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  1. Elizabeth Hand. Icarus Descending
  2. Dr. Foster
  3. Recently viewed articles
  4. Elizabeth Hand. Icarus Descending – Read online on Indbooks

The more you can do to keep the contestants calm and comfortable, the better the parade will work. Good Den Mums are invaluable.

Size 50.5 EU (15 US) Feet In Flip Flops After Swimming

Thanks to Alex's wonderful headsets, Wendy was free to welcome guests and judges whilst I kept an eye on things backstage and consulted her when necessary. We only had two real questions: the girl with the barb wire skirt, which we just kept well out of everyone else's way until it was needed, and the girl who wanted to come on wearing nothing but a loin cloth and body paint Wendy made an on the spot ruling: tits are OK, full frontal is not. And suddenly it was time to go.

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Wendy directed things from out front. The headsets kept her in touch with me backstage and Alex at the tech desk, ensuring everything was kept it synch.

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  • It worked brilliantly. So brilliantly, in fact, that we finished about half an hour early and had to schedule some impromptu dancing. The only real snafu we had was playing the wrong music for one act, and that was because we'd stupidly left the tapes in their boxes, giving poor Alex far more to do in a hurry than was necessary. We won't make that mistake again.

    For a first time, the standard of costumes was pretty high. A lot of the entrants had no real idea of what was expected, or how to present themselves on stage, but they all looked wonderful.

    Elizabeth Hand. Icarus Descending

    I'm not really competent to judge workmanship, but Gail did and seemed well impressed. But what really pleased us was the audience. Many of them were stunning, and plenty good enough for the parade. I can't do justice to the costumes in words, but we are hoping to put up a web page for the Guild sometime soon and there should be pictures on that. I'll also have a photo album with me at LA Con. It seems unfair to single anyone out for particular praise when there were so many good costumes there, but I do think that a few people deserve particular praise.

    Did I forget to mention the displays of old costumes, the mask and doll competitions, the fact that the disco was good and the food palatable? It really was a good night. I was running on so much adrenalin that, on getting home at 2. We all got a tremendous buzz from how well it went, and judging from some of the comments from the audience we are going to have a much bigger event next year. So how do I feel now about the Worldcon masquerade? Very confident. I have no doubt that we know how to run a good parade and will have some excellent entries and hall costumes.

    My one concern is that as things get bigger Alex will not be able to handle all the tech stuff by himself. He was stretched enough this time. So if there is anyone out there who is interested in working in tech, sign up for next year's ball now. If this year is anything to go by, it should be great fun to work on. As if one weekend's dressing up wasn't enough for me, I followed the costume ball with my first SCA revel in Australia.

    Dr. Foster

    It being midwinter, I was expecting a fairly big event, but my expectations were exceeded. Several of you reading this will be Far Isles members and will know the sort of things we normally get up to back in Pommie Land. The rest of you will have to get bored whilst I draw comparisons, but if you've never been to an event like this before I hope you'll get a basic idea of what goes on.

    The first thing that struck me was the number of people: around I've never seen even half that many at a Far Isles event. The standard of dress was pretty high too. I rather let the side down because most of my good stuff is back in the UK. If you think you'll feel silly dressed up in mediaeval costume pretending to be some historical character, try doing it in the company of others. You'll be surprised how normal it feels after a while. Another thing that was really impressive was the decoration of the hall. It is traditional in Stormhold Melbourne for there to be a table dressing competition at Winter Revel and some truly sumptuous stuff resulted.

    There were candles and flower displays everywhere. Banners were flown, tablecloths carried coats of arms, and several tables had beautiful awnings arrayed above them. Some people had even made their own furniture. It helped that the hall was passingly mediaeval quite an achievement for Australia , but it would have looked great without the vaulted ceiling and minstrels' gallery. Where we Poms did score was on the food. Oh, there was plenty of it all right. Most people on my table were newcomers and, despite my warnings about pacing yourself, were well stuffed long before the final courses arrived.

    But much of it was a little unimaginative. There were some very splendid honey and nut appetisers, and an excellent fish dish, but a lot of the courses were rather bland: boiled asparagus, roast beef, boiled zuccini, roast chicken, and, much to my horror, mushy peas. Of course some mediaeval food was bland, but a lot of it was very heavily spiced for the very good reason that it probably wasn't very fresh.

