Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Excuse my language but ARGHFUCOLA.

What a week, what a day.
So happy with my Kindle (as mentioned in previous post) - a delight to use, increasing my reading time and reducing my Internet-waste-of-time, and then I thought, what the hell I'll bring it to work so I can show my students, maybe some of them would like to see how an e-reader works, and maybe even want one for Christmas you know. Make 'em better readers and all that.
And then I manage to let it slide out of my hands on my way to the classroom (I had my hands full with a lot of books and a PC and whatnot) and there you go, one irritating, annoying, soul-sucking 8 millimeter scratch almost perfectly in the middle of the screen, appropriately placed to make it impossible to ignore while reading - and even more visible when you actually turn on the damn screen as it somehow seems to absorb and spew out the backlight, a brilliant little permanent bolt of lightning marring my 1.3 week old baby Kindle.

Look at that scratch! Totally screwed up my day. 
I hate gadgets so much. But I love them. But they are so vulnerable. So frickin' frail. ARGHFUCOLA. Well well. I guess there's still time to get a replacement, but I'm almost afraid now to get a new one (if I can get a new one, I haven't really looked over the guarantees or rules or whathaveyoumafuc) since one small scratch is enough to fuck up (I did ask to excuse my language in the title of this damned postal rant) the entire experience and fun of owning this (otherwise awesome) thingamagog. SO SADNESS IN MY FACE!
It doesn't help that, at the same time, I'm trying to quit nicotine once and for all. You'll see, that scratch is going to make me pick up my bad habit again. Dammit. ANyhoot.
(One thing that kind of infuriates me a little extra is that the Kindle is built with the screen kind of protected by the surrounding plastic; in practice, falling on the floor shouldn't actually cause a scratch like that, am I right? If you put the Kindle upside down on a flat surface, the screen itself doesn't touch said accursed surface at all, it's sunk. WHYYYYYYYYY

Before this disaster ruined my literary life (about an hour ago), I did finish the third Maurice Druon novel in his series about the French kings of yore, heavily recommended by George R.R. Martin, called The Poisoned Crown, and it is quite similar in every way to the two first books (I hesitate calling them novels, though the third one is the closest to having a mostly coherent narrative with fewer authorial intrusions and straight history lessons).

Coming to the end of this trilogy collectively known as The Accursed Kings (great and fitting title), my next project is to restart (and this time finish) Ian C. Esslemont's latest venture into the Malazan Empire with Dancer's Lament, I really miss me some Malazan, so that will be good. But I am rather intrigued by Druon's work to be honest, and wonder whether I should try and track down the next four volumes of The Accursed Kings, if they exist at all in the English language. There's something about real history and its random twists and turns that appeals to me, and of course it's valuable in the sense of getting a feeling of a time and place so foreign.

Since I'm done with the three-in-one The Accursed Kings ebook, just in time before I fucking missed my accursed Kindle-baby on the accursed floor, here's a short list of vague and not so vague similarities between A Song of Ice and Fire and Druon's work, showing why George R.R. Martin dares call this stuff "the original Game of Thrones". (Not sure Martin ever uttered this statement of course; never trust a cover blurb).

-- Hold yer horses --

* An icy queen
* Three royal brothers and their claims to succession
* Young lovers marry in secret
* Prophecy coming true but not necessarily by miracle or magic
* A physically large character who is not very chivalrous
* And of course all the elements you pretty much have to expect, like backstabbing, poisoning, rape, murder, violence, bastardry, lies, lust, betrayals, battles (not so much to be honest, kinda like Martin in that we hear more about them than actually feeling like we're in the middle of them),  knights and councillors, kings and queens and princes etc. many reminding you of ASoIaF characters (there are versions of Cersei, Littlefinger, Varys, Mace Tyrell, Margaery Tyrell etc. in here, heck, even Quentyn Martell can be recognized)

I guess I could go on and on but dammit I'm going to send a mail and hope to get a replacement reading device of reading now. And then finish up my latest short story, only five days until the SFFWorld September-October 2016 competition ends! With only five days and a massive plot hole I am really not sure I can manage it. And I missed this month's flash fiction compo :´-(
Whether I finish it or not, the next thing to tackle will, of course, be another chapter of A Feast with Dragons, Sansa I (AFFC). Sansa, oh Sansa, what the heck is going on with you and just how much of your TV story is what we'll actually see in the novels and how much is complete crap? I refuse to believe you submitted so easily to Ramsay Bolton (or met him at all). Will we ever learn the true story of Sansa Stark? Stay tuned! One of these years, we may yet get THE WINDS OF GODDAMN SCRATCH WINTER1!

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