Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Mon Jun 30 11:31:25 EDT 2003

I'm _way_ behind on reading this list, but I shall break my usual rule of not
butting in until I'm up to date, because otherwise you'd all have forgotten
about the introductions thread by the time I made my own ;-)

Name: Philip Belben

Living in: Coalville, Leicestershire, England.  There aren't many towns in the
world called Coalville, but I think one of the others is just down the road from
Jacob and Melissa, at Chalk Creek, Utah.

Originally from:  Bristol.  But I grew up in Somerset (for you foreigners,
Somerset is a county in SW England, and Bristol is just outside it to the north,
on the river Avon.

Age: 36

What I do when not playing here :  During the week, Electrical Engineer.  On
Sundays, Church Organist.  If there's any free time left I write music, read
F&SF, collect old computers, and try to keep my 1948 truck on the road.

Married/partnered/?:  Still searching.

Offspring (human variety):  None  (at my first attempt I typed "nine".  Oops!)

Offspring (four-legged):  None.  Nor do I have any birds or snakes.  I'd rather
fancy a cat, but I think a python would better suit my ability to look after

First DWJ/when:  Dogsbody.  I can't remember when, probably mid or late 1970s -
age 9 +/- 1

Favourite DWJ:  Overall favourite is definitely Sudden Wild Magic, but I'd
prefer to divide into categories:

   Most intellectually satisfying complex plot: SWM.

   Most moving:  Hexwood

   Funniest:  Year of the Griffin

   Others I like that the majority of the list seems not to:  Changeover
   (funny), Power of Three (moving, and overall favourite before SWM came out),
   Wild Robert (good children's book).  And see my overall favourite above.

Least favourite DWJ:  Angus Flint.  Or possibly Chair Person.  Skiver's Guide I
don't find particularly good either, but that's in a category of its own,

Others I don't find as satisfying as the rest:  Time of the Ghost, Fire and
Hemlock, Black Maria, The Ogre Downstairs.

Other authors/books:  Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart - both "must buy" authors.
This list (or people I've met here) has introduced me to Connie Willis and Lois
McMaster Bujold (both almost "must buy".), Emma Bull (I'm glad I didn't start
with War for the Oaks - I like Falcon and Finder much better) and Patricia
Wrede.  I also like Charles de Lint, Alan Dean Foster, Julian May, Jack Chalker.

And Tanith Lee.  No, she's not an author of whose work I read and love
everything.  Most of her work I don't like.  But she has more books in my top
few even than DWJ!  The Silver Metal Lover, Drinking Sapphire Wine (the whole
novel, not just the second volume), and When the Lights Go Out are all
masterpieces; I like many of her children's fantasy too (The Dragon Hoard is one
of the funniest books I know)

Two individual books I must mention.  Sorcery and Cecelia by Wrede and
Stevermer; The Mediaeval Machine by Gimpel.  The latter is the only work of
non-fiction to be on my favourites list.

Music:  Another one that needs subdividing...

   Music to listen to, mainly 20th century classical.  Favourite composers are
   Sibelius, Bartok, Copland, Nielsen; favourite songwriters are Kate Bush and
   Sigrid Visconti.

   Music to play.  On the Organ, I find myself playing more Boëllmann and Händel
   than any other composers.  Not sure why - probably because I lack the
   technique for Messiaen!  The favourite orchestral piece in which I've taken
   part (I play the bassoon) is "Dark Sun August 1945" by Steve Montague.  On
   the piano, I get lazy and play mainly my own improvisations.  But I think
   Chopin is my favourite real composer to play.

Currently reading: No fiction on the go atm - I'm reading "Telephony" by J
Atkinson, a textbook from 1948.  (Yes, things have changed!  But that's what
makes it so fascinating!)  Most recent reads, The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
(Isn't Sophy like Miles Vorkosigan!), Orion Arm by Julian May.

Oh well, back to lurkdom until I have time to clear my e-mail...


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