I have always marvelled

at the ability of really good storytellers to make up names for their characters. Oh, there are some who do so strictly for fun, like Pratchett, and there are some who do so to thinly disguise their feelings for the character, or as an inside joke, like Erle Stanley Gardner, but at the same time I was reading the Hobbit, I was reading stuff by Terry Brooks.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Brooks stuff was amusing and entertaining, especially to a teenager, but when I read this XKCD comic for the first time,

I immediately thought of Brooks.

I guess I had been spoiled by Tolkein who had invented several whole fucking languages from which to draw the names for his characters and their worlds, so everything else just seems trite and contrived.

So when I downloaded and read some Vox Day the other day, I have to say, I liked the characters, I liked the stories, I felt as though the character and item and place names were pulled out of a coffee can full of scrabble tiles.

OK, so that just means he didn’t spend thirty years of his life concentrating on making up a whole language. it’s not a major criticism of his work, it’s really just a quibble. Otherwise, I look forward to reading more, especially since he seems to not be an asshole.

The F/SF genre is almost entirely dead to me, and Ed explains why in the second half of this post.

Money quote, and think it’s spot on:”It’s because SF is no longer fun. And it’s no longer fun because of political correctness. ”

The work that Ed is kind enough to have shared with me is full of the of sense of wonder he mentions. The characters are the kind of misfits you would ordinarily find on the fringes of “Normal” humanity, the type of people who would be out looking for the interesting and new. And as he says, the fact that this type of fiction is no longer prominent is NOT because it’s dead, but because you have to follow the politically correct formula to get it published.

The US lacks

large value coinage. Oh, they tried to make nearly quarter sized dollars but nobody used them. The Canajans dealt with this by no longer printing ones or twos. So you get a dollar coin (A looney, because it has a loon on the obverse) and a two dollar coin (called a tooney, because two dollars) (Don’t ask) The Japanese have a 1000 yen note in circulation (About $10.00) and most of the EU has a two euro coin.

So when I went to the store to buy smokes for the inlaws the other day I arrived with my wallet out thinking I would pay with plastic, and then realized I had almost thirty dolllars in coins in my pocket. It is certainly an odd feeling to carry that much money in metal.

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