Susan’s Salon: 2020 September 27/28

Farewell September

Please use the comment section to just chat about whatever you want. Susan’s Salon is posted early Monday (Sydney time which is still Sunday in most countries) . It’s fine 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! Whatever you like and be nice to one another 😇

Wear appropriate PPE while posting a comment.

57 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2020 September 27/28

  1. This week I have a short story which is tentatively on my Hugo nominee list: “Sinew and Steel and What They Told” by Carrie Vaughn (, 26 Feb 2020). This story is all characterization and pretty much zero action. But I loved it, and I hope there are more stories to come in this setting!

    I’m not quite going to make my goal of getting the first quarter stories read by the end of September. But I’m hoping to catch up and get through the second quarter by the end of October. There are less double-sized issues in the second quarter so it should be doable.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I just came across this book blurb:

    “A girl’s quest to find her father leads her to an extended family of magical fighting booksellers who police the mythical Old World of England when it intrudes on the modern world. ”

    Magical fighting booksellers? Now that’s a book that I may need to read!

    (The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, by Garth Nix)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I loved Nix’s Old Kingdom books when I was younger. I may check this out for some Nix nostalgia (and also because I’m left handed; representation! [Though I’m also certain that London itself is actually a circle of Hell])

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In your capacity as the global village’s municipal dogcatcher, do you offhand have any idea what James Nicoll was talking about when he mentioned puppies turning on John W Campbell?

    Please feel free to say “Yes, but even you degenerates will find the answer too revolting to stomach” in reply if you wish.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. And a more recent post implies that someone has been using Bujold to prove that Hugo voters hate Baen.

        Which is, well…I would kind of like to see the original post just to savor the sheer batshit craziness.


    1. I don’t know what happened recently, but the pulp revolution offshoot of the puppy movement thinks that John W. Campbell was the beginning of the downfall of SFF because of his focus on (pseudo)science and because they believe that he initiated the turnaway from adventure science fiction, space opera, planetary romance, sword and sorcery and the like. There is a kernel of truth in there that Campbell had specific tastes and that Campbell’s tastes have had an oversized influence on SFF, because many early anthologists came from Campbell’s stable and shared his tastes.

      However, Campbell wasn’t the only editor working between 1937 and 1971 and the space opera, planetary romance, sword and sorcery, adventure SFF, etc… the pulp revolution folks prefer didn’t go away after 1937. Such stories were still published, sometimes even by Campbell himself.And yes, you may have to go digging to find them, but the stuff is out there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. His was one of the blogs I checked, but I obviously didn’t go far enough back, but then I can only stomach so much of Brian Niemeier seeing demons and witches (Communist demons and witches, naturally) under the bed

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Today was a milestone for me: I finished crocheting my first sweater. It’s a top-down sweater with some very simple colorwork, nothing fancy about it. It clearly shows how bad I am in dealing with turning chains, but no matter. I had to start somewhere and it will keep me warm this winter.

    Meanwhile, I checked ‘Hyperion’ out from my local liberary (all hail digital downloads!) and started reading. I’ve gotten to the end of the first tale, the one told by the priest, and I cannot decided what I think about this book. Part of me thinks that I cannot deal with this book during a time of multiple overlapping national and global crises, and part of me thinks that it is just what I need during a time of multiple overlapping national and global crises.


    1. Ha — I know just what you mean about reading challenges right now.

      I started Vita Nostra this afternoon. Listened to just a few minutes, and it sounded fine. But then I read some reviews, which pretty uniformly said things like “great, but complex”. One said “like Harry Potter if written by Kafka”.

      And I thought — nope, not up for an intellectual challenge at the moment.

      So then I started the latest book in the Detroit Free Zone UF series by Rachel Aaron, and let my brain relax. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Congratulations on the sweater! I also crochet but haven’t done any in a while. I remember my first sweater was humongous (I was smaller then!), and I misinterpreted some of the neck shaping. But it was cozy, and I was proud as could be. I think I still have it somewhere here.

    We have a copy of Hyperion (and the sequels) here which my partner bought and read ages ago. I’ve meant to try it but never seem to get around to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i’ve been extremely distracted this week, plus I was sick all weekend. I haven’t had the attention span to give a book the focus it deserves, but I’ve been playing an absolute tonne of Hades, and a bit of Mario Galaxy.

    Hades is a fantastic roguelike, diablo-esque hack and slasher steeped in Greek mythology. Well worth checking out if you’re into gaming. I finally managed to escape Hades once after 30 attempts, with one of my least favourite weapons (the Stygian Blade) because I got lucky with a life leech boon early on that suits my playstyle perfectly.

    Mario Galaxy is also actually an incredible game and I’m glad I finally have an opportunity to play it.


