Susan’s Salon: 2023-01-[29/30]

Susan’s Salon is posted early on Monday Australian Eastern Standard Time (which is still Sunday in most places).

Topics can cover anything from troubling news to pleasant distractions. Links, videos, cat pictures etc are fine! [but please, no cranky 🤬 conflicts between each other in the comments.]

It’s fine to be sad☹️, concerned😟, resolute😣, indecisive🤔, angry😡 or happy☺️ (or all of those things at once😵‍💫).

39 responses to “Susan’s Salon: 2023-01-[29/30]”

  1. Friday night Trixie had go-out-every-ninety-minutes diarrhea so I was exhausted yesterday. Extra probiotic paste has taken care of it though.
    We were supposed to see a local production of Hamlet today but it’s been canceled and rescheduled,
    I read the new Elric book, “Citadel of Forgotten Myths,” this week. Two good short stories, then a short novel with Moorcock in literary talky mode. Not so good. Also read V3 of Kieron Gillen’s excellent Arthurian horror series, “Once and Future.”
    I’m constantly frustrated that Amazon will notify me when I get a payment but I can’t get amounts or details of what sold until several days later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Forgot to add that we have booked our first two trips together anywhere for the first time since the pandemic. Already feeling guilty about boarding the dogs and not being there to let the cats in.


      • I know that guilt! Assuaged somewhat by the kennel man telling us that our highly reactive terrier was ‘the perfect little resident’ during his stay.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Our kennel is great — they recognized the dogs when we dropped them off for the day last year despite two years absence. But we know from experience they’ll get mopey. And we can’t board the cats — they’re still half stray — so while we can have someone feed them, I doubt they’ll be happy finding no-one at home when they want attention.


  2. We had snow this week in Arkansas. Chaos ensued. I’m reading I Am Legend, but I may not finish it. It’s okay, but it’s not lighting me up.


  3. It’s a public holiday for me as yesterday was Auckland’s Anniversary day. It’s not the sort of birthday anyone would have wanted though as Auckland experienced its wettest 24-hours on record on Friday resulting in flash floods and four deaths. I’m fine where I am, the house being on a slightly sloping section so water doesn’t pool here. More rain is forecast and though not as much as Friday’s deluge, is a concern as the ground is already saturated so it won’t take nearly as much rain for more flooding.

    There have been isolated reports of looting of abandoned homes, but the overwhelming response has been to help out each other out where we can. Perhaps there is hope for humanity after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My sister lives outside Aukland & put up a startling video of what is usually a trickle of a stream at the bottom of their garden in full torrent. And my brother in law while out walking the dog met a guy whose family had had to evacuate their house because it was slowly sliding down the hill. Scary.
      Hope you continue to stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m visiting New Zealand in a week. The flooding in and around Auckland is terrible, and I hope everyone is OK. One side of my family comes from Lismore, which is synonymous with flooding in Australia, so I have a small idea of how bad things can be.

    And now, a jarring, almost bathetic, tonal shift:

    Can anyone recommend any bookshops I should visit while I’m in New Zealand? (Second hand bookshops are just as good.) I’m especially interested in ones which have a good showcase of NZ SFF. Book recs are also welcome – I noted some author names at CoNZealand, but I can always use more.


    • Unfortunately what with big online retail like Amazon & the COVID pandemic, there are fewer & fewer brick & mortar bookstores. The last specialist SFF bookstore shut down some years ago.

      Unity (in Auckland CBD) is a good bookstore (not SFF specialist) but does stock some. They also have a branch in Wellington.—sci-fi

      The Hard to Find Bookstore (Auckland CBD fringe) is my go-to for second hand books.

      Auckland has lots of great places to eat. I made a Venn diagram

      But there are also loads of places on in that diagram to do excellent food. Let me know if you want any suggestions. Next week is another long weekend, Waitangi Day, commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, founding document. There are normally events but the long-range forecast is not looking great…


      • I meant to say there are plenty of places NOT in the Venn diagram that are also excellent that I can suggest.


      • I’d forgotten about bookmark. Ben years since my last visit. The ferry ride from downtown Auckland to Devonport is a short one, about 15 minutes..


        • Soon and Jo, thank you for the tips. I’m sorry I didn’t respond sooner, but I really do appreciate your answers.

          Thanks for the heads up about the public holiday. I am dimly aware of Waitangi Day: I know it exists, but I couldn’t have said when it falls. This is going to be like that time I visited Melbourne only to find out it was the Moomba Festival long weekend.

          Sorry to hear that no specialist SFF bookstore survives – Sydney still has Galaxy Books, though it is somewhat diminished (might just be nostalgia speaking).

          Hope you all stay safe!


  5. I spent a lot of last week dealing with (in-person) medical stuff, and various government/bureaucratic stuff. Much of it was good news, but it was still A Lot.

    It turns out that sometimes, when the doctor pokes you in different parts of your abdomen to figure out what’s wrong, she can also resolve the problem by poking harder for about 30 seconds. (I like telemedicine, but there are things it can’t do.)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Tomorrow’s the day I see the surgeon that did my three knee surgeries to see what options are as my knee now requires a soft brace for all but the the time that my personal care assistant showers me.

    The three knee surgeries left me with severe arthritis that eroded the cartilage away over the last two years which means the knee cap now slips. A lot. So he’s probably going to recommend a knee replacement.


  7. I recommend Infinity Pool. High-concept sci-fi and horror-adjacent, anti-rich themes putting it in the category of The Menu and Triangle of Sadness, and of course the lovely and talented Mia Goth and the lovely and talented Alexander Skarsgård.


