Category Archives: Fantasy

Escapism at it’s best.

Cover of Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay

Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay

Cover of Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay
Sailing to Sarantium is book one of The Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay. I posted a review of the second book, Lord of Emperors, because I was too impatient to wait until I could get my hands on the first in the series. Because of my lack of patience, a virtue which seems to be in contunualy short supply, the review of Lord of Emperors wasn’t very informative. Without reading the first book, I wasn’t sure which of the many details I wanted to talk about might be spoilers. I hate spoilers and err’d on the side of caution.

Now that I’ve read the first book, I spent cash money to buy it, I think I can talk a bit more freely about why I like these books.

Story

From the cover…

Caius Crispus, known as Crispin, is a master mosaicist, creating beautiful art with colored stones and glass. Still grieving the loss of his family, he lives only for his craft – until an imperial summons draws him east to the fabled city. Bearing with him a queen’s secret mission and seductive promise, and a talisman from an alchemist, Crispin crosses a land of pagan ritual and mortal danger, confronting legends and dark magic.

Once in Sarantium, with its taverns and gilded sanctuaries, chariot races and palaces, intrigues and violence, Crispin must find his own source of power in order to survive. He finds it, unexpectedly, high on the scaffolding of his own greatest creation.

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Pardon Me Boys; is this the Chattacon Choo Choo?

Once upon a time, Chattacon was held at the Read House in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was a good-sized regional convention with attendance in the 1500 range.  I don’ t know what their numbers were this year, but it seemed sparse.  Chattacon now makes its home in the Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn.

Chattanooga Choo Choo Locomotive

Chattanooga Choo Choo Locomotive

The Choo Choo is a converted railway station on 24 acres, with a decommissioned wood-burning locomotive on display.  (I’m told the train was built in 1880, and last used by the Smoky Mountain Railroad in 1940s)  There are passenger cars that have been converted into sleeping rooms.  The accommodations are spread out, but the staff is helpful and cheery.  We were in “Hotel III”, and aside from having a wait for the bell cart and attendant, it was a painless check-in.

The Shining Twins & the Corridor

We had a mutual brain TILT moment when we first entered the hallway of Hotel III.   The long, narrow corridor was brightly decorated, and strangely reminiscent of The Shining.  Fortunately for us, there were no Twins in that corridor.  They only appeared in our imagination, and our fingers remained mute and still.  The secure wireless connection sucked wind, but other unsecured connections were available. Continue reading

Dragon*Con — A Tardy Personal Perspective

Dragon*Con is an extravaganza of sci-fi fandom held annually over Labor Day Weekend in doParade Collagewntown Atlanta, Georgia.  As of 2008, it spans four hotels and boasts an attendance of more than 30,000 fans.  Rumor has it that when the numbers swell with day pass folks, the count can go as high as 50,000.  It can be a little overwhelming to attend a convention with 30-50,000 of your, er, um, closest friends.  This year, the addition of the Sheraton, and the completed Marriott renovation, made the long Labor Day weekend a much more pleasurable experience than in the recent past.

What To See…Beats Me!

With a cacophony of choices in a wide variety of fandoms, you can’t see everything.  Lines for many popular media based events are long, and give you no guarantee of entry even after you’ve waited for frakking ever.  For me, the choice is simple.  I don’t try.  That has it’s own pitfalls, though.  If I had tried to get into the Firefly panel with Nathan Fillion and supporting cast members, I would have been able to get in.  Instead I watched it on Dragon*Con TV .

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The Unicorn and the Wasp

Starting this week, I’d like to provide you with a review of the latest episode of Doctor Who to air in the US. Doctor Who is currently in it’s fourth season and airing in this country on the Scifi Channel Fridays at 9 PM. The British fans of the Doctor are several episodes ahead of us Americans. My goal is to remain spoiler free while still discussing an overview of the episodes.

The Unicorn and the Wasp I’ll begin with my review of last week’s episode “The Unicorn and the Wasp”. It is the seventh episode of the season. I realize that episode eight aired Friday night but I’m holding back that recap for a couple of reasons. First, “The Unicorn and the Wasp” was a wonderful episode and I can’t wait to tell you about it. Second, episode eight is a two-parter. I’d like to wait and cover both parts at once. Finally, with only five new episodes remaining in season four, I don’t want to miss a single one.
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Oh, You Great Big Beautiful Dollhouse

You might think that it would be difficult to create a relevant blog about TV shows that have been off the air for several years, but not so. I have lots of stuff I can ramble on about, endlessly, if necessary. But instead of going back and talking about stuff long past today, I want to talk a little bit about Joss Whedon’s new show, Dollhouse, which is coming to Fox in January, 2009, and will air on Monday nights at 8 pm, leading into 24. I plan to keep talking about it, too, so that more people find out about it and watch it.

I admit that I’m a little worried. Not about the show, cause that will rock, but about Fox. I just can’t bear for Fox to kill off another show once I fall in love. They’ve murdered so many shows that I liked. Firefly, for one, Drive (a Tim Minear production, which starred Firefly’s Nathan Fillion) was another. The list is pretty long. Since Fox has a habit of putting shows in the Friday night spot of death or just not giving them a chance to get an audience (Drive was cut after only 4 episodes aired – it was literally the second week), I want to make sure that Dollhouse has amazing ratings from Day One. No matter what night it airs.
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