The entirety of the Book of the New Sun, its essence, boils down to one single beautiful paragraph.
What struck me on the beach–and it struck me indeed, so that I staggered as at a blow–was that if the Eternal Principle had rested in that curved thorn I had carried about my neck across so many leagues, and if it now rested in the new thorn (perhaps the same thorn) I had only now put there, then it might rest in everything, in every thorn in every bush, in every drop of water in the sea. The thorn was a sacred Claw because all thorns were sacred Claws; the sand in my boots was sacred sand because it came from a beach of sacred sand. The cenobites treasured up the relics of the sannyasins because the sannyasins had approached the Pancreator. But everything had approached and even touched the Pancreator, because everything had dropped from his hand. Everything was a relic. All the world was a relic. I drew off my boots, that had traveled with me so far, and threw them into the waves that I might not walk shod on holy ground.
— Gene Wolfe, The Book of the New Sun
(The Citadel of the Autarch, chapter 31)
I kind of felt this, when I wandered the streets of Rome, and everything, everything felt Holy, and ancient, and new, and forever, and to touch and walk there was an act like none other.
Outside of Castle Clinton, on the tip of Manhattan, is a sculpture called “The Immigrants”
I thought today of all days, with Trump’s Executive Order regarding refugees, that it was time to share it.
DUFF, the Down Under Fan Fund, was created by John Foyster in 1970 as a means of increasing the face-to-face communication between science fiction fans in Australia and New Zealand, and North America. It was based on an earlier fan fund called TAFF which did the same for fans in Europe and North America. Other fan funds have spun off from these two, all in the name of promoting a better understanding of worldwide fandom.
So every year, either an Australian delegate comes up to North America, or an American goes “Down Under”. They switch back and forth year to year.
2017, its North America to Australia, and I have declared myself a candidate.
If you are a fan in Science Fiction, you can vote for me:
Anyone may vote who has been active in fandom on or before January 1, 2017. “Active in fandom” is defined as being involved in fannish pursuits such as fanzine writing or reading, convention running or attending, amateur film, video or podcast production and/or club participation. Only natural persons may vote and may vote only once.
Your vote has to be accompanied by a donation to the Down Under Fan Fund.
And you can vote HERE:
Help me get to Australia!
2016 SF Total 47
2016 Fantasy Total 61
2016 Non Fiction total 22
2016 Fiction total 2
Paper book 64
Audio book 38
Total books 132
Philip K Dick gets the most by one author win, with 13 books by him.
I DO need to read more by women. Too much sausage in my diet. I noticed that I would get into “Streaks” of just reading women. I need to be more consistent.
My Award Eligbility for the year 2016
Sadly, I had no eligible fiction posted
I had *plenty* to nominate me for Best Fan Writer:
My reviews and columns at Skiffy and Fanty
My reviews and columns at Tor.com
My reviews and interviews at BN Sci Fi
Two podcasts I frequent the most are eligible for Best Fancast
I am eligible for the Skiffy and Fanty Podcast
I am also eligible for the SFF Audio Podcast
I would be most honored if you would nominate me.
“The General? She’ll always be royalty to me.”
There is an afterlife. There are many of them, but that is not germane to this story.
In the lounge of the afterlife reserved for those who lead states and nations, Ramesses II, former Pharaoh of Egypt, sat at the bar, alone. The television was not turned to a dead channel, rather, it was, as always , showing the doing of current world leaders. Ramesses has watched his successors, Roman Emperors, Chinese rulers, Mongol Khans and more have paraded over the gigantic screen.
After all, it pays to know who will be joining you in that afterlife one day. No one admitted who created the thing, but it was older than him.
On screen today was Donald J Trump, President Elect of the United States (and what was that, electing their rulers? Weren’t they tired of that yet?) spouting lies and half truths. Part of the screen showed his running twitter feed. That was full of lies and half truths, too.
“Amateur!” Ramesses muttered into his beer. Hopefully Jadwiga would be up and about soon. She owed him a game of chess.
“The results of Simulation 857b are in, ma’am.”
“And? Spit it out.”
“The simulation ended on Julian Day 2458126. Nuclear War.”
“The Election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States and the invention of Twitter.”
Merry Christmas one and all
2016 was a hard year on many fronts for a lot of people. Beloved singers and actors died. A reality show creator became President. And much much more.
I got to go on several adventures this year, take pictures and see things old and new. I’m going to focus on those, because positivity is something that
is valuable to everyone. You can read about the horribleness of Trump, and the loss of Prince, Bowie, and others elsewhere. I raise a glass to their
memory, and hold tight to the fact that I will work against our Chaotic Evil President-Elect (soon to be President).
So where did I go?
I made several trips to the North Shore in 2016. The furthest North I got was Cascade River State Park, just short of Grand Marais. I didn’t spend
any nights on the shore this year, because of the cost. I hope for a longer trip up there in 2017. I did make a “butterfly friend” after all
I made a trip to Colorado in August, to see Felicia and Dani, who were on a trip from Arkansas to Montana and back. While in Colorado, the three of
us set a personal above-sea-level-not-in-a-plane record with a drive up Mt. Evans to 14130 feet. (Higher than Pike’s Peak by a few feet!). I strongly
recommend the drive up Mt. Evans. It costs, but the views and the experience made it more than worth it. I wish I had had a thicker jacket, though.
Also in Colorado, separately from the Olsons, I set a record for furthest West of the year, while I was in Glacier Gorge in RMNP. That was the trip
where I got lost and got this picture in trying to get myself unlost:
I also got to hike with Courtney Schafer and Alex Acks in a spot almost due south of Glacier Gorge in a different part of the front range. That was a lot of fun too.
In September, I headed East, seeing Family and Friends and more
I finished my trips for the year with a fall color trip to Itasca.