A brief rundown of what my life looks like these days. Last updated November 11, 2020.
Another presidential election has come and gone… sort of. There was, of course, no reason to expect that the current president’s cravenness, avarice, and narcissism would suddenly disappear once the results of the election became clear, or that he would concede defeat in a graceful manner. Similarly, there was no reason to expect his followers and lackeys to accept the results, either. It would’ve been nice, to be sure, but they’ve all spent the last four years grumbling, griping, and whining about the unfairness of everything, so none of their current behavior ought to be too surprising. Disappointing, yes, but not surprising.
So instead, we get to watch our country’s fundamental principles get mocked by a grown man throwing a toddler’s temper tantrum even as our fellow citizens continue to exchange truth and fact for baseless conspiracy theories (e.g., QAnon, Michigan’s voting software, Nevada’s mysterious 3,000 votes).
Star Trek: The Next Generation is one of my favorite TV shows of all time, and I still find myself watching an episode or two whenever I need to find some solace in its utopian vision. So I was unsure of Star Trek: Lower Decks when I began watching it. The animated show follows the zany escapades of a group of ensigns serving aboard one of the least important ships in Starfleet, and on the surface, its cheeky, irreverent humor might seem to be at odds with The Next Generation (both shows are set in the same era). But I feel like the show is ultimately coming from the same place as Galaxy Quest, in that it’s made by people who clearly love the stuff that they’re parodying, and as a longtime Star Trek fan, I’ve found myself chuckling on more than one occasion at inside joke.
I’m not sure why it took me until my mid 40s to finally read Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain, but here we are. I’m pretty sure that had I read them back when I was my son’s age, they would now be counted among of my favorite books. The series, which is heavily inspired by Welsh mythology, can be a bit simplistic in its writing and characterizations. However, that simplicity is what allows Alexander’s story about a young boy who dreams of growing up into a mighty hero to become as poignant as it is, as the main character learns that heroism, as well as mention growing up, is frequently rife with struggle, sacrifice, and grief.
I’ve just started reading Piranesi, Susanna Clarke’s long-awaited follow-up to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I’m only one chapter in, but I already love the book’s fantastical setting (an apparently infinite house filled with oceans, countless statues, and other strange wonders).
And I’m still slowly making my way through David Zindell’s The Broken God, the first in his Requiem for Homo Sapiens trilogy. More on that to come.