  7. A bit too much chaos now. I’m cleaning up my cottage for end of the season. Laid a new stone path, trimmed the bushes, built a new workbench and finished the washing room. Then I’m moving to a new apartment in a month, having to decide what to do with my stuff as the new one is much smaller. And in the middle of this Halloween and my upcoming 50:th birthday, trying to find a way to celebrate in the middle of a Pandemic.

    Sir Scrittles has been very helpful. The other day he dropped a snake on me in my bed, then sat screaming outside in the rain because he had demanded to get outside in the rain. He also found a friendly mushroom picker that he decided to follow to give advice, forcing me to take a walk into the forest to search for him. I found him having loud opinions about a penny bun mushroom. Nevyn seems to have entered into autumn mood, spending more time inside away from the cold. No dead animals from a him in a week.

    On reading, not much new. Continue with my chinese soap stories, onto chapter 1400 in one of them with a few thousand to go. With only one chapter translated per day, it will take some years until I see the end of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, and also my community managed to create a superspreader event with at least 15 persons tested positive and even more home sick waiting for test results (and of course many quiet about it, because it is a bit embarassing). So a lot of the smaller events with more precautions have been forced to cancel while we wait out to see how the illness will spread. I guess too many persons relaxed over summer while also having too much pent up need to meet others.


  8. Huh. Penny bun mushrooms are an ingredient in healing potions in the video game Divinity Original Sin 2. I did not realise they were a real kind of mushroom. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was badly afflicted with hayfever last week, despite the fact that the weather here briefly reverted to winter here (it even snowed in some parts of the state). This week we have finally managed to get some of my family here from Queensland (haven’t seen them since Jan).


    1. I was briefly confused by the hay fever, before remembering that the planet has a bottom as well as a top.

      Had the same feelings last week when I came down with my first autumn cold.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Here in the Pacific Northwest, hay fever season runs from (at least) the second week of February through the second of third week of December. An I only get any time off if we have a good freeze rather than a mild winter. So since the rain just came back a bit over a week ago after a month and a half of dry EVERYTHING is pollination again.

        But yes, for Cam it’s spring time, which more people associate with hay fever, rather than the trees, ferns, and later fungus that fill the fall air here with pollen and spores…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My main allergy is against rapeseed pollen, so I got relief once the rapeseed has been harvested. However, in recent years farmers started planting a second rapeseed crop, which starts blooming in August/September and they leave it on the field as green dung until the first frost kills it. So now I have a few weeks of relief, then more hayfever until November/December, whenever the first frost comes in. Then it all starts over again when the hazel starts to bloom, which can be as early as January or even late December, if the winter is mild.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My partner suffered badly from allergies in the spring … especially when we first moved here to Michigan from San Diego. But we started eating raw local honey, and he hasn’t had any trouble since.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, the hayfever season here is September to March (sometimes with August and April thrown in for added bonuses if the weather is just so). I am not sure what I am explicitly allergic to – though I am pretty confident about grass and dust – these days it feels like my sinuses complain about anything in the air that isn’t oxygen or nitrogen.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Same here, fontfolly. It’s either rain/cold season or hay fever season.

        I noticed I wasn’t having as many problems but then I realized I’ve spent the spring and summer indoors with the windows closed and running an air filter so duh.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m chiming in late…

    Friday was a significant birthday (and this whole week is a cluster of friends’ birthdays as well)… so I started drinking martinis as 3pm Friday and chatting with friends in various time zones on line for the rest of the evening…

    …and then the rest of the weekend was additional virtual meetings with friends, the monthly RPG I run, my favorite football team winning, and me spending a lot of time sleeping in or goofing off.

    Not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nothing to report from here with me, Mr. LT or the credentials. Just sitting on the couches. I’d have preferred fontfolly’s weekend. (belated happy birthday and I hope Monday wasn’t too tough).

    Tomorrow I’m watching a panel with Adam Savage, Mary Robinette Kowal and an astronaut. Sorry I missed Cora’s panel.

    I read a few days ago that one of the fires was threatening a multi-million dollar marijuana growing area and though I have seen no reports of it getting there, my sense of smell when I checked a couple hours ago tells me it very well might have. I mean, our neighbors don’t use that much that often.

    Just checked again and no smell. Could be the neighbors — it was on that side of the house. One of them has an essential job that involves going into work and no WFH ever, so maybe some extra-strength legal stress relief is needed.

    Meanwhile, on “Meanwhile”, Stephen Colbert revealed that there’s now a Mountain Dew Margarita. There’s not that much difference (except bubbles and caffeine) between cheap pre-made sour mix and Dew… we’re out of sour mix but have Dew and lots of tequila… It’s either a great idea or a stupendous impending headache or both. Time will tell!


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