    I think they could do better here. By the way, for those of you who are not familiar with such things and are confused about my list of dishes above, mediaeval cooks never served more than one food item at once. There was no meat and two veg. You would get three separate courses, one of meat and one for each vegetable. In Far Isles it is also traditional to divide the feast up into separate "removes", each of which comprises a savoury or soup, a meat dish, a vegetable and a sweet. I believe that this is also good mediaeval practice, but Stormhold did not seem to follow it.

    I must also compliment the people of Stormhold on the quality of their music. Several of the members seemed to be professional musicians and quite a few also made their own reproduction instruments. I saw a harp, a lute, a lyre and bagpipes around the hall. And the singers could hold their own against most choirs of monks. With such good music, of course, the dancing was very popular. There was also some exhibition dancing during the meal, and a couple of jugglers whose skill with the diablo was most impressive.

    I must admit that I missed the rousing renditions of such classics as Sir Jock of the Sword , but you can't have everything. I gather that the society does have good filkers. I just need to find them. Court was well done, although there seemed to be very little skulduggery going on - it consisted largely of lots of people being rewarded for good service. I also think that Prince-Archbishop Theophilus, not to mention the sadly missed Princess Helloise, could knock spots off Australia's royalty when it comes to speeches.

    Still, can't have everything, and it was a most enjoyable evening. At this rate I'm going to have more social events to attend than weekends in which to attend them. It is not an easy thing to review the third part of a trilogy when you are fairly certain that most of your readers have never even heard of the first two volumes. However, I will not allow an Elizabeth Hand novel to go unmentioned, so I guess I'll just have to skim quickly over the first two as well.

    We open with Winterlong and find a far future decayed America that is post more holocausts than many people can remember. What government there is resides in the orbiting HORUS colonies, it being deemed better to have an entirely artificial environment than an entirely polluted one. The members of this new nobility are called Ascendants, because at some point or other they managed to get up there probably massacring the previous inhabitants along the way and what little law there is is enforced by their space pilot corps, the Aviators. It soon becomes obvious that the "shinings" are not the only things to have devastated poor Mother Earth.

    Genetic engineering has also run riot, leading to abominations such as the dog-like Aardmen. The most obvious new lifeforms are called Geneslaves and are treated as such, but many people are not quite people any more either. And so we meet Wendy Wanders, a once autistic empath now on the run from the scientists of the Human Engineering Laboratory HEL - geddit in the company of Miss Scarlet, a talking chimpanzee. They end up in the City of Trees, the former Washington now given over mainly to pleasure parlours. It would be an invaluable weapon if found, and Washington seems like a good place to start.

    Much blood and suffering follows. It is plain that Hand sees this world as ultimately corrupt, and she loses few opportunities to rub the message in. There is also a suggestion of developing mental powers in mankind and possibly a return of Ancient Gods, or at least Powers The Like of Which.

    Tastanin is killed, Wendy and Scarlet escape with the help of a zoologist called Jane and there may be some sort of joke intended here. So to book two, Aestival Tide , where we find Tastanin rescued by some of his Ascendant masters and resurrected as a Rasa cyborg. It is unclear what role this episode plays in the overall story except to make Tastanin less than human and to reinforce the message of the debased evil of the Ascendants. In particular we are introduced to the practice of Harrowing, the ritual consumption of the brains of victims who were at least living when you started.

    The action takes place in the domed city of Araboth, one of the few places on Earth deemed fit thanks to its environmental control for Ascendants to live in. By the end, of course, it is destroyed, with only Tastanin and a few companions escaping.

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    It was a strange book, but I still loved it if only for the party scene in which we learn that the band are playing a well-loved traditional folk song called Court of the Crimson King. And so to the final volume, Icarus Descending , which was never published in the UK and has taken me a couple of years to track down. Thanks, as usual, to Alan Stewart who seems to own every SF book ever published. Burdock, whose mind is distinctly flaky, seems genuinely concerned about his "children" he did, after all, make many of them from his own daughter.

    And I must admit that choosing an military AI as your embodiment of ultimate evil has a certain elegance to it. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to decide just what awful denouement Hand manages this time. It is appropriately awful, promise. There's a lot of heavy irony in the book ssh - not a word to Ben Yalow! For example, Jane, who was so devoted to her animals, is least able to accept the Geneslaves as fellow humans.

