On My 2019 TBR

I’ve already got quite a few books on my TBR for 2019. Have you read any of these? Are they also on your TBR? Continue reading “On My 2019 TBR”

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The Quotable Pratchett: The Color of Magic

 No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away

With the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett and the publication of The Shepherd’s Crown, I embarked on an epic re-reading of all 41 official Discworld novels, with the goal of finishing by 31 December, 2016.

Famous for its wit and wisdom, the series offers countless quotable quotes on a variety of subjects. The quotes I share should not be considered the whole of Sir Terry’s excellent prose; indeed, there are the tasty appetizers to a succulent, nourishing meal.

About The Color of Magic

The Color of Magic Goodreads coverThis is the first published Discworld novel; it is also the first in the Rincewind Cycle – the series of books that follow the misadventures of the “WIZZARD” Rincewind.

In this novel, Pratchett introduces us to the workings of the Disc – its mechanics, metaphysics, morality, etc – through the eyes of the Disc’s first Tourist, Twoflower.

If you’ve seen the film The Color of Magic, this book contains the first half of the film [of course there’s more in the book than in the film; there always is] while The Light Fantastic relates the events from the second-half of the film.

The Goodreads Blurb:

The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett’s maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins — with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…

And Now: On to the Quotes!

Discworld Librarian

The Librarian as he appears in The Discworld Companion, illustrated by Paul Kidby


Magic never dies. It merely fades away.


Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying.


Being Ymor’s right-hand man was like being gently flogged to death with scented bootlaces.


Promotion in the Assassin’s Guild was by competitive examination, the Practical being the most – indeed, the only – part.


Let’s just say if complete and utter chaos were lightning, then he’d be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armor and shouting “All gods are bastards.”


Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant “idiot”.


You’re just as dead if you fall from forty feet as you are from four thousand fathoms, that’s what I say.


When one’s foot is stuck in the Grey Miasma of H’Rull it is much easier to step right in and sink rather than prolong the struggle.


Rincewind often suspected that there was something, somewhere, that was better than magic. He was usually disappointed.


Lightning is the spears hurled by the thunder giants when they fight. Established meteorological fact. You can’t harness it . . . and even if you could get a harness on it, how could you get it to pull a cart?


It was all very well going on about pure logic and how the universe was ruled by logic and the harmony of numbers, but the plain fact of the matter was that the disc was manifestly traversing space on the back of a giant turtle and the gods had a habit of going around to atheists’ houses and smashing their windows.


[Octarine] is said to be a sort of fluorescent greenish yellow purple.


A man who owned a needle made of octiron would never lose his way, since it always pointed to the Hub of the Discworld, being acutely sensitive to the Disc’s magical field; it would also miraculously darn his socks.


Everyone has gods. You just don’t think they’re gods.


The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork smiled, but with his mouth only.


I assure you the though never even crossed my mind, Lord.

Indeed? Then if I were you I’d sue my face for slander.

 . . .

Next: The Light Fantastic

The Complete List

 

Teaser Tuesday: Jacksonland

The school year and basketball season have hit their stride and should remain there until sometime in mid-March.

With that in mind, the Wheel of Time has turned to

Teaser Tuesday

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

This week’s book is Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross. and A Great American Land Grab written by NPR’s Steve Inskeep. For those that listen to him on a daily basis, one can’t help but hear him narrate his own words.

The Truly Random Number Generator send us to page 199:

But in the summer of 1829, Evarts was exactly what 
Ross needed: a genuine ally who was willing to fight 
alongside him as an equal. Evarts was different than 
Henry Clay, who supported Indian rights but also 
thought Indians were doomed. While Clay thought 
Indians' "disappearance from the human family would 
be no great loss to the world," Evarts placed them 
on the same level as white men. 

Jacksonland Goodreads cover

In Retrospect

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Founding Brothers Goodreads CoverAuthor: Joseph J. Ellis.

Although this book adds little new (if anything at all) to the historical record, it is both enjoyable and mostly readable – two qualities which may have helped it win the Pulitzer Prize.

My only fault is the author’s overuse of adjectives and certain phrases – after some time it felt I was reading a fluffed-up report.

4 Stars


 

The Color of Magic

The Color of Magic Goodreads coverAuthor: Terry Pratchett

This is both the first published Discworld novel & the first novel in the “Rincewind Cycle” – the series of Discworld books detailing the misadventures of the “wizzard” Rincewind.

