On a brighter note, I found a title for "Untitled 27," which is now "Outside the Gates of Eden." Also, the sf anthology that printed the Czech translation of "Riding the White Bull," Trochu divné kusy 2, has been awarded "best anthology of the year" by the Czech Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. I should have gone with Czechoslovakia for my death march, clearly.
Yesterday was frustrating enough without the orc attack, thank you very much. I've reached a point where I can edit no more until my editor returns from vacation tomorrow and talks to people at Paramount and certain problems are resolved. Which means that today will be spent on the 100-word Norse/Anglo-Saxon lexicon. Oh, and thanks to Sonya (sovay) for coming to the rescue with Latin translations yesterday. If only she'd been around to help me fight off those gobllins. Have you ever seen an orc penis? Well, it's not something one can soon forget, I'll tell you that for nothing.
A long walk with Spooky yesterday to the market to get stuff for dinner, and that was nice, as this part of Atlanta is a fair bit kinder on the eyes and the feet than the plains of Núrn. Later, we watched Heroes, and I wished the whole season had been as good as last night's episode. George Takei frelling rules. And I fear I may have a crush on Sylar. I think it's those eyebrows. And the fact that he looks a great deal like Burt (on Sesame Street). David called about 10:30 to say he was back from Connecticut. Later, we read more of The Children of Húrin, chapters XI and XII ("The Fall of Nargothrond" and "The Return of Túrin to Dor-lómin"), and then I stayed up too late reading another chapter of the Steinbeck biography.
My thanks to extatika for this link, an article at RichardDawkins.net by Dan Gardner about the "backlash" against all us mouthy-ass uppity atheists. This quote:
In the past, I've tried to avoid talking about religion in such sharp terms. It's not that I fear giving offence (which would be something of a limitation in my line of work). Rather, I know, as all humans do, that it's scary knowing you're going to die. And if belief in angels on high eases the existential fears of some, I won't begrudge them. Whatever gets you through the night, as a long-haired prophet once said.
But a series of books doing quite well on bestseller lists — by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and, soon, Christopher Hitchens — argues it's time to be a lot less deferential to faith, and I have to say I find it hard to disagree. After all, we live in a time when blowing children to bits is an increasingly popular form of worship, the most powerful man on earth thinks he's got a hotline to God, and much of the electorate who gave that man his power would never consider replacing him with someone who does not believe the son of a carpenter who died 2,000 years ago sits in heaven advising presidents, fixing football games, and waiting for the day he will return to the Earth to brutally murder all unbelievers and erect a worldwide dictatorship.
Private, quiet faith is one thing. But when the guy holding the launch codes believes the end of the world could come any day and that's a good thing, those who believe lives are limited to one per customer have a problem.
Anyway, now I must away to explain about Odin and Loki and scops and thanes and the World Serpent and what have you. And I must keep my eyes peeled for my pursuers, if they have not given up the chase. I hope to have reached the Thaur Road by sunset...
Postscript (2:08 p.m.): Speaking of fundamentalist assholes, I just heard the news that Jerry Falwell is dead. This should be a day of rejoicing.