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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The untergang of the abendlandes is earmarked by terminological confusion.  That is, it would be if untergangen had ears.  At least it is in terminological ferment, and ferment might make good beer, though usually it is dark and skunky.  (Skunky being a technical term in brewing that means....  Well, you can easily imagine what it means.  However, the good news, should you be desperate enough, is that no organism harmful to man can survive in beer, so while skunky beer may stink like a politician's promise, it won't make you sick.  Well, not physically.  Psychosomatically, who can say.  You can, however, hold your nose and quaff.)

Where was I?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

At Last It Can Be Revealed!

Lunacon 2013, reduced to desperation and barrel-bottom scraping, has persuaded TOF to be their Author Guest of Honor, in lieu of a more honorable author-guest. TOF will of course do his darnedest, and is pleased as Hubert Humphrey's punch, as well as tickled pink.  (Thus demonstrating his masterful command of the English tongue.) 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An Invitation

I have received an invitation from some circum-cupa fundum-strigilians.  Details to follow. 


Kateri Tekakwitha
painted from life, 1690
The Lily of the Mohawks
Kateri Tekakwitha will be formally canonized next Sunday.   

There is a certain nonchalance on the part of Catholics regarding their saints.  RenĂ© Goupil, killed by Mohawks with a blow to the head, is today the patron saint of anesthetists. St. Lawrence, roasted on a griddle, is the patron of short-order cooks.  St. Barbara, whose father was struck by lightning after he had beheaded her, became the patron saint of artillerymen.  (When I was in Artillery ROTC, the corps paraded each year down Broad St. to St. Barbara's Church for the annual Artillerymen's Mass.)

Pithy Quotes
By 1960 the price of a good 1900 reproduction of, say, a Louis XVI table had risen, sometimes to fantastic heights -- probably because people knew that with the disappearance of craftsmanship even such reproductions were no longer reproducible.
-- John Lukacs, The Passing of the Modern Age

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A blogger yclept

A blogger yclept Adam Gropnik at The New Yorker has averred, relative to that topic, that "It is conscious, thinking life that counts." It is not the lives of all members of the species radically endowed with the capacity for conscious, thinking life–it is all those actually presently enjoying the conscious life.  

Were I he, I should be wary of falling asleep and thereby not counting.  
+ + +

Friday, October 12, 2012

An Algebraical Conundrum

Alcibiades: I approve of A.
Socrates: But then surely you have a reason for your approval?
Alc.: Certes.  I approve of A because it lacks property X!
Soc.: But then you must also approve of B, because B also lacks property X.
Alc.: What?  No!  That is awful.  A is worthy because of... because of condition Y.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Clearing the Tabs

Yes, it's time to clear the tabs once more.

1. What does the Catholic Church call a medieval woman

who was a herbalist and wrote books about it?

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