October 14th, 2008

Queen of Voles

Redemption cabaret

Who else is planning on performing in the Redemption cabaret?  I already know of at least two other definite acts, and that's just people I've spoken to in the last couple of weeks.

I'm starting to work on a poi routine (but I need to see if my eldest son can splice the exact music I need from my CD as there's a long intro that isn't relevant).

katlinel  mentioned that she was using a song about the end of the world, so I've decided to try and work out a routine to Tom Leher's song "We'll all go together when we go".  (If that doesn't work right for the timing, then I'll find another song)  It's delightfully tasteless and very funny.

Having learnt a broom dance at the molly workshop I went to, I'm tempted to try that as well.  Ideally, this would need two things (in addition to a broom).  It would need a musician who can play for it - most standard folk dance tunes will work - and someone else to join in.

A broom dance if often competitative in nature. The first dancer does a figure, and the second dancer attempts to copy it.  IF they both get it right, there's the option of speeding up the music...

I'd love to try and get my sons doing this.  They've both got the build to be really good broom dancers (leggy and flexible) and I'm willing to bet they can manage a figure that most broom dancers (including me) wouldn't dare attempt.  And they're very competitive with one another....  Evil grin!


Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro

Another book lent to me by katlinel  who thought I might like it.  She was right.  I'm gong to get more books by this writer.

After reading this book, the first thing I did was to go and look up the author to see if Asaro knew what she was talking about.

She does.

She has an MA in physics from Harvard and her publications include - "Complex speeds and special relativity," Catherine Asaro, Am. Jour. Phys. April 1996

So, I think I'll read the space propulsion section of the book more carefully next time around - because this is a book that would repay a second reading even without the physics.

The novel has a few minor glitches in the writing style, especially early on when there's rather more 'telling' than 'showing'.  This soon smooths out a lot, and besides, it was her first novel.

This novel shows us a complex future in which empathic abilities are closely tied into the operation of ftl craft.  This creates a cruelly ironic world where the people necessary to be the really high-tech military are also those who most feel the pain of another person's death.

Asaro works this neatly into her work and this alone would make a good novel. However, what I really enjoyed was that she wrote a romance that avoids the clichés.  There was a point early on where I groaned and thought: "Oh Lord, standard romance cliche number four coming up - and it didn't happen!"  I found the avoidance of the clichés greatly increased my enjoyment of the book as I was unable to predict what would happen next.

This is a book that I'll happily recommend to anyone who wants hard SF with a dash of romance.

Primary Inversion can be legally read online