this is gonna be weird

Margaret Ball margaret at
Sun Nov 21 15:23:10 EST 2004

Minnow wrote

>There are some secondary characters in some books whom I feel need
>>> and giving their own stories.  I shan't give examples because it wouldn't
>>> be fair, but it sometimes feels as if there ought to be a Society for the
>>> Protection of Spear-Carriers

There's a great moment in _Galaxyquest_ where one of the minor 
characters freaks out and cries, "What if I'm the nice guy who dies in 
the first part so that everybody will know the dangers are real?" or 
words to that effect.

Spear-carriers, like houses, can be self-aware. And it is fun to imagine 
their stories.

You know the ballad where the silkie tosses the mother some money and 
says "Give to me my little young son, and take you up your nurse's 
fee."  I never could understand why she put up with that, so I wrote a 
short story once from her pov where she says, in essence, "Like hell I 
will, this is my kid and I'm keeping him."

Much, much later on I discovered the few verses of the silkie ballad 
that Joan Baez sings embedded in an extremely long and complicated 
Orkney song with plots and subplots, in which the mother giving up the 
half-silke child actually makes sense in the context.

Margaret Ball

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen; whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different.


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