Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mind Meld: Writing in Another Author's Universe

For anyone who missed it, I participated in a Mind Meld at SFSignal with a number of other writers and editors, which was published on May 27. Here it is:
http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015/05/mind-meld-writing-another-authors-universe/

The question posed:
"Recently, Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter announced that they were writing a story set in the Jupiter-diving “Medusa” world of the late Arthur C Clarke. Collections such as Songs of the Dying Earth feature writers trying their hand in Vance’s many universes.
With that in mind…
What fallow universe do you think deserves additional exploration, and who would you ask to write in that world?"
Follow the link and scroll down to see my reply.

(This item was published belatedly but scheduled as if on May 28, a day after the Mind Meld was posted, to keep it tidy in the blog timeline.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Serendipitous moments: Libraries, Renoir, and Vreeland's Luncheon of the Boating Party

Earlier this year, I was at the library looking for an audiobook to entertain myself during a long drive. To my disappointment, I had already listened to all the available P.G. Wodehouse works. I started skimming backward through the shelves, and my eyes fell upon "The Luncheon of the Boating Party" by Susan Vreeland.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir has long been one of my favorite painters (Dance at Bougival, Young Girls at the Piano, etc.), and Luncheon of the Boating Party (Le déjeuner des canotiers) is possibly his best, combining people, still-life elements, and a shimmering river landscape in one convivial scene. I borrowed a print of it from my father a few years ago, and it has hung in my bedroom ever since. So I checked out the 14-CD set, despite knowing nothing of the author.

That's one of the things I really enjoy about libraries: serendipitous finds! I love looking at the new arrivals, and I love wandering the stacks, discovering stories that have been waiting for me all along. And because they're free to users, I can try anything, however random and far that offering may be from my usual reading habits.