Tasty bits

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Wed Jun 5 08:26:25 EDT 2002

I usually have loads of scenes that I pick out of fantasy (and also, for some
reason, Georgette Heyer), but my mind is really blank on the matter at the
moment.  Has been all weekend (and a long weekend it was too).

Best I can manage:

The tutorials in Time City, where Vivian is getting the universal symbols almost
right individually, but failing to put them together into a coherent narrative.

(BTW, Universal symbols.  An ideographic script with a grammatical gender
apparently encoded in the script.  Double-plus-ouch!  Not that I have anything
against ideographic scripts - Chinese characters are _fun_ - but this is going
too far...)

And one from "Destiny Doll" by Clifford Simak (not an author people often
mention here.  I wonder why not).  They have been tracking a tribe of centaurs
across the planet, and they eventually find them at a polo match.  Why, oh why,
do so few authors' centaurs play polo????

On a related subject, how about a slightly smaller scale:  not whole scenes, but
short descriptive passages.  I have two real favourites; again, one from Time
City, and one from Simak, this time "Time is the Simplest Thing":

The description of the effect of getting caught in the edge of the mind weapon
when they're going after the silver Casket.  All the surreal musical metaphors.

Simak's description of the colour of the pink alien that the hero meets right at
the beginning of the book.

(I suppose I could bring books to work and quote these in full if people really


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