Archive for January, 2004

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January 29, 2004

Fire alarm today – I stupidly left my tea mug in the office so had to stand outside in the snow and imagine the tea getting cooler by the minute. Grump. It was a real alarm, not a fire drill; no fire though, probably something to do with the building work going on throughout the building complex.

And I must get an abstract written – how do you write an abstract of a nonexistant paper? Or in this case a not-yet-produced conference presentation. Aigh! Panic! And Nat arrives tomorrow and I haven’t tidied up the house even a little bit. And the book-seller man mentioned in my Monday posting hasn’t written back to me to say if he still has the Liavek books. Wah!

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January 26, 2004

I found the first two books in the Liavek series in a list of fantasy books for sale. I really hope they haven’t been sold already – I have no idea how long that list has been on the web. The Liavek books are really difficult to find; I’ve scoured the book rooms at several Eastercons and a Readercon without finding more than one – the fifth, which I promptly bought. At the same time, Thieves’ World, that miserable excuse for a fantasy series, is ubiquitous. Oh, maybe “miserable excuse” is unnecessarily harsh – I have read one or two worthwile short stories in the two or three books I’ve read – but Liavek is so much better that comparison becomes ridiculous.

In both cases the concept is shared world: a group of authors all write short stories about the same place. Which is a fantasy world, in the case of both Liavek and Thieves’ World (no, not the same one, they spin their tales about two different worlds.) I’m not sure if it just the fact that most of the authors of the former series are among my favourite fantasy writers (Brust, Lindholm, Bull and Yolen, for instance) but the Liavek stories manage to build a coherent world with fascinating characters and a great mix of sad, funny, exciting and thoughtful stories, while Thieves’ World constantly trips over its own clichés. In any case, the Liavek series is hard to get but very well worth the effort. If you like well-written fantasy and/or short stories, try and get hold of it – only please wait until I’ve gotten the first four volumes.

Hopefully, no 1 and 2 are within my reach.

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January 26, 2004

And on Friday Nat arrives, and will be here until Wednesday. Am really looking forward to that… and hoping the weather won’t suddenly decide to turn warm and start thawing!

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January 26, 2004

Ho hum. Once you get out of the habit it ain’t so easy getting it back.

A couple of linky things first. The penguin-thwapper has been making the rounds at various link sites and mailing lists; I’ve seen three completely different URLs for it… presumably that means it’s been illegaly copied from somewhere but I have no idea which address is the original site. It’s strangely addictive and very cute, though.

Something that has been making the rounds at the department is one particularly amusing page from the Forsbacka web site. Terry nearly died from laughter when I sent it to her – which was very gratifying of course 🙂

Extremely cool – although only in the figurative sense – is the Fannish Beadspread (Finnish as well as Fannish as a matter of fact). Sari has blogged about it so I need not comment, other than to say that it’s a marvellous piece of work and the story of its making is great.

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January 17, 2004

Yay yay visitor from foreign parts coming here Very Soon yayy!!

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January 14, 2004

I have been spending the best part of my youth – well, of today at any rate – correcting vocab tests for the A-level (first-term) students. It wass depressing. Granted, I haven’t seen the questions (I got a sheaf of papers with multiple-choice answers) but surely it can’t have been difficult enough to warrant that only one fifth of the students got more than 50% right? But there it was.

Am now going off to the cinema to watch a movie with Johan and half a dozen people from the dept.

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January 13, 2004

I don’t feel terribly sad and upset about this:

Winner of the Mozzie award for best World/Svenska editor of 2003

Nope, it doesn’t feel bad at all.