April 5th, 2013

Me 2012

Why Isn't This Book Going to Write Itself?

[ This was from Twitter a few days ago, and I decided I wanted to rescue it before it disappeared into the Twitter-abyss forever. ]

rowyn: Book, I've been writing you for a couple of months now, and I think it's time I stopped being the one doing all the work here.
rowyn: I want you to start writing yourself.
rowyn: I mean, I don't expect you to finish yourself -- I'm still here for you, book. But you could carry some of the load. Write the next scene.
rowyn: I don't think that's too much to ask. I'm sure you can do it. Thanks.
the_gneech: Book: "I'm in the middle of something. Get me a beer?"
rowyn: Dammit, Book! I am not your servant! You -- you need to --

...

*gets Book another beer*
the_gneech: *nods sympathetically* My comics are the same way.
rowyn: I understand, being inanimate objects and all, they've got limitations. But do we have to do EVERYTHING for them?
Me 2012

The Thirteen Gun Salute, by Patrick O'Brian

Someday I will learn where the good break points in reading the Aubrey/Maturin books are, because the end of a book is never one. Wait, that's not true, because the end of the the previous book, The Letter of Marque was a good stopping point.

So this book took me nearly three weeks to finish, and I read four other books in the meantime. It took me a while to get into it, but once I was halfway through it rolled along smoothly. The book is a parallel of HMS Surprise, in a way, because it is once again about sending an envoy to Malay (the title is a reference to the salute due to a royal envoy). There's a wonderful if brief section where Maturin -- a naturalist by inclination -- visits a Buddhist temple located in a crater in Kumai, quite arduous to get to and almost magical on arrival: the Buddhists don't allow animals to be killed there, and there are few predators, so the local animals are all quite unafraid. I will give the book an 8 overall, and now I'm going to discuss a bunch of spoilers because I want to write about the content.
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