March 26th, 2011

R.I.P. Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011)

Terribly sad news today in the sf and fantasy literary world...

Diana Wynne Jones dies at age 77

Diana Wynne Jones was best known for her children's fantasy books, notably the Chrestomanci series, but she has also written some more adult fantasy works, including Howl's Moving Castle, Dogsbody, Fire and Hemlock, and others. She also wrote a witty social commentary and parody of the fantasy genre that is among my favourites, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, and two novels set in that "world".

She was one of my favourite authors, and in many ways, I wish that I had been a child of 10 to 12 or so in order to truly appreciate the spectacular material that she wrote for children. Not that I don't love the books and their sensa wonda, of course, but I would have adored these books even more if I'd been able to read them as a child.

Terrible, terrible sad loss for children's literature.

Rest In Peace, Diana. You were truly one of the greats.

Marquesas or Chicago?

A couple of newspaper articles today (in actual papers, people, not on-line other than the links here for you to check out!) have me thinking.

Well, I know what I want to do for my next vacation. Okay, not the next one, since that's going to take me to the Uluguru Mountains, one of the most picturesque locations in the Expedition Africa adventure that Mireya Mayor, Pasquale Scaturro, Kevin Sites, and Benedict Allen went on for Mark Burnett. Definitely the one after that...

Seduced by the South Seas

The sheer visual spendour of the Marquesas and the sheer scope of it - Melville and Gauguin went to these remote islands - has got me enchanted to do something like this. Sure, it costs a bloody fortune, around $4,000 or so basic, but it would be the trip of a lifetime.

On the other hand, there's this little problem that people have these days, especially those who have tons of electronic gadgets and do-dads they can't do without. But here's an interesting perspective on this...

Unplugging in Chicago

I'm not one of the people out there who owns a cellphone, Blackberry, or fancy devices that I take with me whereever I go. Nancy Trejos' experience with her trip to Chicago for an exploration of "the Land of Silence", really puts things into perspective. Of course, it would make the trip to the Uluguru Mountains or the Marquesas Islands without any electronic devices, other than the obligatory camera of some sort, rather interesting. Hmmm...

Earth Hour

Folks should not forget that today we celebrate Earth Hour.

Tonight's the night that we switch off the lights between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm.

Earth Hour is designed to raise awareness of climate change, and was initiated by the World Wildlife Fund in Sydney, Australia in 2007. It is observed by 4,000 cities in 88 countries of the world (including the city of Ottawa).

So, remember, turn off the lights for an hour tonight and honour Earth Hour.
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