Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Blog Added to the Blogroll

I recently googled the name of a professor I admired as an undergrad and discovered that she had a blog. Part of the motivation for the googling was that I just returned to her a book she loaned me, Slan by A.E. Van Vogt, which had been in my possession for over half a decade since the initial loan, a near unforgivable slight. I can only plea for mercy and admit that the book had been in storage and I only discovered still being in possession of the book during our recent move. The move was in March, but I didn't completely finish unpacking books until a little over a month ago.

Needless to say, guilt and the fact that the professor hasn't written back have led me to worry that the said professor is at this very moment Tuckerizing me as some sort of mishapen, forgetful, and evil being from the inter mundia. My guilt led to the google which in turn led to the discovery of the blog. I have since added the blog, Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good, to the blogroll. The blog is an interesting glimpse into the mind of the professor, Susan Palwick, who describes herself as:

"SF/fantasy writer. English professor. Episcopalian. Licensed lay preacher. Volunteer ER chaplain (but not clergy). And a few other things, less easily labeled. The title of this blog is a phrase John Clute used to describe the plots of my first two novels. It both amused and annoyed me, and I finally decided to reclaim it as a badge of honor. Would you prefer rickety contrivances of doing bad?"

Professor Palwick falls squarely into the school of science fiction writers that Rick Klaw would refer to as progressive, but she lacks the underlying cynicism of many of the writers in that class. Where Michael Moorcock's writing is clouded in despair, Palwick's writing often has an underlying sense of hope, faith if you will.

As I wrote the above paragraph, I was reminded of the other reason she might have for not replying to my hand-scrawled note included with her book. I spent more time on a brief rant against a couple of critics of her last book, The Necessary Beggar, including a brief critical sentence about Charles Stross's Clan series, and not enough time discussing how much my wife and I missed her writing classes and her wonderful and encouraging criticism.

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