Thoughts: World Without End, by Ken Follett

While I was reading this, I joked far too often that it was Book Without End, hohoho.

A spoilertastic one – I want to basically just ramble on about this one. Continue reading

Questseekers 1

There is a very small plane of existence linked to all others.

The Questseekers Centre prides itself on its minimal interference in other cultures, but it makes itself very easy to find for those who need it. It is, in fact, so easy to find that many of its customers have to sit in a quiet room for some time while they get over the shock of inter-dimensional travel, which, after all, doesn’t exist in many worlds yet. There is always an attendant on hand to explain things, stacks of pamphlets in every conceivable language and some that have not yet been conceived, and a wall-length fish tank, in the hopes that the smooth movements of the denizens thereof might be soothing to the people who find themselves suddenly at Questseekers. Their positive effects have not been formally studied, but it’s thought important and polite to make the effort.

The Questseekers plane is entirely contained in one building, and although this building is of awesome proportions, it’s still one of the tiniest dimensions yet discovered or created. No one is quite sure what the outside looks like, as all portals leading in converge on the foyer, and the same foyer forms the only exit. Just because inter-dimensional travel is rare on most planes right now is no reason for the secrets to be given away freely.

The foyer is wide, and rarely empty. There are bright, reassuring pictures on the walls, of smiling people of many races and species (though not all, and some of the more obscure peoples can be seen glaring at them resentfully and muttering). There’s no welcome desk, because those who would staff it never get the chance to sit down. There are always clients to be shown around and directed, forms to be fetched and appointments to check up on. Aside from the staff and the bewildered clients themselves, there are regular patrols of security officers stalking the floors: trolls and barbarians, and the occasional minotaur, who have proven themselves capable of understanding who it is okay to escort out, who it is okay to hit, and who must be left alone at all costs.

The Questseekers Centre, home of wonders and miracles of science and sleek bureaucratic efficiency, isn’t universally popular, and sometimes these regrettable measures must be taken.


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The Blaue Grotte

I wrote this last July at an iaido seminar, just scribbled it down on the hotel stationery before the Sunday training, and haven’t got around to typing it up until now. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I thought I may as well put it here.

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Time Crystals

I couldn’t find any actual pictures of time crystals, so here are some coupled pendulums.

A short story, based on a cool bit of recent news.

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German Reading Project: Die Tribute Von Panem by Suzanne Collins, chapters 12 & 13

It’s all water and fire in these chapters!

Favourite words!

Chapter 12

hinken: to limp. It just sounds like that’s what it should mean!

Chapter 13

das Stinktier: skunk. Come on, need I say more?

Thoughts: Kitty’s House of Horrors, by Carrie Vaughn

Fully halfway there now!

Spoiler warning as always. More spoilers than usual!

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German Reading Project: Die Tribute Von Panem by Suzanne Collins, Chapters 10 & 11

You’re probably sick of me by this point.

Oh well!

Just want to reiterate what a well-written character Katniss is. Lots of people claim to write flawed characters, especially in YA, but for me, Katniss is the undisputed Flawed Yet Real Queen. The pinnacle (so far in this rereading) for me is her conversation with Peeta on the roof of the building, where he’s trying to explain his rebellious feelings and Katniss doesn’t get it at all. Just a great moment, and a fantastic example of how thoroughly Katniss has been shaped by the world she lives in. And Peeta too – his not having the words to articulate his feelings is a direct result of living under the oppression of Panem.

Chapter 10:

mausetot: stone-dead. Or mouse-dead! Whichever seems deader to you!

Bonus word which reminded me of a great English word! die Schlachtbank: shambles

Chapter 11:

schnarchen: to snore. How could I choose any word over this amazing onomatopoeia?

Thoughts: His Bloody Project, by Graeme Macrae Burnet

I just finished reading this this morning, and my thoughts are many and jumbled, but as I’ve written most of my recent bookthoughts after delays, so I want to get all this down now while it’s still fresh.

Warning: if you want to read this book, don’t read my thoughts on it. Go in fresh. You’ll be glad you did.

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German Reading Project: Die Tribute Von Panem by Suzanne Collins, Chapters 8 & 9

I’ve got to the stage where reading a single chapter isn’t taking me days and days anymore, and anyone who’s ever read The Hunger Games will know that there’s a tipping point where the story stops being merely compelling and becomes furiously magnetic, so I’m going to read two chapters between English-language books now. Finishing Chapter 9 took me to the end of Teil 1: Die Tribute and into Teil 2: Die Spiele, so exciting stuff!

Favourite words are:

Chapter 9

die Schwippgalgenfalle: a twitch-up trap. The best part of German is the long, unpronounceable words, am I right? I had to look this one up in English too, mind.

Chapter 10

smaragdgrün: emerald green. I just love the word “smaragd”. It’s just so unlike all other German words, and the internet tells me this is because it comes from Latin – but “smaragdus” sounds weird for Latin as well. And the internet tells me this is because it comes from Greek, and… I know nothing about Greek so can’t comment. What a great word. I want to shout it while toasting with tankards of mead. Smaragd!

Thoughts: Kitty Raises Hell, by Carrie Vaughn

Almost halfway through the series!

As always, spoilers abound.

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