Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Book 4, 32: The ‘Burbs

Any resemblance to North Vancouver's Tempe Estates is entirely intentional.

For no very deep reason.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hair on Fire: The Decline and Wait For It of the Educational Complex State

Tonight, because a storm was in the forecast, I took the bus to the University of British Columbia's "Irving K. Barber Learning Centre."* forcing me to walk the maze of cordoned off routes through ongoing construction projects between bus loop and, uhm, "Learning Centre."

Or not, as the case may be. As an old man, I am inclined to curse these latter days, and suspect them to be as loose and ready to fail as my joints or my bowels. My enthusiasms have become strange, my judgement suspect.

I do not like what they have done to my university. But I think I have something more here than the rambling free association of my own aging (I have, for example, no hair to set on fire). I returned, not through the quiet off-streets of the designated cycle route, but down the West 19th-Dunbar-West Broadway bus route that I have been taking, on and off, since I first enrolled at the university in September of 1982. This gave me the opportunity to see some commercial space that is not where I work, dressed up for Christmas.

Or not, as the case may be. I wasn't racing a supervillain in a fun, if cheesy, television show shot in Vancouver, but the lack of Christmas decorations is not restricted to the store at which I work. They are spotty, limited to a few neighbourhoods, probably the ones with mroe energetic business associations. It is certainly no lack of inclination for the season that is holding my company back.  It's our current paid hours target, about which subject I would be more discrete if my corporate board were to show up to help me pull dairy skids off the delivery truck with an unpowered handjack. (Though such is the way of things that they would be shocked, just shocked, to know that such things were happening, and the blame would fall upon my boss, or my boss's boss, because what else is middle management for?) 

As for confirmation of my suspicion that it is lack of time and energy, and not a War on Christmas,, I will note that it is pretty much the chain stores that are falling down on the job here. (To be fair, the Subway down the street as a strand of Christmas lights up in the window.)

So that's the symptom, the gesture of the hand at the idea that there is something larger going on here. Now let's take a walk through campus.   

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Book 4: 30, Brain in a Jar

It's not always a bad idea to listen to your muscle. Maybe one of them will turn out to have tactical talents that you're wasting in their current position. This is probably more likely when you're an insane supervillain, but it probably comes up elsewhere these days, too.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book 4, 29: Dawning in the Mountains

In my defence, Charlotte is a Seventies girl, Paper Chase was probably a pretty grownup movie for her to have seen, but John Housman was on TV all the time cashing in with Smith Barney ads, though I  honestly can't recall if the ad campaign had begun by 1975.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Book 4, 28: Old Business

Breeder Noatar is so obviously Fang that I finally gave up on making it a secret at all. After all, Jim Butcher hardly ever makes the identity of the big bads in the Dresden Files a secret, and his books work just fine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book 4, 27: Lustration

I went looking for images of Aurora undergoing lustration, but most of them were kind of NSFW. What is it about visual artists that makes them such a lustrated lot?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Book 4, 26: To Trouble

The libraries are closed today, because it's Remembrance Day. Even the UBC webcatalogue server is down. Nice work, bastion of scholarship!

Anyway, I used to be into Remembrance Day, back before it was cool. This year, I just sat at home and got ahead on my writing.

And put together a tribute to one of the scarier villains to come out of the obscure and excessive flood of science fiction and fantasy literature of my youth, whose like we will not see again, unless this country gets its family policy in order.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book 4, 25: Short Cut

That's the part that everyone brings up. I probably shouldn't have brought up the other bit, "the part with the chainsaw," because now you're going to look it up and have nightmares. So, just to make me feel better, can we say that at least I warned you?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Book 4, 24, Heist

I had some difficulties finding my source material. Turns out that I'm thinking of Mario Kart courses, not Lego Racers. I should probably have paid more attention when I was playing them, but in my defence I found them a bit realistic. They don't have Ba-Bombs in the Indinapolis 500, do they? You'd think that if they'd let those speed-addled (and no, I don't meant that they drive fast) lunatics have bombs, they'd let us commuters have homing, streetbound anti-vehicle mines, they'd let commuters have them, too. Only fair, right?  

Also the gold coins. No-one leaves gold coins on my route home from work. (That's Number 2 Road to the foot of Granville to Adera to Arbutus, gold coin dudes.)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Book 4, 18: Surprise

Not much of a Doctor Who fan, but these were scary back before they became Mary Sue Monster.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chapter 4, 14: Return to the City

It's two years old, so it's probably hideously out of date and unfashionable, but I like it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book 4, 13: Playing Fair

Had to look up some names. Almost got them right.

Zatanna (image source, Wikipedia)

Probably not actually a good look for cricket.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book 4, 12: Backgrounder

So I'm a morning person. Blame my Mom for coming in to open the drapes and singing Stevie Wonder. Everything is your parents' fault.

So Seventies. Wow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book 4, 11: Pain in the Ass

Bronde. Way blonder than Charlotte, and straight-haired, and staring like a crazy person, but I was reaching for the right word to describe the blouse, which I do like. So there you go.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book 4, 8: On the Roof, Down the Stacks

If you imagine that the continent of Sart in Hero Games' Valdorian Age is Australia, the city of Elweir is Darwin, not Melbourne. 

Sorry about any confusion.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Book 4, Chapter 7: In the Groove

 Let's be  honest here: I know this song because I heard it on the in-store music system at work. 

I still like it.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book 3, Epilogue

Three cavalry quicksteps for the Lion Stallion

i) Telus

ii. Bruce

iii. Charlotte

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chapter 3, 51: I’m Not Special

Forget Divergents and twinkly vampires. Let's talk some real high school relationship taboos.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chapter 3, 49: Curse Your Unexpected But Inevitable Betrayal!

I gather most asymmetric styles involve cutting the hair shorter on one side than the other

but the look I'm stealing for Charlotte involved doing up the hair on one side rather than trimming it short. I think. Look, I'm not an expert.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chapter 3, 48: A Familiar Voice

I've already mentioned that M. A. Foster's Gameplayers of Zan was an inspiration for this. I won't push that any further. As a grown-up, I see some pretty serious problems with a weird and wonderful book.

Should I even be surprised that some people named their daughters "Sanjirmil" in the late 1970s?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Chapter 3, 46, The Door

Thanks to M. A. Foster and James H. Schmitz for the image of a spaceship flying under a mountain.
Spoilers, I guess.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chapter 3, 41: But the Water is Warm as Tea

Obviously, elves hung out with J. R. R. Tolkien. Who else would have had the patience to put up with Tom Bombadill?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chapter 3, 39: Second Gust Sets You On Your Beam

 Deep vision. The Order of the Stick cartoon that I am thinking of here appeared only in print format in the limited run Snips & Snails and Dungeon Tales. So there you go.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chapter 3, 37: Calm. For A While

Once again I explain the plot of an earlier work, in case no-one noticed that it had one.