Keep well; A brief note about books I’ve read; & Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65

Hope you are all well. Keep well.

Recent reading: Three novels — all richly imagined and immensely enjoyable:

  1. Adrian Tchaikovsky: “The Children of Time (c) 2015.

    Winner of the 30th anniversary Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel.

Epic space and time scale.  The paths of two civilizations converge.

A super-sentient species of spiders evolves, a civilization, on a planet terraformed by humans millennia ago.

The generation ark ship “Gilgamesh” carries the last of humanity from Earth. Through millennia, and across vast reaches of space, the Gilgamesh follows the ancient star maps of Earth’s Old Empire, maps that track the ancient astronauts’ exploration of potential bio-habitats in space.

  1. Victor LaValle: “The Changeling” (c) 2017.

    Multiple awards: including Locus Award for Best Horror Novel, British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel, World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

Apollo Kagwa’s search for his wife and baby son.
An excellent story of horror, immigrant legends, mythology, computer technology, and social media.
The entire story is set in NY city and its boroughs.

  1. Paolo Bacigalupi & Tobias S. Buckell: “The Tangled Lands” (c) 2018.

    Winner of The World Fantasy Award For Best Collection

A collection of four fantasy stories, set in the city of Khaim and the surrounding lands.

Part 1: “The Alchemist” by Paolo Bacigalupi (copyright -2010)
Part 2: “The Executioness” by Tobias Buckell (copyright – 2010)
Part 3: “The Children of Khaim” by Paolo Bacigalupi (copyright 2018)
Part 4: “The Blacksmith’s Daughter” by Tobias Buckell (copyright 2018)

Wherever people practice magic, the bramble plant grows and spreads, destroying land and cities. An alchemist in Khaim discovers a way to destroy bramble by burning it with neem.
But the ruler of Khaim, the Jolly Mayor and his mage Majister Scacz use the alchemy to find and destroy those who practice magic. Burning neem turns into blue smoke in the presence of magic, and people who practice magic are easily identified by the clinging blue smoke. Still, people continue the practice of magic, and bramble continues to spread.

The four stories are of people who fight back against the stranglehold of Majister and bramble.


William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

Sonnet LXV.
“Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
But sad mortality o’ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wrackful siege of batt’ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.”


“Shakespeare’s Sonnets by William Shakespeare”, edited by William J. Rolfe (1883)

This work is in the public domain.