1. Anna Katherine (one half of whom is alg) writes about systems of magic or the lack thereof in an aptly titled post “rules? in a knife fight?”. This so brilliantly expressed my own feelings that I was left saying, “But on the other hand…” (which is how I reply to most of my own opinions).
2. AV Club’s Keith Phipps has worked his way up to Sturgeon’s More Than Human in his Box of Paperbacks Book Club. This is an unusually good entry in a very good ongoing series of pieces. On the other hand, I still feel that “Baby Is Three” is better as a standalone story than as Pt. 2 of More Than Human.
3. SFFAudio has a nice review of the audiobook version of Blood of Ambrose. The reviewer, Seth Wilson, rightly picks up on some of the traces of Arthurian legend in the background, and mentions among them a long-dead character named Uthar. This character was originally named Lothar, but I became increasingly unhappy with this as the novel wore on, because the name sounded too terrestrial. If I was smashing the world flat and giving it three moons so that it wouldn’t be casually mistaken for Earth, how could I have a character named Lothar? So I coined the name Uthar. I liked the sound of it, especially with the “th” pronounced as a soft theta, not the hard Gemanic aspirated “t” of “Lothar”. And at no point in this whole process, until I read Seth Wilson’s review, did it occur to me that “Uthar” might bring to anyone’s mind Uther Pendragon, a figure of nontrivial importance in the Arthurian mythos. Uff da. I think I’m going to assign myself some sort of prize for lazy nomenclature on this one. On the other hand… No, there is no other hand this time. This is a rare one-handed opinion from me. As of this moment.