i hadn't laid eyes on a golden-winged warbler in years and at first i couldn't believe what i was seeing until someone else called it - 2016-11-14
the mexico birding adventure continues... - 2016-11-13
run, rabbit, run because the fun never stops - 2016-11-13
nobody wants to admit they speak english now & who can blame them - 2016-11-12
ferruginous pygmy-owls make attractive targets for bitter hummingbirds - 2016-11-09
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By public demand, and after a delay of an embarrassing number of years, I've finally put my notorious essay, Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman, free on the fabulous internets.
A bibliography of my published books and stories.
Here's a simple card-counting FAQ to get you up to speed on the basics. Here's the true story of the notorious DD' blackjack team, told for the first time on the fabulous internets. No other team went from a starting investor's bankroll of zero to winning millions of dollars. |
|A Sadean take on Asimov's classic Three Laws of Robotics can be found in Roger Williams' NOW REVIEWED ON SLASHDOT!!!
The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect. Adult readers only please -- explicit sex and violence. For updates
on the "Dead Tree Project" and other topics, you may visit
the official fan site, Passages in the Void..
|Visit Peachfront's Cookbook, for recipes that are fast, cheap, and good. A work in progress.|
|My Bird Lists -- My Louisiana State Life List, My Yard List and, tah dah, My World Life List.|
|HEY! What happened to the Peachfront Conure Files? The world's only OFFICIAL Peachfront Conure site now features free peachfront conure coverage, including
a magazine length Intro to Conures previously published in American Cage-Bird Magazine, now free on the web. I offer the best free Peachfront Conure information on the internet. If you have great Peachfront Conure info, stories, or photos to share, contact me so I can publicize your pet, your breeding success, your great photograph, etc. on my site. Thanks.
2003-05-07 - 11:38 a.m.
I recently read Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, written
(or at least revised into the current form) in 1996, published
in 1997, which is a funny science fiction farce on the outside
and a tragicomic meditation on the death of eloquence on the
inside. While it is almost impossible for me to envision a way in
which this book could be "spoiled," if anyone is reading this
review who has not yet read Timequake, don't waste your
time here. Get thee to a library or a bookstore!
The premise is that on Feb. 13, 2001, the universe
underwent a "timequake" causing the universe to shrink back
to Feb. 17, 1991, creating a "rerun" of this decade which
would have to be lived again, exactly as it occurred the
first time. My immediate reaction: If only it were possible!
And, yet, for all the success of that decade -- which started
with the United States plunged into an unadmitted Second
Great Depression as a result of the savings and loan debacle and
which slowly, then more quickly, built to a level of
prosperity perhaps never before seen in history -- it ended
on a bitter note, with the coup d'etat and the end of
democracy. The construction of the book is fascinating, with
its layers of jokes, rants, reminiscences, synopses of short stories, bits of
plays and speeches. It actually seems designed to take
on more and more layers of meaning as time goes past, for it
is cleverly written to hint at the future, so that it seems
to foreshadow it, causing events that have occurred
after the book was written to throw new light and meaning
on the events in the book.
cannot help thinking, if only they knew what was coming.
And yet, of course, they did know -- for ten whole years
they knew everything down to the last detail -- and it changed
nothing. And we know, as we have always known, what is coming --
death, not just of individuals, but of families, nations, and,
it seems rather likely, eventually the planet, the solar system, and, indeed,
the entire universe.
The climax, or a climax, of the book is Abraham
Lincoln's1 Farewell Address at the Great Western Depot2 in Springfield, Illinois,
February 11, 1861, as presented in a stage play with
"the half-African-American great-great-grandson of John
Wilkes Booth" playing the part of Lincoln:
"...I have tried to enquire: what great principle or
ideal is it that has kept this Union so long together?
And I believe that it was not the mere matter of the separation of the
colonies from the motherland, but that sentiment in the Declaration
of Independence which gave liberty to the people
of this country and hope to all the world.
This sentiment was the fulfillment of an ancient dream, which
men have held through all time, that they might one day
shake off their chains and find freedom in the brotherhood
of life. We gained democracy, and now there is the question of
whether it is fit to survive.
"Perhaps we have come to the dreadful day of awakening, and
the dream is ended. If so, I am afraid it must be
forever. I cannot believe that ever again will men have
the opportunity we have had. Perhaps we should admit that,
and concede that our ideals of liberty and equality are
decadent and doomed. I have heard of an eastern monarch who
once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence which
would be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They
presented him the words, 'And this too shall pass away.'"
1Abraham Lincoln is probably the favorite president
of science fiction writers in general. Lincoln, or simulacra
of Lincoln, were often used in Philip K. Dick's writing, for example.
In the movie Minority Report, Spielberg nods to Dick's Lincoln
fetish by having the soon-to-be-murdered mother rehearsing the
Gettysburg Address with her school-age child. There are quick scenes of
the characters rehearsing, without any sense of meaning, the words "...that
government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not
perish from the earth" with intercuts of
the pre-crime folks getting on with the business of snooping into
people's private lives.
2This is an excerpt of Vonnegut's version of the speech.
I am not sure if it is verbatim from the actual Farewell Address, for it seems to include
bits and pieces from other speeches, such as the September 30, 1859
Address Before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society and even
the Gettysburg Address.
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