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breeden
ursulav

Oh, yeah, art...

That's right, y'all come here for the art, right?

http://yerf.com/vernursu/morningdragon.jpg

One of the handful of pieces to actually derive from personal experience...I had a hard time getting up yesterday. (And I just now noticed that levels and erasing did not clear up some woggy bits at the edges. Bugger.)

breeden
ursulav

Oh, yeah, art…

That’s right, y’all come here for the art, right?

http://yerf.com/vernursu/morningdragon.jpg

One of the handful of pieces to actually derive from personal experience…I had a hard time getting up yesterday. (And I just now noticed that levels and erasing did not clear up some woggy bits at the edges. Bugger.)

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


breeden
ursulav

Well, I Tried

I bought Neil Stephenson's "Quicksilver" and tried to read it.

*sigh*

After taking three days to get twenty pages, it got dumped on my try-again-when-cashflow-limits-ability-to-buy-new-books pile, with regret.

I loved "Snow Crash." Still one of my all time favorites. I quite liked "Zodiac." Unfortunately, I think he's jumped the shark, and in fact, I'll go so far as to pinpoint the exact moment of shark-jumping, about two-thirds of the way through "The Diamond Age." It's all been downhill from there.

See, Stephenson has one great strength--his writing. His absurd, Sam-Spade-on-crack, similies doing things you didn't think a similie could do, writing. This keeps me endlessly amused. I will put up with remarkably silly plot devices if they're delivered with that much wit and verve.

He comes up with some neat ideas, too, but let's face it, neat ideas in the cyberpunk genre are a dime a dozen. You just don't write the genre unless you have some neat ideas. There are standards to maintain above and beyond the neat idea level. Generally, I'll grant you, some of his ideas are neat enough to transcend the genre, but still, that's not the main reason I read.

He has two great weaknesses. He cannot end a book to save his life, for one, and he has an apallingly obnoxious habit of jumping around in chronology like a time traveller with a nervous tic and a bad bladder. An editor had a sacred duty to break him of this habit when it first emerged, and they fell down on the job.

Now, I am shallow, I admit, and I am an egotist of the first water, so I can be easily appeased by a shallow plot as long as it's elegantly decked out in clever writing that makes me feel smart. Stephenson can do that like nobody's business.

Unfortunately, he stopped doing that. "Cryptonomicon" had some great moments, but it had a lot of non-moments, and it was a hard slog getting to the fairly unsatisfying ending. But I kept going because of the rare nuggets of brilliant Stephenson writing.

I can't do that with Quicksilver. We've gone several chapters, bounced around in chronology, and had no charming verbal moments to reward me for my ability to multitask the timeline.

Alas. I wanted so much to like it. I love Baroque. I loved Stephenson. But I just can't manage it. Someday, when I am desperate, I will try again, but for now--in the words of Websnark.com, "You had me and you lost me."

breeden
ursulav

Well, I Tried

I bought Neil Stephenson’s “Quicksilver” and tried to read it.

*sigh*

After taking three days to get twenty pages, it got dumped on my try-again-when-cashflow-limits-ability-to-buy-new-books pile, with regret.

I loved “Snow Crash.” Still one of my all time favorites. I quite liked “Zodiac.” Unfortunately, I think he’s jumped the shark, and in fact, I’ll go so far as to pinpoint the exact moment of shark-jumping, about two-thirds of the way through “The Diamond Age.” It’s all been downhill from there.

See, Stephenson has one great strength–his writing. His absurd, Sam-Spade-on-crack, similies doing things you didn’t think a similie could do, writing. This keeps me endlessly amused. I will put up with remarkably silly plot devices if they’re delivered with that much wit and verve.

He comes up with some neat ideas, too, but let’s face it, neat ideas in the cyberpunk genre are a dime a dozen. You just don’t write the genre unless you have some neat ideas. There are standards to maintain above and beyond the neat idea level. Generally, I’ll grant you, some of his ideas are neat enough to transcend the genre, but still, that’s not the main reason I read.

He has two great weaknesses. He cannot end a book to save his life, for one, and he has an apallingly obnoxious habit of jumping around in chronology like a time traveller with a nervous tic and a bad bladder. An editor had a sacred duty to break him of this habit when it first emerged, and they fell down on the job.

Now, I am shallow, I admit, and I am an egotist of the first water, so I can be easily appeased by a shallow plot as long as it’s elegantly decked out in clever writing that makes me feel smart. Stephenson can do that like nobody’s business.

Unfortunately, he stopped doing that. “Cryptonomicon” had some great moments, but it had a lot of non-moments, and it was a hard slog getting to the fairly unsatisfying ending. But I kept going because of the rare nuggets of brilliant Stephenson writing.

I can’t do that with Quicksilver. We’ve gone several chapters, bounced around in chronology, and had no charming verbal moments to reward me for my ability to multitask the timeline.

Alas. I wanted so much to like it. I love Baroque. I loved Stephenson. But I just can’t manage it. Someday, when I am desperate, I will try again, but for now–in the words of Websnark.com, “You had me and you lost me.”

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

Has anybody ever heard of Mare's Eggs?

According to James, they're a type of weird rare algae that grows in three spots in Oregon where the water never changes temperature more than three degrees and forms large balls that are called, poetically if inaccurately, "mare's eggs."

We can find no photos and very limited on-line resources--enough to show that he's evidentally not hallucinating, but not enough to show me what one looks like.

Given the way my LJ seems to work, however, I would be totally unsurprised to find that one of my readers has, in fact, done their doctoral thesis on it, keeps one as a pet, and wants to commission art of the Mare's Egg Totem, so I figured I'd toss it out there and see if anybody else has heard of 'em.

breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

Has anybody ever heard of Mare’s Eggs?

According to James, they’re a type of weird rare algae that grows in three spots in Oregon where the water never changes temperature more than three degrees and forms large balls that are called, poetically if inaccurately, “mare’s eggs.”

We can find no photos and very limited on-line resources–enough to show that he’s evidentally not hallucinating, but not enough to show me what one looks like.

Given the way my LJ seems to work, however, I would be totally unsurprised to find that one of my readers has, in fact, done their doctoral thesis on it, keeps one as a pet, and wants to commission art of the Mare’s Egg Totem, so I figured I’d toss it out there and see if anybody else has heard of ‘em.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.