I’ve been forced to prioritize time a bit the last few days with weather-related fallout at work (lightning can do crazy things) and some time that had been set aside for family, and blogging fell behind consistent workouts and sleep.
That said, it’s been productive.
So a few notes/etc.
First, the sad news that Christopher Stasheff is no longer with us. From Cedar Sanderson’s blog:
You see, I first read Chris’ work as a teen way back in the dimly remembered days of the 70s. His first work was A Warlock In Spite Of Himself in 1969, for the next half century he remained one of the best humorous writers of the field. I read everything of his that I could find. From the multitude of Warlock books, to the Starship Troupers story of actors in space. The last book I saw available in stores was The Secular Wizard in 95. When I stopped seeing his books I assumed he wasn’t writing because the Wizard In Rhyme series was as good as anything being published. Considering he had been a published author all my life I assumed he had succumbed to illness or age.
I remember reading The Warlock In Spite of Himself in either late elementary or early middle school – my mother had a copy where the color plates for the cover had been misaligned. I devoured most of the sequels, and one of my favorites overall was actually the kind-of prequel, Escape Velocity, which in retrospect planted the seed for me the later acceptance that we must fight to keep the culture and not cede it to the left. It also included the character of a counter-culture girl who spent much of the book with the main characters, and had it pointed out to her that in her desire to be “different” – she adhered far more closely to the standards of her new group than most “normal” people ever did.
Much like you can spot goths, hippies, etc. a mile away, as their supposed lack of uniformity is nevertheless distinct, and… uniform.
His high point likely was his Wizard in Rhyme series, starting with Her Majesty’s Wizard. Always loved the DKS cover for it, and it planted other realizations in me that the west had its own traditions, meditations, etc. to parallel and match much of what was supposedly so much deeper in “eastern” culture, in a day and age where it was trendy to look to Zen and the east because, like, it was deep, man.
Not that there aren’t lessons to be learned there, either.
More later today.