A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Playing the Pied Piper

I have discovered a thingie called "Followers", which lists my slavish and loyal henchmen (SALH).  These are useful folks to have around should I need a hench.  There are, however, only four.  This means that Henches of Considerable Magnitude (HOCM) might go unhenched for lack of SALH willing to throw themselves under Juggernaut's wheels so as to lubricate my progress with their life's blood. 

Zut, alors!  Must we proceed to the highways and byways so as to procure more SALHs (and thus risk the overruning of the aforesaid juggernautian wheels)?  Must we beat the bushes?  (Wait.  He's not president any more.  Never mind.)  Must we blow on our silent dog-whistles?  On our conch?  Beam the bat-signal against the ever-convenient low-hanging clouds? 

Or would additional followers only dilute the glory of being one of the few, the proud?  A difficult question. 

But with henchmanship comes duties, and what duty could be more consoling to the heart than this, your first assignment:

You are to learn and hum the planxty here: Planxty 'Liam O Floinn

This was written by the great blind harper Turlough O Carolan in honor of Uilliam O Floinn, the butler of McDermot Roe,(*) he who brought O Carolan his last drink of whiskey as he lay dying and whose name was the last to pass the great bard's lips, presumably meeting the whiskey passing the other way.  There is a link at the lower left hand corner that will connect to the music MIDI file, should you have trouble sight-reading (or should that be 'site' reading?) the musical notation. 
(*) In 1224, the Annala Connaughta record that all the chiefs of Connaught rose up against Hugh O Connor in favor of his cousin Turlough O Connor, saving only the Marshal of the Host of Connaught, Cormac McDermot, together with David O Flynn and the rest of his officers.  It's nice to see old connections lasting even to O Carolan's time. 


  1. I'd accept Servile and Loyal Henchperson, but I took an oath on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to oppose slavery wherever I found it.

    Also, I don't venture enough into Blogspot to qualify, methinks.


  2. Just thought I'd follow you around for a while as I enjoyed EIFELHEIM and I've been reading your stuff in ANALOG for more than a couple of ever interested, I say stuff about faith, SF and writing every once in a while at


Whoa, What's This?

adam amateur theology anthropology aphorisms Aquinas argument from motion Aristotelianism art atheism autumn of the modern ages books brains breaking news captive dreams cartoon charts chieftain clannafhloinn comix commentary counterattack crusades culcha dogheads easton stuff economics eifelheim evolution factoids on parade fake news fallen angels Feeders fir trees in lungs firestar flicks floods flynncestry flynnstuff forecasts forest of time fun facts gandersauce gimlet eye global warming glvwg headlines henchmen high frontier history home front how to lie with statistics humor Hunters Moon hush-hush hypatia in the house of submission irish Iron Shirts irrationalism january dancer jihad journeyman kabuki kool letter lion's mouth lunacon maps mayerling medieval metrology miscellany modern mythology moose zombies music new years nexus odds odds and ends paleofuture passing of the modern age philosophy philosophy math poetry politics potpourri psyched out! public service quality quiet sun quote of the day razor's edge redefinition of marriage religio reviews river of stars scandal science science marches on scientism scrivening shipwrecks of time shroud skiffy skiffy in the news skools slipping masks some people will believe anything stats stories stranger things the auld curmudgeon the madness continues the new fascism the russians are coming the spiral arm the writing life thomism thought for the day thread o' years tofspot topology untergang des abendlandes untergang des morgenlandes up jim river video clips vignettes war on science we get letters we're all gonna die whimsy words at play wuv xmas you can't make this stuff up