March 26th, 2007


O Frabjous Day!

We've gone straight from early spring to early summer down here. Days in the '80s. Spooky is not pleased.

Yesterday, because there was insomnia and Ambien the night before, was both slow and late getting started. I did eventually make it to the Woodruff Library at Emory — more research for The Dinosaurs of Mars (metallurgy, mostly, but also some other stuff, history and Native American archeology). On the way home, we stopped by Books Again in Decatur, having forgotten that they are closed on Sunday. Octavio was curled up in the windows, sunbathing, and all we could do was talk to her through the glass.

Last night, after a hurried dinner, we watched the first three episodes of Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel, "Pole to Pole," "Mountains," and "Deep Ocean" (this series aired in the UK in 2006, by the way). Superb. I was especially pleased with the way that images of humans and mention of humans was kept to a bare minimum (and then mostly as a cause of extinction or species/biodiveristy decline). We were given a view of the Earth in the late Cenozoic, free of those pesky hairless Fancy Apes, what Earth could be without humans. An Earth that at least seems unspoiled. Anyway, I do strongly recommend this series. There are still nine episodes to go, continuing with "Deserts" and "Ice Worlds" on April 1st. Then we watched The Dresden Files, and I was delighted to see Claudia Black, even if she was affecting some weird American accent. And then, of course, the season finale of Battlestar Galactica. I have to say that I think last night's ep ("Crossroads," Part 2) was one of the best of the whole series, and I actually cheered out loud at the last scene. Though I know that the SFC has greenlighted another thirteen eps, I would personally be satisfied had that been the series' conclusion. But you probably already know how I am about conclusions — less is always more. It makes me think that the series' creators knew they might not get a renewel and wanted to end the season in a way that would work as an ending for the series in a pinch, if it came to that. Seeing it last night, it made me wish the creators of Farscape could have done the same, and then that whole rushed, garbled wrapping-things-up mini-series (with which I have become increasingly annoyed) would never have been necessary. But yes, very, very good Battlestar Galactica, and now we have to wait until 2008 for more.

After all that television, we read more of Sweet Thursday, and I drew monsters, and Hubero pondered how one makes gold from lead...and why the sea is boiling hot...and whether pigs have wings.

Today, I will get Sirenia Digest #16 together, and it will go out to subscribers today or tomorrow. Vince sent the final version of his illustration for "In View of Nothing" yesterday, and it is eerie and gorgeous and perfect. I am very fortunate to have Vince along on this ride.

Also, I wanted to pass along this bit of news from Richard Kirk (richard_a_kirk), whom you will recall as the illustrator for Tales of Pain and Wonder, From Weird and Distant Shores, Wrong Things, and To Charles Fort, With Love:

Hi Everyone! Well after months of work, the images for my April show at the Strychnin Gallery in Berlin are now available for online preview. There are two places to do this, at the Gallery website under works for sale, or on my website, where I have posted larger format images. I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments and reactions.

The show opens in Berlin on April 13, 2007 and runs until May 9th. It is a two man show with artist Kris Kuksi. The opening reception will be on April 13th from 7pm to 11pm, if you happen to be in the area.

Okay. Yeah. I hear you, platypus. You don't have to raise your voice.

Old Jingleballicks

"Man has solved his problems," Old Jay went on. "Predators he has removed from the earth; heat and cold he has turned aside; communicable disease he has practically eliminated. The old live on, the young do not die. The best wars can't even balance the birth rate. There was a time when a small army could cut a population in half in a year. Starvation, typhus, plague, tuberculosis, were trusty weapons. A scratch with a spear point meant infection and death. Do you know what the incidence of death from battle wounds is today? One percent. A hundred years ago it was eighty percent. The population grows and the productivity of the earth decreases. In a foreseeable future we shall be smothered by our own numbers. Only birth control could save us, and that is one thing mankind is never going to practice."

"Broth-er!" said the patrón. "What makes you so damned happy about it?"

"It is a cosmic joke. Preoccupation with survival has set the stage for extinction."

Sweet Thursday, John Steinbeck (1954)