Introductions (Was RE: Brava Melissa and Hi Amanda)

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Wed Dec 8 12:40:55 EST 1999

At the end of her message, Elise wrote:

>    Tag, you're it!

Got me.  Right, here goes.

I'm Philip.

Born in the home town of DWJ, Bristol (England) and grew up not far south of
there.  Like Elise, I discovered DWJ in a local library when I was about 8:  my
Papa said, "Oh look, here's a book called Dogsbody" and pointed at it on the
shelf.  I borrowed it and have been hooked ever since I opened it.  I am now 32
and still hooked, anyway.

Also like Elise, and other people on this list I think, I have a tendency to
read when I should be doing other things.  10 years ago, when I emerged from
university and got a job as an electrical engineer, I made a resolution never to
bring books (of the pleasure reading sort) to work.  Hard, but I'm sure I would
have been fired by now if I hadn't!

>    I definitely think these books made me grow up into a different
> person than I otherwise would have been.  It's interesting to me that we
> seem to choose to some degree what will influence us from our environment -
> and it seems to me very felicitous to choose out of love.   So, I definitely

Thanks, Elise, I'd never thought of it that way.  The way I see it: Having been
a DWJ fan for so long, her (and her characters') world view is now so much a
part of my own that I _know_ I can pick up anything she writes and immediately
identify with all the right characters, understand the plot, enjoy the humour,
and so on.  DWJ is still the only author whose books I am prepared to risk
ordering, in hardback, before they're published, simply because she wrote them.
(Georgette Heyer is the only other author who comes close for me.  But _only_
her historical stuff.  And I have all of that that's in print...)

Other authors?  I'll try and remember to send Nat a list.  Otherwise, there's a
list in my own de-lurk (a reply to Max's de-lurk somewhere in the archives).
But I must put in a word for Tanith Lee.  Most of her work I don't find
particularly appealing, but three books (so far) stand out as masterpieces:
_The Silver Metal Lover_ (see below), _Drinking Saphire Wine_ and _When the
Lights Go Out_.

> become a bit of a guard dog, all loyal and barking, when I compare dwj to
> other books (just recently too ::blush::) but uh, sometimes it's hard to
> retain perspective and realize there is plenty of attention and admiration
> to go around in the world to all sorts of books - and after all, we are on
> the list to pour it liberally over dwj's work!

How true.

What else might you like to know about me?  I'm a Christian, although I must
confess (and this is one of the few places where I'll admit it even to myself)
DWJ has probably influenced me more than Christ, all things considered...

I like listening to Classical music, preferably composed this century.  I play
the piano, bassoon and organ (very badly, but no-one else at Church was prepared
to take it on).  I dabble in writing music, but seldom get performances (so no
recordings available I'm afraid).  I set to music two songs from _The Silver
Metal Lover_, and have a very nice letter from Tanith Lee about them...

I collect old computers, but that's a whole subject in itself.  Suffice it to
say that I prefer pre-IBM-PC equipment...

Must go.  Carol service at Church this evening (already :-( )

Next please!


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