Orianthe and Macon dine while Orville lurks in the background

How are your peanuts, my darling?

Following up on last week’s table feature, this week we delve into interbeastial relationships ala Orianthe and Macon, Opossum and Raccoon, enjoying each other’s company, exchanging recipes, planning an evening of romance once they’ve had their last cappuccino and gelato.

But wait, who’s that hovering in the background? Is it…can it be… Yes, it’s Orville, donning the guise of waiter when really he’s here keeping an eye on Orianthe, his daughter, lost to the…paws…of…

Oh, heavens! A raccoon!

I mean, of all things…a raccoon.

My God!

Oh, the shame. Oh, the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner of it.

Fortunately, prejudices and ignorance don’t abound with the Old Ones. Peace is the rule – truly, even between predator and prey. Disagree? You’ve never witnessed the selection process in full – and interbeastial relationships abound.

My prayer for humankind, that. That interbeastial relationships might abound and we, as one species among many, might prosper.

 

Christopher Vogler’s “The Writer’s Journey”

Interesting but not convincing

Not sure what to write about this book. I read the first edition and it’s now up to a 3rd edition. No idea how much is changed.

But the book I read? Part writing text (not a good one), part psychotherapy session (meh), part homage to Joseph Campbell (does a bang up job there), part mysticism (meh). The book is overtly about screenwriting, what is offered can apply to any scribologist.

Did I learn things from the book? Yes, some. I’d recommend this book more for people writing journals, memoirs, and such. Also for people working out their own issues via the stories they craft.

 
It can provide a framework for making a story work. It is definitely full of examples and most are from movies so you can stream/dvd/download many of his examples.

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Cosmic Critiques – How&Why ten science fiction stories work

(except this book doesn’t)

Cosmic Critiques is the first “how to write” book I had real, recognizable problems with. Go no further, I do not repeat do not recommend this book to people wanting to learn the craft of writing.

However, this book is a gem if you’re a literary historian; the included stories were all written when science fiction was undergoing a major transition from authors schooled in literature to authors schooled in technology.

My first problem was that none of the stories worked (my opinion). They were all droll, trite, rather meaningless, uneventful, unengaging, and blow-offs. Some, if I remember correctly, were praised in their day.

That brings us to problem 2; these stories are very much of their time (1950s-1980s). Wells, Verne, Burroughs, and Baum’s stories endure because the stories are about people doing things and the human condition endures. Stories written in the 1950s-1980s tended to be about people dealing with technology doing things and any story with technology as its focus can’t t endure (except, as noted, with historians, anthropologists, any and all folk interested in time periods, not literature).

Specific to Cosmic Critiques, the earlier included stories signaled the move from interesting character driven stories to temporally interesting gadget stories. The United States had become the technology giant of the world and popular culture – which science fiction is a part of – followed suit.

 
The most interesting part of the book (to me) Is contained in a paragraph of Isaac Asimov’s introduction:

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Empty Sky Chapter 2 – The Moon’s Children

The Oneiroi

Jamie, delicate and flaxen-haired, slept with Shem, his muzzle whitened with the years, beside him. Both lay quietly, resting between dreams.

The Moon, her light walking through the Upper Peninsula forests on white-slippered feet, lifted her arm to better see.

Tom slept opposite Jamie and Shem, on the far side of the cabin. He’d twitch, kick off his covers, grow chill and pull them up, repeating the pattern while she watched.

Her children, the Oneiroi, little black silhouettes, shadows in the darkness of night, came and went, opening and closing their multicolored, multifaceted, crystalline eyes, kaleidoscopic Gates, little rainbow bridges allowing humans passage from one dream reality to the next.

A void, difficult to see and unheard, an emptiness in the night, formed in the darkness beside Tom’s bed.

The Moon held herself motionless in the sky, her light growing from crescent to full.

“Wake up, Jamie,” beamed the Moon. “Wake up, Shem! Wake! Your father’s in danger.”

The void touched some Oneiroi. Their silhouettes crumpled like wadded paper, their life drained from them.

Shem stared at the void and growled.

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Tom and Jeri

Tom’s showing his all and everything, and Jeri could care less. There are lessons here, folks…

Let this be a lesson to males who think they’re all that and more.

Behold Tom.

Tom is working it. I mean, just look at that robust malehood. It’s protruding – literally – from every place it can in Turkeydom.

A human male would be locked up for public…something or other. Nudity? Vulgarity? Obscenity?

I mean, guys…don’t you wish you had a… okay, I won’t go there.

But working it, Tom is.

Now gaze upon the…uh…lovely Jeri, pecking away at some seeds, paying no mind whatsoever to Tom who’s over here, doing his thing.

Guys, remember this the next time you’re out scouting for booty.

They don’t care what you look like. All that time in the gym, at the stylist, at the tailor, …

And ladies…don’t you think this is encouraging your bad rep? Not appreciating all that effort.

Wait a second…that’s almost role reversal.

Ha. Serves us right. And you, too.