“A Never Naught Song” by Robert Frost (from the collection “In the Clearing”)

There was never naught,
There was always thought.
But when noticed first
It was fairly burst
Into having weight.
It was in a state
Of atomic One.
Matter was begun—
And in fact complete,
One and yet discrete
To conflict and pair.
Everything was there,
Every single thing
Waiting was to bring,
Clear from hydrogen
All the way to men.
It is all the tree
It will ever be,
Bole and branch and root
Cunningly minute.
And this gist of all
Is so infra-small
As to blind our eyes
To its every guise
And so render nil
The whole Yggdrasil.
Out of coming-in
Into having been!
So the picture’s caught
Almost next to naught
But the force of thought.

Pyrebound: An Early Look

A cartoony Pyrebound logo.

Since time before record, the worlds of Ki and Kur have been entangled. Every fourth day, the boundaries of space and time are disturbed, so that each world is seemingly transposed with the other, and an alien sun rises in its sky, with catastrophic results. The light of Kur’s star is deadly to the life of Ki, and vice versa; every contact between the creatures of the two worlds likewise produces only violence, corruption, and decay. Yet contact is frequent enough, on the fourth day when the barriers put up by nature are thin and porous. Over many years each world has been colonized by invaders born under its enemy’s sun, spreading disease and death.

Civilized life still exists on Ki, but only at great cost. For those who are unwilling or unable to pay that price, there are other ways to live as well—but they are far from pleasant.

This is a review of chapters 1-3 of Pyrebound, a serial fantasy novel in progress.

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From “Virtual War” by Gloria Skurzynski

“Now, Corgan, how did you get that broken skin on your hand?”

“Dammit, Mendor, I told you I don’t know.”

Mendor’s gasp was like a gale blowing through the Box.

“Where did you learn that word, Corgan?”

“What word?” But he knew exactly the word Mendor meant.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopherceror’s Stone

Part 1 of the Harry Potter Readstravaganza series (there was a Part 0)

Disclaimer: I don’t like J. K. Rowling, nor do I endorse her. I’m analyzing, critiquing, and mocking a book series which remains relevant because it’s been a pop cultural tour de force as long as I’ve been alive.

Never again will I wonder what Matilda would be like as the first book of a seven-part series. It is here before me: Harry Potter and the Sorcerolosopher’s Stone.

This is a good, upstanding, morally upright adventure. It gives me the impression that J. K. Rowling respects kids’ intelligence and urges them to trust their instincts, even when their hunches aren’t totally right.

There’s a part, though, where the narration says something like “maybe Harry was imagining things, but Slytherin didn’t seem very nice.” In this case Harry’s instincts are totally right, because all of Slytherin is so evil and awful. Prove me wrong.

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Harry Potter Readstravaganza, Part 0: Memories, Book Covers, Other Stuff

Part 1-ish of a series of readstravaganza posts

Harry Potter is just another series on my neverending list of stuff to read. I’ve never read it before, which is surprising because I grew up with the books, and fans of the books, and movies based on the books, and birthday parties inspired by the books, all around me. I claimed to like reading, too.

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From “Out of the Silent Planet” by C. S. Lewis

A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered. You are speaking, Hmán, as if the pleasure were one thing and the memory another. It is all one thing. The séroni could say it better than I say it now. Not better than I could say it in a poem. What you call remembering is the last part of the pleasure, as the crah is the last part of a poem. When you and I met, the meeting was over very shortly, it was nothing. Now it is growing something as we remember it. But still we know very little about it. What it will be when I remember it as I lie down to die, what it makes in me all my days till then—that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it. You say you have poets in your world. Do they not teach you this?

…And how could we endure to live and let time pass if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back—if we did not know that every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory and that those are that day?