Archive

Archive for February, 2008

Review of Fortress in the Eye of Time by C J Cherryh

27 February 2008 Leave a comment

As previously noted (a long time ago, it seems), C J Cherryh (not to be confused with C J Cregg) is a favourite author of one of my favourite authors (Stephen Donaldson) – and this simple fact is one main reason I bought this book (in Mumbai). And I’m glad I did.

The novel is written with a sort of feminine grace that treads a fine line between readability and poetry and archaism (that would be a Y-shape rather than a line, then). The story concerns a young man called into existence by an aging wizard for some undefined purpose. Tristen, as this ‘Shaping’ is named, is a mystery as much to himself as to those he encounters later on. The characters’ efforts to pick away at this mystery form the major part of the plot.

The land Tristen discovers consists of villages and superstition, nobility and royalty, religious sects and intolerance. For fantasy it’s a pretty standard quasi-mediaeval English kind of world – except it’s well-drawn and understated (by virtue of there being very little magic around). It’s also more Welsh than English, with names like Cefwyn and Ynefel.

In some ways, the writing reminded me of Frank Herbert: the characters are constantly analysing what’s going on and their thoughts often have that ‘wheels within wheels within wheels’ quality. The book’s main fault is that it has too much of this. Pages are spent on these deliberations – and are then recapitulated when the protagonists learn something new.

Still, this is one of the better fantasies I’ve read, and I want to read more by this author.

Categories: Literature, Reviews

caducity

25 February 2008 Leave a comment

Another entry in the lexicon.

ca·du·ci·ty /kəˈdusɪti, -ˈdyu-/

-noun
1. the infirmity or weakness of old age; senility.
2. frailty; transitoriness: the caducity of life.

[Origin: 1760-1770; < F caducité, equiv. to caduc caducous + -ité -ity]

Source: Dictionary.com.

Categories: Lexicon

sequacious

25 February 2008 Leave a comment

One more definition following on sequaciously from the previous one.

se·qua·cious /sɪˈkweɪʃəs/

-adjective
1. following with smooth or logical regularity.
2. Archaic. following, imitating, or serving another person, esp. unreasoningly.

[Origin: 1630-40; < L sequāci- (s. of sequāx) following (akin to sequī to follow) + -ous]

-Related forms
se·qua·cious·ly, adverb
se·quac·i·ty /sɪˈkwæsɪti/,
se·qua·cious·ness, noun

Source: Dictionary.com.

Categories: Lexicon

fuliginous

25 February 2008 Leave a comment

The word I have noted down is actually ‘fuligin’. I can’t find any definitions of that exactly, but here is the denotation of ‘fuliginous’. And I can’t remember the context I read the word in, so I can only assume that this is relevant.

Main Entry: fu·lig·i·nous
Pronunciation: fyu̇-ˈli-jə-nəs
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin fuliginosus, from Latin fuligin-, fuligo soot; akin to Lithuanian dūlis cloud, vapor, and probably to Latin fumus smoke – more at fume
Date: 1621

1 a: sooty b: obscure, murky
2: having a dark or dusky color
- fu·lig·i·nous·ly adverb

Source: Merriam-Webster.com.

Categories: Lexicon

stillatory

25 February 2008 Leave a comment

More recondite lexemes.

Stil”la*to*ry, n.; pl. -ries. [From Still, for distill. Cf. Still, n., and Distillatory, a.] 1. An alembic; a vessel for distillation. [R.] –Bacon.

2. A laboratory; a place or room in which distillation is performed. [R.] –Dr. H. More. –Sir H. Wotton.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary quoted on Dictionary.com.

Categories: Lexicon

assoil

24 February 2008 Leave a comment

This word appears in Fatal Revenant in the form ‘unassoiled’.

SYLLABICATION: as·soil

PRONUNCIATION: ə-soil

TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: as·soiled, as·soil·ing, as·soils
Archaic 1. To absolve; pardon. 2. To atone for.

ETYMOLOGY: Middle English assoilen, from Old French assoldre, assoil-, from Latin absolvere, to set free : ab-, away; see ab-1 + solvere, to loosen; see leu- in Appendix I.

OTHER FORMS: as·soilment -NOUN

Source: Bartelby.com.

Categories: Lexicon

charlock

24 February 2008 Leave a comment

One more Stephen R Donaldsonism.

char·lock /ˈtʃɑrlək/

-noun
a wild mustard, Brassica kaber, having lobed, ovate leaves and clusters of small, yellow flowers, often troublesome as a weed in grainfields.

[Origin: bef. 1000; ME cherlok, OE cerlic < ?]

Source: Dictionary.com.

Categories: Lexicon

deflagrate

24 February 2008 Leave a comment

Back to obscure words, then.

def·la·grate /ˈdɛfləˌgreɪt/

-verb (used with object), verb (used without object), -grat·ed, -grat·ing.
to burn, esp. suddenly and violently.

[Origin: 1720-30; < L déflagrātus (ptp. of déflagrāre to burn down), equiv. to - de- + flagr(āre) to burn + -ātus -ate1]

-Related forms
def·la·gra·ble, adjective
def·la·gra·bil·i·ty, noun
def·la·gra·tion, noun

Source: Dictionary.com.

Categories: Lexicon

I is LOLing

22 February 2008 Leave a comment
Categories: Humour

All time top ten

22 February 2008 Leave a comment

No, not a list of my favourite songs or books or what have you. WordPress, wonderful website that it is, has just added a new option to the Dashboard. On your stats page you can now look at complete listings of post hits and referrers. What follows is a list of my top ten most viewed posts. The number one post isn’t much of a surprise – I’ve seen lots of activity on it over the months – but it is kind of odd that it should be so popular. It’s nice to see posts about Stephen Donaldson getting visited.

There are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary and those who don’t. – 696 views

Sit on my face and tell me that you love me – 456 views

‘Aubade’ by Philip Larkin – 319 views

Review of Fatal Revenant by Stephen Donaldson – 295 views

‘The Sun Rising’ by John Donne – 250 views

Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel is just a freight train coming your way. – 237 views

‘Aren’t you a little fat for a stormtrooper?’ ‘Well stay here and rot, you stuck-up bitch.’ – 146 views

Review of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote – 130 views

About – 127 views

Stephen (R) Donaldson (in Bristol) – 121 views

Categories: Computers & Internet
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.