TAKE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, STAR A grumpy Chicagoan, people the landscape with characters and places from the world’s literature and you have Silverlock — a fable of the human spirit no less great or more complex a story than a man discovering the world of letters and how it changes him. I have read it twice now, once from the depths of a great spiritual crisis, and the effect is almost electric. Half the fun is spotting the references; another half is author John Myers Myers’ love of language; a third half is how it makes you feel. Silverlock may or may not change your life, but it will certainly change your view of storytelling — and isn’t that sometimes the same thing?
If I had cared to live, I would have died.
A storm had come up. While not sick, I found my bunk the most comfortable place, leaving it only to take my meals. Dozing after supper, I learned of disaster when a wave bashed in the door of my deck cabin. The backwash sluiced me out of it and stranded me by a stowage locker.
WHAT THE HUMANS DIDN’T REALIZE was that, for everyone else in the galaxy, it was largely considered bad form, and even bad luck, to visit planets settled by intelligent apes. (You’d think the quality of their UFO sightings would be a tip-off.)
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GOOGLE RETURNS ABOUT 29,700 HITS for “bantha milk,” AKA “blue milk” — it’s of what Luke Skywalker poured himself a glassful in the original Star Wars
, banthas being those giant horned elephants-in-costumes of the same film. Fans love banthas, and as fans also love snacks many have devised their own recipes for bantha milk. This is (so far as I know) original to me, although with 29,700 people writing about it there’s bound to be some
- 16 oz whole milk
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 egg (if the Force is strong with you)
- 1 drop blue food coloring
Put ingredients in blender. Blend at high speed for 1 minute. Pour into white plastic tumbler and serve.
FLYING OVER EARTH IN THE International Space Station? This is what it looks like.
A BUOPOTH IS A STRANGE beast: some say it is half-composed of men’s dreams, others prefer not to speculate. But of the little that is known, one thing is certain: no matter what shape it takes, its eyes are the most soulful of any creature in all the Exilic Lands.
One of these eyes was fixed on Prosatio Silban as the cook approached with a bag of fatberry cakes. “Buopoths can run all day on a fatberry cake and a kind word” ran the proverb, and today had certainly proved it: a brisk sixteen-hour galleywagon pull along the Reaching Road through the light-forested countryside north of Soharis. Prosatio Silban dug into the bag and surveyed his environs. A fine evening, and a good place to camp. He patted the beast, told it what a good buopoth it was, and made plans for dinner. Read more »
DESPITE ITS HELIOSHEATH-BREAKING ACCOMPLISHMENTS, or perhaps because of them, I can’t help but regret, just a little, that there’s no “NCC-1701” decal on Voyager 1.
But at least there’s Beethoven. That almost makes up for it.
SO NASA HAS JUST RELEASED a nifty web application that lets you whiz about the solar system in real time and swoop in next to planets and satellites and space probes to see what they’re doing (or at least what the programmers know that the scientists know that they’re doing). It’s called, appropriately, “Eyes On The Solar System” and if you don’t click on http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/eyes/ RIGHT NOW and try it boy will YOU be sorry. (Between this, Google Earth and Minecraft, the inner and outer worlds should mesh any day now.)
Prosatio Silban in his galleywagon / Illo (c) 2008 Alana Dill, http://youbecomeart.com
PROSATIO SILBAN WAS NOT KNOWN for nothing as “The Cook For Any Price.” He had long ago foresworn the Sacreanthood and serving people’s souls for serving their bellies and letting the souls look after themselves. Yet every now and again, he wondered if his gods were still playing tricks on him.
He was cleaning up his galleywagon late one night at the edge of one of Soharis’ more workaday fish markets, making ready to fold down the canopy-bulkhead, when the Siddis appeared.
Now, to understand this story, you must know that cosmopolitan Soharis, perched on the edge of the Rimless Sea and the Lands of Exile beyond the sunset, is the sort of place where one may expect to meet almost anyone at almost any time. But at that, it is rare to meet a Siddis — more properly the Siddis, since only has one ever been seen anywhere, and of that rose-red robe-wrapped one little is known save that they or he inhabited a city somewhere in the Great Eastern Desert and their or his presence portended unsettling things.
Prosatio Silban was intrigued. He was also tired from a reasonably profitable day selling fish skewers and goat pasties to Soharis’ shop-clerks and porters and was looking forward to putting his feet up. But he could not deny a hungry customer. “Good evening, sir.” Read more »
“MY NAME IS 010180,” SAID the friendly robot. “But you can call me 0.”
FOLLOWING ON THE INFORMATION REVEALED in “Who Is This Prosatio Silban, And What Does he Want?” here is a chart listing the Exilic Lands’ inhabitants. It’s meant as a quick reference rather than a last word.
Attentive readers will recognize some of what’s named herein but may or may not have light shed thereby, so: the Xao, Xoa and X are, like the Aydnzmri and Mazei, descended from the “Old Men” whose ancient war broke the Lands, but unlike their more refined counterparts reverted to barbarism. Read more »
THERE MUST BE A WAY to get rich selling extra spaces as attachments for Scrabble boards…
QUIZ SHOW OVERHEARD ON THE TV as I entered the living room:
That’s right, ‘Illuminati’ is the answer! You’ve won $100!”