Hard to decipher all the signage, but this was two rally novice titles with first and second place. Just starting the journey…

The Blue Hound Beagles are, primarily, agility dogs.
But they looove tracking. They clamor for obedience work. Boy, do they want to hunt those ratties and chase that plastic bag lure! I’ve always done crosstraining with them to some degree, for both body and mind (but not for my wallet…).

Connery: CH MACH3 Cedar Ridge DoubleOSeven VCD1 RE MXC MJG MXP MJP XF EAC EJC CGC

(That is, Beauty Contest AGILITY AGILITY AGILITY Versatility with Tracking, Obedience, and Agility, More Obedience Stuff Rally Stuff AGILITY AGILITY AGILITY More Agility!)

Dart: Albedo’s Charter Member VCD1 BN GN RE MX MJB CA CGC

(Versatility with Tracking, Obedience, & Agility, More Obedience stuff Rally stuff AGILITY AGILITY Coursing! Continue reading

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Story Excerpt Sunday: from Memory by Linda Nagata


by Linda Nagata

I sighed deeply and shoved the savant away, watching its silvery wing-shape bobble on the air, wondering what Yaphet would choose to do. It was Moki’s soft growl that brought me back to the present.

He stood on the rock beside me, staring down the escarpment, at the track we had come up that afternoon.  I leaned forward, striving to see past the darkness beneath the trees, fully expecting Kaphiri to appear on the trail we had made, a shadow walking out of the shadows, but I could see nothing.  I heard nothing, but Moki growled again and when I laid a comforting hand on his back I felt his red fur raised high.

It might be a lion stalking us.  And my rifle was still on my bike.  “Liam!” I shouted, and my voice echoed across the escarpment.

I listened for the sound of some great creature charging through the forest below, but I heard only Liam and Udondi calling me. “Jubilee!  Where are you?” Continue reading

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Consideration of Works Past: Farnham’s Freehold

(Picture from here.)

I’ve been avoiding writing this post for a bit now. Heck, I’ve been avoiding reading Farnham’s Freehold for a while now. There is a whole lot of controversy on that book. While race showed up regularly in his work, FF was the only book where he attempted to actually confront it.

There was a controversy about Podkayne of Mars. It is nothing compared to the controversy around Farnham’s Freehold.

Spoiler alert: it’s a bad book and not worth re-reading.

But not for the reasons one might think. Or, at least, not solely for those reasons. Continue reading

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Haunted by Jane Austen

RegencyPicnicSmallA literary ramble through England:

“We’re being haunted by Jane Austen,” my husband Thor declared by the midpoint of our recent two-week jaunt through the midlands and southern England. It seemed that every town or village where we lighted had the birthplace, a dwelling, or the gravesite of the author. Which suited me just fine, since I’m a big fan of her novels, but it was spooking my normally logical scientist mate–all Sense to my Sensibility. The cracks were starting to appear as we hiked over the fields to Stonehenge, where he admitted there might be something to the ancient powers of the place. But that’s another story…. Continue reading

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The Lego Movie: A Very Short Review

by Brenda W. Clough

lego This is not a movie that I intended to see. I do not do Legos, I do novels, which are very similar only you have to make the pieces. But my son, who is oppressed by his un-cool parents, told me that I had to see it. And still I dragged my heels, until I was trapped in an airplane seat on a transatlantic flight, and had cranked out over ten thousand words of fiction in three days. Suddenly my brain was slush and I had to gafiate. And there was this movie!

Continue reading

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Find Your Passion

Pamela LongI was thrilled by this year’s MacArthur grant list.  So many fascinating people doing so much meaningful work.

Poets. Musicians. Scientists. Lawyers. An artist using Houston’s Third Ward and the people who live there as his canvas. Alison Bechdel!

I was particularly impressed by Pamela O. Long, an independent historian of science and technology. Partly that’s because she’s 71 and still working; it always makes me happy when people recognize that folks don’t turn into pumpkins at some pre-determined age.

But it’s also because she’s an independent scholar – someone who has cobbled together a serious career in historical research out of grants, fellowships, and the occasional visiting professor or adjunct job.

That is, she’s spent her life doing the work that she wanted to do. She had a passion. Continue reading

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WWW Wednesday 9-17-2014

It’s WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.

• What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson. David Lean’s classic movie has been iconic for me since before I knew what “iconic” meant (my father used to take me to the cinema sometimes, in that way of divorced parents everywhere, and I sometimes think my taste for epic fictions was born even before I read The Lord of the Rings), and Lawrence’s own narrative was research for me fifteen years ago, when I was writing the Outremer series. It felt nothing but inevitable, then, that a new biography would be research again, on a totally different project. (If Mars were a province of the British Empire? Of course Lawrence would have gone there, when he was struggling to reinvent himself far from the public eye…) Continue reading

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Old Yanks in the New Forest: ponies

find the pony in the forest...he has the right of way

find the pony in the forest…he has the right of way

So my husband and I went to London for the World Science Fiction Convention, and afterward visited the New Forest, which is situated in the southwest corner of England, right up against Wales. I’d been wanting to see the New Forest for a long time. My fascination with big trees had me picturing all sorts of wilderness things. Some British form of Sasquatch. At least some wild horses. Continue reading

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10% Above the Waterline

In the days when I was reading slush (unsolicited manuscripts to the fortunately uninitiated) we had a rule of thumb: the more “supporting materials” came with a fantasy manuscript, the more likely the MS was to be rotten. This wasn’t a hard and fast rule: some manuscripts that came with this stuff were okay; few were top-notch. A beginner mistake is to assume that, as finished books have these things, it’s necessary for the aspiring writer to provide them.

Really: no it’s not.

First of all: it reads like a newbie mistake (see above). Second of all, the more detailed and lavish the supporting materials are, the more likely the story itself has been shorted, because the writer has gotten so wound up in providing the schematics for the world (and showing you that they’re all, all there!) that she has forgotten things like logic, character, and wordcraft.

This does not mean that the writer should not do her homework, keep charts and research files and maps and whatever else makes it possible for her to construct a world.   Continue reading

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BVC Announces Spiral Path by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel

Spiral Path by Katharine Eliska KimbrielSpiral Path
Night Calls 3
by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel

“The world is woven of secrets.”

Ritual magic mixes dangerously with wild magic. Yet Alfreda Sorensson’s talent has grown until she becomes a target for worldly and unworldly powers. Now, to save her soul, she must leave her pioneer home in the Michigan Territory to take refuge at an elite New York school, where her wild magic places her in direct conflict with the ritual taught to young Americans and Europeans. Continue reading

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