Susan’s Salon: 2020 July 12/13

An open thread to just chat about whatever. Posted early Monday Sydney time (still Sunday in most places) . It’s OK to be sad, worried, angry or happy (or all of those things at once). Please feel free to post either troubling news or pleasant distractions in the comments for this open thread. [However, no cranky conflicts between each other in the comments. Links, videos, cat pictures etc are fine – be nice to one another!] Whatever you like but be nice to one another 😇

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28 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2020 July 12/13

  1. I gathered my courage and wrote my first Dune review ever. It’s special to me.
    First working week after vacation has been crazy as ever. I already feel stretched thin over too much work again, just like Bilbo.
    And I‘m back in reading routine: A story a day keeps the boredom away.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was looking through A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms (G.A. Wilkes 1978) and “timothy” is another word for a brothel. Is this why they’re also called cathouses?

    This is pretty close to the definition of “Tilly Devine” which is rhyming slang for wine. Can you imagine anyone actually using “Tilly Devine” in conversation? I could see “red ned,” but using four syllables for wine seems excessive.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy that Hugo voting is open at last and that we have a week extension. I have the main things I wanted to get looked at done. Now it’s just seeing what else I can fit in and making my final ranking tweaks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am pretty much done with “Things I want to have done” and I am now in the “let’s try to get the last catagory in” mode. (Voted today a second time). I am happy with it.
      Just a tipp, If you are looking at the retros the Snall Dramatic Presentations are worth a look (House of Frankenstein is the weakest of those) exspecially It Happened Tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m dealing better with offline (consensus) reality. Having a few things, instead of only one, with which to anchor myself in time is making a difference.

    Now it’s “this farmers market is on Sunday, or Andy can walk to that other one on Thursday afternoon” to go with which day our trash is collected, and that my girlfriend will be busy every Sunday evening.

    “July” I can do by plants and day lengths and such, but what is Tuesday anyhow?


  5. I just finished Kate Elliott’s new novel _Unconquerable Sun_. Lots of fun!

    As all the blurbs say, it’s basically Alexander the Great in Spaaaaaaace. The Greek and Persian analogs are obvious, and there’s another group that I think are space scythians. She doesn’t seem to be doing a simple search-and-replace of history, though., so I’m definitely looking forward to the next book

    I’m also thinking I should read more of her earlier work. I did read her Spiritwalker trilogy and was impressed that she could semi-plausibly combine a Roman Empire with muskets, hybrid Celtic-Mande culture, and the intelligent descendants of troodons fomenting democratic revolution.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Really recommend almost all of Elliott. Some of her earlier works may have some outdated cultural issues, but they’re minor at best and still really enjoyable (Jaran especially, but the Highroad trilogy is enjoyable as well).

      And her Crossroads trilogy is something that should be an absolute classic of epic fantasy that I seriously should reread soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Been trying to get back on track with my reading/spanish-learning balance this week (while I’m still on furlough), but been very distracted by my college friends getting way too into an online Risk game. Still managed to read a bunch of books – July has been very productive, some of which have been very good, although almost all are in prerelease copies.

    Actually the last such book I read, Megan E. O’Keefe’s Chaos Vector, is kind of confusing me in how I think about it as I’m trying to review it today: Not sure if any of you read Velocity Weapon (its predecessor) but like that book it contains a ton of really interesting (to me at least) space opera mysteries that made me want to keep on reading it (and it’s a long book) and yet none of the characters really clicked with me THAT much? Like I want to know what happens really bad but really dont’ care that much about the characters at the same time, especially the ones who are repeatedly shunted apart from the main narrative. I guess it’s like a movie who I’d wiki to find out what happened but not want to see? And yet even that characterization feels too negative. Anyone know a better way to describe this or feel the same way about other books?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also: As I’m trying to write this review, I went to the Amazon page to see what the book summary there described it as, and good lord is this summary completely wrong (it describes a conflict between the lead character and another group that never comes close to happening and is certainly not the focus of the book)?

      Who writes these book summaries because they’re half the time sooooooo bad.


      1. @James: Yes, that’s more than possible (I know it was the case for an NK Jemisin novel with a similarly completely wrong summary, down to the wrong protagonist lol). And I get perhaps it’s impossible to fix it for the back cover of printed books, but I just think surely it can’t be difficult to ensure online booksellers have an updated summary if that’s the case? I guess it probably is.


  7. I’ve been reading my four-volume set of Paris Review Interviews with authors about their craft. I always like to eavesdrop into experts talking about their fields. The Interviews are great because the personalities really come through. And last night I watched a documentary about the efforts to release the 33 Chilean miners (I find big engineering problems pretty interesting; in another life I might have liked to be an accident investigator/ reconstructor)

    Not great week for larger circle around me though: Friend’s only child, a son, died of a heroin overdose in her house. Sibling’s elderly dog is now in diapers and not long for the world. Other sibling in isolation after a possible covid exposure and not very happy about it. Wasps annihilated. Things mostly OK with me. Three publications on their way to print, house upgrades continuing apace, and a couple of in-person distanced visits with people I had been missing.

    Bastille Day on Tuesday! Chop, chop .


  8. Tonight I made lamb chops with a pepper-rosemary-garlic rub, finished with a pan sauce of mint and cabernet sauvignon au Deux Dollar de Charles. Very tasty. Had to defend it from credential. Have 3 more nights’ worth of chops in freezer for future dinners.

    This week’s SHIELD got the sad-to-funny ratio well back on the funny side, with Maximum 80s in music, film, TV, tech, and fashion. But still some feels.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I finished China Dream! I’ve also been reading more in Japanese (including Kaguya-hime, and Inch High Samurai) amongst other Japanese-learning activities. Also more outdoor climbing! I almost got attacked by monkeys! They were also very curious about the hairless (well, aside from my long head hair) monkeys clumsily clambering around below them on the cliff.


    1. To continue on from this – I started Gideon the Ninth! It’s enjoyable enough. But I do have to finish it pretty quickly as Utopia Avenue was just published so I’ll need to read that next.


  10. I didn’t get around to watching Hamilton last weekend, but did this weekend, and it does indeed live up to the hype. Katie and I may end up watching it again before we cancel our Disney+ subscription next month.

    (I might also see one or two of the Marvel movies that I didn’t get around to when they were in theaters.)

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I am still wrestling with this stupid cold. I have this week off work and it would be nice to do something with it other than lie on the couch feeling sorry for myself. My youngest had dental surgery on Friday and they wouldn’t even let me in the hospital door because of the cold. It has given me a chance to catch up on the Rivers of London series, as I recently picked up the last couple of books (well, novella and book) in that.


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