Gobblers for XMas

Three minutes more reading in the bookstore would have saved me from Wen Spencer’s Tinker. It reads, sadly, like Hugo Gernsback channeling nerdy misfit valley girl Ralphette 1259C+, with magic and elves and the NSA mixed in. “If we include all the flavors of ice-cream,” the editor crows, “Then everyone will buy it!” [I’m happy to see that Emma Bull’s fine War for the Oaks has been reprinted. Motorcycles and elves do mix, if you approach it right].

There’s an annotated Da Vinci code on the shelves. I steer wide. And someone’s discovered even more Elron scribblings. A meme in local bookstores appears to be to turn these books face-in to the shelves (I do not condone this, I was just amused. Any actual authors who might stumble upon this blog — horrors, run away right now! — can feel justifiably angered).

As I suspected, The Confusion is going to be a slog. Bits of fine action separated by dessicated wastelands of exposition and descriptions of family trees. I’ll review it sometime (late) next year…

Pete Seeger

I am delighted to learn that Pete Seeger is still alive. We’ve been playing some folksongs to the Gibber, amongst them are some Pete Seeger tunes, and he seems to enjoy all of them. My parents played a lot of Seeger (and some Burl Ives) to my sister and I when we were growing up, and I am beginning to understand why.

(There were also children’s versions of Peter and the Wolfe and The Shaherazad, which I’m going to have to track down in a year or two).


Wife: “Look, there are eight different versions of the Nutcracker this year! Surely you’ll like one of them.”

Me: “You are so missing the point.” I don’t think she was including the ones being broadcast on PBS and the local access channels.

Is there any version of the Nutcracker that I would enjoy? Not sure. Maybe if it used characters from E.E. “Doc” Smith galaxy-bashers, or perhaps really dark fantasy (the Nyrlathotepcracker?). Or, if animated, if many, many smurfs were annilhilated. But on the whole, I think that traditional stories like this should get the Disney treatment from time to time: Be put on the shelf for thirty years, then brought back as nostalgia pieces and indoctrination for new crops of kids.