Feb. 17th, 2012

moderate_excess: (Monorail cat)
Hi there! Posting from not at all sunny Orlando (because it's the middle of the night). I'm ensconced in a Super 8 motel with a decent wifi connection (but not the Motel 6 I'd planned to stay at, as they only had smoking rooms when I arrived) and a pretty nice big bed, but the weirdest bathtub I think I've ever seen. It has the drain on the side, and it's elevated about 6 inches above floor level. The bottom is oddly flexible, and feels as if they installed it over nothing, when it's meant to be installed over a subfloor. It made a lot of odd flexing sounds when I shifted my weight. Good thing I'm on the first floor.

So I didn't decide on the audio books for this trip until this morning, as I am completely off my rhythm after 2 months at home. I finally settled on three books; one stand-alone (I think) and two in a series. The first is Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed, and the others are Habitation of the Blessed and The Folded World by Catherynne M. Valente. I admit I'm a bit prejudiced toward these books as one of the authors is a good friend, and the other is someone I've met a few times and who strikes me as a lovely person. Also, I heard good things about his book from people whose opinions I general trust.

So I'm listening to Saladin's book first, and I'm really enjoying it. Oddly, even though it is set in a non-western world, much of the story feels comfortable and familiar. It took me a while before I realized that it reminded me strongly of the Jim Butcher Dresden novels. The protagonist fights evil with magic, and has a kind of world-weariness and perpetual longing for a normal life and a love out of reach that seems to haunt gumshoes across time and genre. But the world Ahmed creates is a wonderfully rich and beautifully realized middle-east of the past. There are just enough cookie crumbs for someone with as slapdash an understanding of world history as myself to pick up to clue one in on the geographical area and time period in which the book is set, but without any hand-holding or expository lumps. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it, and I'm very glad to have chosen this book for the drive down.

Tomorrow I head for Ft Lauderdale to pick up a member of our group, and thence to Coconut Grove, where we'll be setting up for the show this weekend. It's going to be a long day tomorrow, so I think I'd better sign off here and get to sleep. With any luck I'll be able to connect at the Mutiny Hotel, and update tomorrow night. If I'm not dead, of course. Good night!


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