  8. Everything is the same here, although we didn’t have any rain for almost 2 weeks. Cloudy and cool again today, though, meh.

    I have felt better as a result. This week a friend and I managed to take things to Goodwill and have a fatty carby takeout lunch which was big enough to also provide dinner. I got my new glasses and now things are in focus and I have stereo vision again! So I’m way calmer when driving. Also I made it to the Asian grocery and picked up cheap mandarin oranges and marked-down mooncakes.

    Been watching some NHK World, just for all the pretty. There’s a good reason the first HDTVs ran nothing but Japanese content in the stores. I especially enjoy “A Cat’s Eye View of Japan”, which is what it says on the tin, as well as showing the neko themselves. It’s all my literal moment of Zen.

    Not reading as much as I should. Eh, it’s not like I’m going to be nominating for Hugos anyway. I finally got my Chicon souvenir book about 10 days ago, but nobody’s been contacted. Malice or incompetence? ¿Porque no los dos?

    EGG and I are now “whatevs” about treats. Either he catches them or he doesn’t, but he’s almost always able to find the ones that bounce off his face (or teeth) so fine.


    • Asking Larry to maybe look up the terms “McCarthyism” and “Red Scare” if he’d like some examples of leftists being blacklisted etc.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Don’t forget to mention the Hays Code. Also put in place by a Republican.

          But Larry will probably say, “The Red Scare was 1950s. Old news.”

          Liked by 1 person

          • The Hays Code was losing its punch by the 1950s though. United Artists released “The Moon is Blue” without a code seal of approval and made bank (it didn’t hurt the film was thoroughly inoffensive).


    • Aw, gross. My old local con. I was a guest there nine years ago, and it was still largely the old gang running it, too. Good thing I don’t go look at Facebooks. Brrr.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Another quiet week.
    Watched Antoinette on BBC and The Empress on Netflix, both revisionist shows about female monarchs who initially had a hard time at ‘court’ only to become beloved by all (apparently), before meeting a grisly end (M-A via the guillotine of course, Empress Elisabeth from a kind of industrial needle wielded by an anarchist). Interestingly, both shows prominently feature a disaffected brother of the King/Emperor whose role is to create chaos and dissent (William, be warned!).

    Read Where It Rains in Colour by Denise Crittendon, which despite being presented as an example of ‘Afrofuturism’ had a curiously retro feel to it (with its talk of ‘oscillators’ and ‘electromagnetic tides’). It did make me think a little about my personal bar on pseudo-science in SF – it seems I’m ok with warp speed, even though if we could propel ourselves across the galaxy by warping space-time, we’d have a lot more to worry about than possible violations of the Prime Directive, but I balk to the max when I’m told that the gravity on an asteroid is so ‘thin’ (sic) that someone’s heels are seen to be floating above the surface & yet it retains a breathable atmosphere & people are able to run about quite normally (none of that Apollo astronaut loping!).

    Now on to Second Daylight by Eugen Bacon & Andrew Hook, which I’m enjoying much more, despite the lack of any plausible mechanism for the time travelling! (It’s also set in Australia, which makes for some interesting (to me) background ‘colour’)

    And I had another short story accepted (‘Rest in Peace’ a sort of Lovecraftian take on the Fermi Paradox) – not by a paying venue but a really nice one nevertheless.


  10. Went to my first live SF event in a few years: a reading by Kim Stanley Robinson & Cecelia Holland, with an unscheduled appearance by Rudy Rucker. So glad I went. Robinson read some very funny nonfiction about a badly planned Alpine hike (previously published, but now included in his otherwise California-centric new nonfiction book); Holland read a great beginning to a work in progress; and Rucker, whom I’ve actually never read (not for any particular reason, just never got around to it), brought a piece in tribute to his late wife that started out very goofy and ended up making me cry. And I got to see some friends I haven’t seen in a couple of years too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds excellent! Robinson knows his stuff about the Sierras, and everything about John Muir (he gave a great talk at that big book festival in Berkeley).

      Also a good person. Once at a con, a program misprint had Stan scheduled in the same room, same time, as a first time author. He was so kind to her and gave up his last 10-15 minutes so she could do her reading and hand out bookmarks. Class act. Her stuff wasn’t in a genre I read, but she had a nice prose style and everyone stayed and enjoyed the excerpt. When I left the room, she had profusely thanked Stan and he was giving her writerly advice.

      I would have loved to see Cecelia Holland too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robinson also did a Muir talk when he was a guest of honor at FOGcon – I don’t know if that was before or after the Berkeley event. I think a lot of people were surprised he didn’t use his featured spot for either his own work or anything genre-related, but I think by the end no one cared because it was so well written and presented.

        I’ve seen him & Holland read together a lot and I still haven’t actually read any of Holland’s books, even though I always really enjoy her readings. She’s very entertainingly cranky in Q&A too. Someone asked her what book the chapter she had read was from, and she said “I don’t know?!” in an incredulous tone as if that was either a stupid question or an unanswerable one, before clarifying that it’s a book in progress with no title as yet. But I’m try to remember to watch for that one and read it when it’s done, because that opening chapter was a hoot (starts as a demonic conjuration scene written in a straight-faced horror style but it becomes apparent that this is a scam).

        Liked by 1 person

      • This was in the “SF in SF” reading series which started up again recently, and they’ve both been frequent guests before, so you may want to go to and get on their mailing list (the website isn’t up to date, but the list is active).


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