masamage.livejournal.com
Or a Sheena, judging by you and Becca every time I mentioned her name. X)

I would also hate to be Stacey's mom.

Or maybe I'd like it.

Date: 2008-01-06 12:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
Neither of those songs are such that one would get the illusory sensation of being personally addressed by the song itself, though, which is what I'm talking about.

Fortunately, which names you are mother of is at this point apparently still within your control!


-Andy

Date: 2008-01-06 12:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] airplaneglue.livejournal.com
Oh it's so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl.
And with the way you look I understand
that you were not impressed.
But I heard you let that little friend of mine
take off your party dress.
I'm not going to get too sentimental
like those other sticky valentines,
'cause I don't know if you've been loving some body.
I only know it isn't mine.
Alison, I know this world is killing you.
Oh, Alison, my aim is true.

uhh yeah this song makes me uncomfortable.

Date: 2008-01-09 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
I wonder how I would feel if the lyrics to 'Andy' were angrier and less vague? As it is I still don't feel like the rest of the lyrics apply to me, which is really my default with songs in the second person, probably because I'm so used to approaching stories as a reader, voyeuristically uninvolved in the narrative -- which I guess is why I found it so strange and striking for the invocation of my name to break through that effect.

Maybe one day I'll write a song with your name in it about how we have never had a bitter love affair and I find you pleasant company. Then, in the middle, final boss music will start to play, and I'll have to fight Elvis Costello. Not the real Elvis Costello, though. A robot.


-Andy H.

Date: 2008-01-09 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
(That they're even trying to apply to me, I mean.)

Date: 2008-01-09 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] masamage.livejournal.com
Holy cow yes.
Edited Date: 2008-01-09 09:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-01-06 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zuki-san.livejournal.com
I got War for the Oaks for christmas from a friend. I need to read it as soon as I tackle the rest of my giant bookstack that I've accumulated since december.

Good thing I have most of january off. =D

Date: 2008-01-10 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
I liked it, though since you're already about to read it but haven't read it yet, I sha'n't go into further detail now. Have you read Emma Bull before?


-Garran

"As My Whimsey Takes Me."

Date: 2008-01-06 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vegetius.livejournal.com
Oh, I say, you're reading the Lord Peter Wimsey novels! Good show, old man!
I rather enjoyed those and was sorry when they came to an end.

Is this a first foray into the mystery genre, or is this not a genre you read often?

Whoops, I forgot about that

Date: 2008-02-03 08:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
Did you mean to have that 'not' in there? If so, then the second option is the right one; I have approached mystery as a genre pretty rarely, though of course I periodically read SF books with mystery plots the same way that I read SF books with romance plots, and my mother watches mysteries on television a lot, so I've absorbed a bunch of genre conventions pretty much by osmosis.

I picked up this series because it's one of those literary works, like Tolkien, such that a large subset of those who've read it bring it up often and with a kind of reverent familiarity, and I wanted to get in on that. (Both the acclaim and my anticipation were particularly focussed on Gaudy Night, but I figured I'd need to read the rest for context.) One of the things that was obvious in reading them is that I actually don't fall into the archetype of the mystery reader in one major way. These books, especially the early ones, tend to start with at least one chapter giving in detail what's apparently established about the case, setting up the base configuration of the evidence, so as to play fair with the reader. I found these chapters consistently boring; they get better as the series progresses, but most of them read to my reader protocols as big, indigestible infodumps. I didn't care about the plot-as-logic-puzzle; I was reading for the characterization and the language use and the well-told story of the investigation. As long as these things were going on, an ending like in the Sherlock Holmes stories where the detective reveals the killer based on evidence that was completely inaccessible to the reader wouldn't bother me at all.

(I actually did guess the killer a couple of times, though.)

Anyway, these got better for me as they went along. By about halfway through Whose Body? I was still thinking, "This is all very thin, isn't it? When is it supposed to get interesting?" (It got interesting once Peter started having his moral dilemma about the ugly consequences of investigation, for what it's worth, so I don't count that book a total loss.) But from The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club on, the proportion of stuff I read with interest and delight to stuff I had to soldier through was pretty firmly weighted on the side of the positive.

Except maybe in Five Red Herrings. But that's for next month's thread.


-Garran

Re: Whoops, I forgot about that

Date: 2008-02-05 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vegetius.livejournal.com
Yes, that "not" should not have been there. And yes, you'll need the context of the previous novels to appreciate fully Gaudy Night. As for Whose Body?, I too felt it was somewhat awkward in execution, but it was the first of the Lord Peter and first books are often unpolished as the writer finds his/her way with the characters.

Incidentally, have you ever heard of the Lord Darcy stories by Randall Garrett? They are fantasy mysteries set in an alternate earth where the Angevin Empire of the Plantagenets did not fall. (The two best known Plantagenets in our world were Richard I "the Lionhearted" and his younger brother, John "Lackland" who lost most of England's holdings in France.) It has been too long since I read them, so I can't really tell you what the characterization was like or if the mysteries were any good. However, it does remain an example of how one can successfully write a mystery in a fantasy or Sci-Fi setting: one has to have knowable, logical rules regarding technology or magic, so the reader can solve the mystery based on the clues given in the story.

For the SF equivalent of Lord Darcy, try Issac Asimov's Robot novels, and the Wendell Urth short stories.

BTW, to round out an order I purchased book four in the Temeraire series, Empire of Ivory. Haven't had a chance to read it yet. Apparently she's up to book five already!

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Andy H.

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