    • › Page -;
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    • The Wise Man in the Checkered Shirt.
    • The History of the Pilotgrims.
    • The Perfect Diet.
    • Elizabeth Hand Biography.
    • Listen to Sy now.;
    • And Tastanin, whom we have been lead to think of as the ultimate evil, is slowly transformed into the only possible saviour of humanity, more a victim of the Ascendants than their ally. These were not easy books to read unless you like having your stomach churned , nor do they have a hopeful message. The Hand line seems to be that we have done badly by Mother Earth, are likely to continue to do so exponentially, and eventually we will reap our just rewards.

      You keep reading it, expecting things to get better, and they just get worse. But these things need saying, and if they are going to be said I would prefer them to be set down by a writer of Hand's elegance and intensity than by some lesser hack. If a book is painful to read, but you keep at it anyway because of the quality of the writing, that speaks volumes for the author. David Brin makes it to the pages of Emerald City. But this is not a review of Brightness Reef.

      I hate starting series in the middle, and have avoided Brin's books in the past on the grounds that any series with "war" in the title is probably naff. Having now tried his work, I'll probably give the Uplift War a go. But this is something entirely different. Those of you who know me well will be aware that one of my all time favourite books is Sherri Tepper's The Gate to Women's Country warning to male readers - avoid this book if you have a delicate ego.

      It is the sort of thing you expect intelligent female SF writers to tackle. It is not the sort of thing you expect from a man. The idea of a planet settled by a seed ship which then loses touch with the rest of humanity is not new: the name Pern springs to mind immediately. But as far as I know, David Brin is the first person to have such a world settled by a group of radical feminists intent on creating a society free of the evils of men. Glory Season describes this world, and its first encounter in millenia with the outside galaxy. Technically, as I might have expected from Brin, the book is fascinating.

      Sensibly rejecting the high risk and high tech strategy of relying solely on artificial insemination, Brin's founders looked instead for a means of reducing the need for men without doing away with them entirely. Many of us probably remember from school biology lessons the fascinatingly naughty fact that aphids reproduce asexually for part of their reproductive cycle. In mammals, according to Brin, such natural cloning is possible, but not without certain chemicals present only in male sperm to prepare the womb for action. So for the most part you can have a society consisting of female clones, but you need a few men around to "spark" the process.

      The next problem is how to keep those men you have in order. If you must have them around, how do you prevent them from starting wars, raping people and all those other silly little games they play? You could castrate them all. Eunuchs are noted for their calmness. However, that rather defeats the object. Ah, but what if you could give them a sexual season like other animals. Then they would only be a nuisance for a few weeks each year. Much more controllable. Now, what do we do about all those sexually frustrated women. Contrary to what Andrea Dworkin might think, so of us do enjoy it.

      Simple, we give them a season too. Ferdinand was born on the X home world Factory as the son of a Thinker mother and a human father. Coming from an ultra-smart back ground, Dr. Foster was on true Genius level since early child hood, often compared to Dr. He completed his first PhD at the age of 12 and his IQ was measured to be around He became a member of the Club at the age of 16 and was invited into the Hive of Minds at the age of His prime interest was and is Seenian technology.

      Short of Kidnapping he used every trick and incentive in the book to recruit and attract the very best minds in this field. He basically transformed Planet Ritos into a planet sized research center and the largest repository of Seenian artifacts anywhere Known at that time. His fanatic dedication to the case was fully supported by Admiral McElligott and Mothermachine.

      Elizabeth Hand. Icarus Descending – Read online on Indbooks

      A meeting decision memo of the Gray Ghosts states that they considered Dr. Foster's research vital and that he should receive any help and resource he asks for. Two deep space high risk tech labs were attached to the project, and every piece of equipment of the Lighthouse depot was transported to Planet Ritos and its Moon. After the discovery of the second depot and the integration of the Dominator and the other ships ongoing. Master Servant declared that Dr.

      Foster had achieved an amazing level of understanding into Seenian technology. Right now a Seenian style space dock facility is constructed in orbit around the Star Extra-Bright Planet Ritos is the 3rd planet.