John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane
jkahane

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Seven Interests Meme

gaaneden picked 7 of my interests for me to write about. If you want to play along, send me a comment; I'll pick 7 of your interests for you to write about, and then you post them with these instructions in your LiveJournal to keep this going.

Charles Stross - Charles Stross is a science fiction and fantasy writer (some would argue more the latter than the former) born in Leeds, England, who now resides in Scotland. Stross writes cutting edge science fiction, that tends to deal with the human condition in all its myriad forms. I first discovered his writing with a collection of short stories called Toast, and was intrigued enough to pick up his first Bob Howard book, The Atrocity Archives (there's now a sequel called The Jennifer Morgue), that is a combination of Lovecraftian horror, science fiction, and British spy thriller. He's also written the wonderfully evocative Merchant Princes series, of which there are now four volumes, about an alternate world spanning family/clan, and has a whole batch of other books including Singularity Sky, its sequel Iron Sunrise, and some excellent stand-alone novels as well.

Diana: Warrior Princess - A wonderfully wacky, parody roleplaying game based on Xena: Warrior Princess from the twisted minds of Marcus Rowland and Aaron Williams. Think of the modern days world, as seen from the point of view as remote from us as we are from the Romans or the Greeks, and then imagine it converted into a tv series by a production company that shows such lavish detail to historical accuracy that we have come to expect from the folks who make the stuff on the television. In other words, throw realism out the window. The game is absolutely superb in its simplicity and weirdness, and is quite wonderful.

Dying Earth - Set in the far future when the Earth's sun is in its final days, this series of four novels (collected as Tales of the Dying Earth) by master fantasist Jack Vance have both humourous and somewhat pathetically sad moments. The dying earth is a world of decadence and social turpitude in which humanity tries to live out its last days. The world is one where magic has returned and science is an art that is long forgotten, and where people and strange creatures and half-men cohabit in an uneasy truce (except for the creatures that just want to eat you, although Magicians and Arch-Magicians sometimes have even stranger fates in store for those they encounter). Pelgrane Press have created a superb, very innovative roleplaying game based on Vance's work that captures the flavour and feel of this Dying Earth to perfection.

English Football - What North Americans call "soccer". While I left England and came to Canada when I was very young, I am a huge fan of English football, and specifically the Arsenal Gunners football club of the English Premier League.

Incas - My interests in ancient cultures has led me to be fascinated by the Incan culture of South America. The Incans were one of the most interesting of the various cultures that inhabited the region, and their politics, social structure, and religion (not to mention their languages) are some of the most interesting to read and learn about.

Lorraine Garland - Lorraine Garland is a wonderful folk musician from Minneapolis, who sang and played fiddle with coffeeem in the musical duo The Flash Girls, and has gone on to do other stuff. She is also known in literary circles as the personal assistant to writer Neil Gaiman, who has written some of the songs for the various groups that she has played with. Excellent musician, and really a nice person.

Xenozoic Tales - A wonderful comic created by Mark Schultz, set in a post-apocalyptic future. The stories deal with humanity's attempt to achieve some sort of balance with the new world around them where Nature has taken back what was once Hers. Inhabited by all manner of creatures, including the ancient dinosaurs that roamed the earth, the story concerns two specific characters - Jack "Cadillac" Tenrec (a mechanic with a mystical connection to the world) and Hannah Dundee (a scientist and explorer with a penchant for the technological potential) - who are somewhat polar opposites. Crisp artwork, good characterization, interesting plots , and a well-detailed world make the series superb. This stuff is known by its other sobriquet, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs.
Tags: charles stross, english football, jack vance, meme
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