If you picked up this book after seeing the film The Color of Magic, be aware that this book only covers the first part of the film; for the complete story, you’ll also want The Light Fantastic.

As this is the first book in the series, Pratchett spends a good deal more time (comparatively) discussing the actual mechanics of the Disc. Some may find this dull, while the more science-and-math minded may find such discussion downright enjoyable.

I personally find the Discworld series both witty and funny, but such accolades depend greatly on the individual. Much of Pratchett’s humor is dry and his wit relies on the readers’ knowledge of Earth’s workings and/or mythology.

The Color of Magic is fun as pure fantasy, but also contains splendid nuggets of joy for the more cerebral-minded.

5 Stars

Coming Soon

Disciples: The World War II Missions of the CIA Directors Who Fought for Wild Bill Donovan by Douglas C. Waller

 


 

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Joey Zasa: Michael Corleone’s Sad Puppy (A Morality Tale)

Come, Sad Puppies, and sit around the fire.

Perhaps this is the very fire by which Mary Shelley created Frankenstein. Or not. It’s just a fire, and I don’t write Science Fiction/Fantasy. Deal with it.

Nevertheless, there is a tale you should hear:

The Tale of Joey Zasa

It’s New York City in the 1970s, and Joey Zasa has taken control of the Corleone crime syndicate. In another age, Zasa may have been the most powerful crime boss to ever rule a family; however, he comes to power at a time when crime families desire more legitimacy and overall public opinion is turning against the gangster lifestyle.

A smart businessman, Zasa nonetheless earns Michael Corleone’s displeasure by dealing narcotics and living a flamboyant, high-profile lifestyle – both of which draw unwanted attention to the family’s criminal activities. Furthermore, Michael forces Joey to make peace with Vincent Mancini (Michael’s nephew), who claims Zasa has been publicly insulting Michael and views Zasa as a legitimate threat to Michael. These perceived slights gnaw at Joey Zasa, and – after an unsuccessful attempt to eliminate Vincent – he plots Michael’s downfall.

Aligning himself with Michael’s enemies, Zasa engineers an admittedly brilliant mass murder of various Dons of the Commission in Atlantic City, New Jersey; unfortunately for Zasa, Michael Corleone – his chief target – escapes.

Fast forward in time: New York’s Little Italy is celebrating a religious festival dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and Zasa has put up a Cadillac as a raffle prize. A Corleone accomplice scratches the Cadillac, infuriating Zasa. His henchmen go after the vandal, only to be gunned down by disguised hitmen. Zasa himself flees on foot, but his escape is hindered by a locked door. He is shot three times in the back by Vincent Mancini, who had disguised himself as a mounted police officer.


Now, Sad Puppies, do you see? Do you see the lesson you should learn?

You are Joey Zasa. Considering yourselves slighted, you engineered the downfall of those who opposed you. It remains to be seen what – if any – ultimate victories you may secure. What is certain is the stunt is unlikely to be repeated. I’m not saying someone is going to gun you down; in fact, they shouldn’t. That would be murder most foul and an atrocity beyond the pale. What I am saying is that you won’t get away with it again. Enjoy your brief time in the sun, Sad Puppies; enjoy it while it lasts . . .

. . . and remember Joey Zasa.



Full Disclaimer

I have no dog in the Hugos fight.

Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know what the Hugos were; I would have asked if they were something akin to these two:

I’m not even sure I like that many SF/F authors. I can probably count them on one hand:

Jules Verne
Ray Bradbury
Michael Crichton
Terry Pratchett
Neil Gaiman

I also like Doctor Who, and I follow John Scalzi’s blog – for whom the Sad Puppies harbor a special venomous hatred – but I’ve never read any of his books and don’t rightly recall why I started following him. I like his blog, though; I’ll have to check out his books someday.

Why do you hate him so, Sad Puppies? Why?

I owe credit to one Scott Richardson, whose reply on Karey English’s post inspired me.

I feel like Michael Corleone at this point (“Each time I get out, they pull me back in again!”). I ducked out of fandom a long time ago because of this kind of thing. I got pulled back because there were anomalies in the Hugo ballot and my brain gets attracted to those like a pig to truffles.

A special thanks is due the Godfather wiki, whose biography of Joey Zasa was quite useful in my summation.

Don’t forget to follow me on:

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts – and humorous retweets – in 140 characters or less.

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