The Writing's on the Walls (Was: Re: On the subject ofWickedWomen)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Fri May 25 14:30:09 EDT 2001

Hallie said...
> And for *extra credit*, you just need to give the list rec/discussion
> of each one.  ;)

Fnih.  I probably missed several of them, and several more I would have
deleted unread because I hadn't at the time read the books that people were
talking about.  So no extra credit for me.
> >Dorian: You know what worries me about it?  I don't know very many
> >of the answers,
> >and about half of those that I do know, I only know because she's lent me
> >the books they're from!
> :)  You *just* missed seeing this, but I was thinking it what a
> difference the books you took home with you would make!

They did.  I'd never have got the "To Say Nothing of the Dog" or "The
Perilous Gard" ones otherwise.  And seeing "Dido and Pa" on your bookshelf
helped, too. :-)

> And anyway,
> I think most of the books you borrowed were only published in the
> States (sorry - I meant not UK, I've no idea about Australia).  Very
> annoying in what it does to the budget!

I know.  Though it used to be really nice a few years ago, when Forbidden
Planet would sell US imports at their cover price (i.e. if it said $3.99
they'd sell it for £3.99, which was well under the normal average price for
a book).  I don't know if they still do this; I've not been in there in far
too long.
> >
> >Ah well, here we go...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >leaving spoiler space so people can post their own answers before reading
> >mine
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >Okay...
> >
> >>3.  "Why did you decide to work with fads?"
> >     "Everybody else was doing it."
> >
> >Heheheh.  I've no idea what this is from, but I love it!  Hallie,
> >it is, can I borrow it next time?
> :)  You know what it is now, and you've got the loan!

Ooh, goodie!
> >  > 4.  "And now I suppose that I shall have to arrange matters with
> >>  Kaeso.  Jupiter!
> >>  Why did I never realize how peaceful life was before you came!"
> >
> >Rosemary Sutcliff, almost for sure.  The Eagle of the Ninth, I think.
> >Aquila's uncle talking.
> Spot on - except that it's Uncle Aquila. :)  Such a great character.

I'm ashamed of missing this one; I do own both "The Eagle of the Ninth" and
"The Silver Branch", but I haven't read either of them in a few years.
Which is my excuse.
> >  >5.  Placetne, magistra?  (Answer won't go there until Becca and Cara
> >>have read the book!)
> >
> >_Gaudy Night_.  Connie Willis made me read it.  Not personally.  But you
> >know what I mean.  I read the whole series in a big swoop three years ago
> >after my son's birth.
> Actually, why did I bother witholding the answer?  It's pretty well
> and truly given in TSNotD anyway.

I'm even more ashamed of missing this one!  I love "Gaudy Night" and have
read it several times.   Ooh!  I do recall a discussion about this one; it
followed on, I think, from talk about "Tam Lin", and many people said they
didn't like the way characters in both books littered their conversation
with literary allusions and quotations...or at least, not that they didn't
like it, but that they thought it would be very intimidating in real life.
> >
> >>7.  Oh how I'd like to be queen, Pa,
> >     Watching my troops at review,
> >     With slippers of crimson shagreen, Pa,
> >     And all of my underclose new!
> >
> >This sounds as if it might be from one of the "James III" books by Joan
> >Aiken.  Probably "Dido and Pa", since that's the only one I can think of
> >that I haven't read.
> Yup.  And one of my faves of that series.  Almost DWJ-ish in the
> treatment of relationship with an impossible parent?

Hrm.  Will have to borrow it from you (inexplicably, my local library has
the first few of the series, and the latest two or three, but nothing in

> >>12.  In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were
> >men,
> >women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were
> >real
> >small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.
> >
> >Douglas Adams.  I think it's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", but
> >*could* be one of the later ones.  (Have we all got our towels ready for
> >tomorrow?)
> And Rebecca said her entire first-hour class was bringing them in!
> Whatever class is this?  (Love it already!)

Yep, carried my towel proudly all day.  Got a lot of funny looks. :-)

> >  >16.  "You don't look like any god to me, Christopher Heron!  You look
> >a piece of gilded ginger-bread, that's what you look like, one of those
> >cakes they sell at a fair!"
> >
> >Back to "The Perilous Gard"; this is Kate yelling at Christopher right
> >before he's sacrificed by the Faeries, and this is the line that finally
> >gets through to him.
> About 90% of that book is totally quotable!

Much of it Kate's lines!  Though Christopher and the Steward get some good
ones too, and Alicia's blithering is rather fun.

> Only one unguessed - but I won't answer it quite yet.  It's a
> recurring statement - much to the main character's annoyance!  (That
> should help.)

Ah yes, no. 11.  Ooh, a thought, after your clue.  Could it be the first one
of Patricia Wrede's "Dragon" series (my copy is called "Dragonsbane", but I
recall that you have the US editions and they have different titles - can't
recall what the first one is, though)?  If so, it's what Cimorene's parents
keep telling her when she tries to learn interesting things instead of
princess lessons.  And when she first meets the dragons, they say it when
she says she wants to be a dragon's princess.  And I think her tiresome
knight says it too.  And she finally turns the tables on him by making him
rescue the princess who's been there longest, because "it simply isn't done"
to rescue the newest captive. :-)

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"I feel that if a character cannot communicate, the very least he can do is
to shut up!"
--Tom Lehrer

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