Keepers of the Flame

In his acknowledgment for Blue Remembered Earth, Alastair Reynolds wrote: “For Stephen Baxter and Paul McAuley: friends, colleagues and keepers of the flame.” Of course, they are the giant Keepers, innovators of new Fire and trailblazers to new worlds. We, readers of Science Fiction, might we not think of ourselves, in our own small way, Keepers as well? By the simple notion that by tenaciously reading SF we are spreading its memes. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was Science Fiction and with this mighty Word worlds of all kinds and shapes were, and are still being, forged.

Dark Charisma – Veneer of Dictators

I recently watched the Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler. Fascinating and disturbing. On film and in real life I saw my share of this brand of charisma, Sukarno, Mao Tze Tung, by force of voice, show of strength, flaunting the halo of saviour while fomenting hatred. By now people should know how to strip these embellishments down to the bare bones and see the human flaws and ugliness beneath the veneer. I doubt it. A vehement voice proclaiming promises of gold and glory and people will flock to it in droves.

A Week of Reflection

First of all, my website has been renovated! Thanks to David Alfonzo, Webmaster. I simply don’t have the time and the expertise but my site now has a new flavour until the next update.

In the meantime, I’ve finished China Mieville’s THE IRON COUNCIL. Dark, dank and delicious. Mieville’s tale doesn’t focus on characters you can identify with, rather his powerful images are centred on places and settings, and on his monsters. In his PERDIDO STREET STATION, I was more attracted to his ravenous slake moths than to his human protagonists. What can I say–I have a darkly slanted mind.

Lastly, these weeks since Easter was a time of sadness. You may not work closely with a person in your office other than chance meetings in the hallway or the lounge but when that person, a young person, has passed on so suddenly, it leaves a void, and sad, very sad memories. Rest in peace. The troubles of this earth are behind you.