Book IDs (a longish delurk)

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Mon Jan 31 12:18:49 EST 2000

(Abigail is de-lurking):

> My taste in books doesn't seem to tally too well with most of yours.  In the
> realms of fantasy and science fiction, my favourite contemporary authors
> (other than DWJ) are Barbara Hambly, Connie Willis, Robin Hobb, Sheri
> Tepper, Tim Powers, Barry Hughart, Rosemary Kirstein, Laurell K. Hamilton,
> Simon R. Green, Paula Volsky, David Feintuch (although I didn't care for his
> foray into fantasy) and Lois McMaster Bujold.  I haven't read most of the

No more different from me than any other list person, I think.  I like Tepper
and "Bridge of Birds" (only Hughart I've read) a lot, and I am just starting to
read Willis on a recommendation from the list.

> books that have been discussed recently - I've never read any McKinley, took

Neither have I...

> against McCaffrey early on and I'm not sure I'd even heard of Garth Nix -

I must admit, I haven't heard of Garth Nix either.

> Children's authors I love include Paul Biegel, Edward Eager, Michael Ende,
> A.A. Milne, Nicholas Stuart Gray, Norton Juster, Noel Langley, Cynthia
> Voigt, Ruth Elwin(?) Harris, Joan Aiken (especially Arabel and Mortimer!),
> Paul Jennings, J.P. Martin, J.B.S. Haldane ("My Friend, Mr. Leakey") and
> William Sleator.  Then there are authors by whom I like *some* work:
> "Children of the Dust" by Louise Lawrence, although maybe "like" isn't the
> word, and "This Time of Darkness" and "Children of Morrow" by H.M. Hoover.

Hmm.  We are diverging a bit here, I suppose.  But don't feel alienated!  We all
want you here!

FWIW  I like all those few on your list that I've read except "Children of
Morrow", the only Hoover I've tried.

> I graduated with a degree in Maths & Computer Science in June and I'm now
> working as a software engineer in Cambridge, England - so yes, Cambridge,

So you're probably the only person here who will understand me if I say that I
did two years of NatSci and changed to EIST for my final year...

> (GCSEs are the last hurdle of compulsory education - sat at age 16, after
> which you can do what you please provided you've got the grades.  You have
> to take a wide spectrum of courses, typically between seven and eleven,
> including certain compulsory ones.

To answer someone's (Elise's?) question, GCSEs replaced O-levels about 10 years
ago.  It was traditional to do 8 O-levels in most schools, including mine, but
you could do some on the side, and I managed to add music and computer studies
that way.  Again compulsory subjects were usually English Language, English
Literature, Maths and a Language (French at my school) but Eng Lit didn't
include any criticism - at least, not the way it was taught to me.

> A-levels are optional, require a certain
> minimum performance at GCSE, typically five passes at grades A*-C with at
> least a B in the ones you want to study, and are sat at 18.  It's usual to
> take three; the minimum for university entrance is usually two and most
> schools won't let you do more than four.  I can talk at great length about
> the British school system but am politely restraining myself. :)

Can't we all!  Yes, my school didn't like people to do more than four A-levels,
and I had to persuade one of the teachers to go behind the headmaster's back and
enter me for the computer science A-level.  There was no-one at the school who
could teach it, but I didn't see why I shouldn't study it on my own with the
material available...

> Philip(?) was commenting on Americanisms in DWJ.  I think we may be
> suffering from books being typeset for the US first - thus in the first
> British edition of Archer's Goon, Awful has coloring pencils and cookies;
> and in Howl's Moving Castle, Sophie has gray eyes.  Grrr.  I find it hard to
> believe that they were originally spelt that way.

Yes, that was I.  As you say, Grrr, if that really is the case.

> believe his characters duel one another with the fearsome weapon known as
> the "pismire".  Anyone who's not grinning should run for a dictionary.

I just looked that up.  ROFL.  What does it do, anyway?  Squirt the opponent
with formic acid?

> Finally, did anyone else read the January issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction
> magazine?  Charles de Lint winds up his review of the Harry Potter books as
> follows: "... In fact the only thing that surprises me about the Harry
> Potter books is why they've been so readily embraced by such a wide spectrum
> of readers, while Diana Wynne Jones, who's been doing this also, and with as
> much warmth and skill, for so many years, is still best known only within
> the fantasy and young adult fields.  No disrespect to Rowling; she deserves
> all the kudos the books are receiving.  But I'm hoping the door she's opened
> might also allow some of Jones's wonderful books to slip through into wider
> acceptance as well."
> Hear, hear.

Yes, Hear, hear indeed.  I enjoy CdL's books, so it's nice to hear him voicing
sensible opinions as well.

Anyway, welcome to the list!


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