Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Back in town

Howdy, folks! I just got back in town from a couple days in Kansas City, where I was lacking in internets. I would have told you all ahead of time, but after the one time someone called the cops after reading my blog* I've become a bit more circumspect in what I say here. Flying to Kansas City via O'Hare was the exact opposite of a good time. The only good thing I can say about it is that I had plenty of time to read the books I had brought. I started out with Lallia, book #6 in E.C. Tubb's Dumarest of Terra series. I recently learned that this series had a lot of influence on the development of Traveller, so I picked up a couple of old paperbacks. Turns out this Dumarest stuff is some pretty good adventure fiction with some cute space opera trappings and the backstory of the Odyssey added for good measure. And Lallia in particular is a pretty grim look at a down-on-her-luck free trader. I'm going to scour the used bookstores around here to scare up some more in this series.

I also read Almuric, which was Robert Howard's go at planetary romance in the vein of Barsoom. Excellent, excellent book. It had all the trappings I associate with the planetary romance genre overlayed with Howard's over-the-top barbarism. If you're the kind of person that likes Howard's Conan, Almuric ought to be your huckleberry. As Stan Lee would say, "'Nuff said!"

My third book, Paul Naudon's The Secret History of Freemasonry, turned out to be a snooze-fest. Normally I'm up for this sort of thing, having been into the whole Templar/Masonic/Jesus/Vampire/UFO/Merovingian/Illuminati thing years before The DaVinci Code made it cool. But whatever zest might have been in the original French text has been drained away by an entirely pedestrian translation or else this Naudon fellow is the most annoyingly pedantic writer on the subject since ol' A.E. Waite.

I didn't have any big plans for what to do in Kansas City while not in my training seminar, so I spent an inordinate amount of time in front of the TV. I caught most of Spider-man 2, so that was cool, and I watched Revenge of the Sith for the fifth or sixth time. I paid fourteen bucks to watch Chronicles of Narnia on the hotel PPV system and fell asleep about 20 minutes in, I think. I don't think I saw any actual Narnia before I conked out. I also saw a couple episodes of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! and some Power Rangers. Hey, stop laughing! That's fun stuff! I seriously need to run a sentai based game some time, maybe as a one-shot.

So anyway, I'm back home. Even if it was only a couple days this trip has been kinda rough. I've never been gone this long from my wife or daughter and none of us enjoyed being apart.

*For the details, read this old entry and the first comment to it.