Saturday, August 08, 2009

Ned Brooks, Lilburn GA

Thanks for the massive zine. How did you come up with the notion that a sports-themed issue was needed? I have nothing against sports in particular, but I know almost nothing about them either - I am about as sports-challenged as I am fashion-challenged. I hope you are not planning a fashion issue.... The only sport I ever enjoyed at all was pool (but not in River City) and I wasn't much good at that. I never got anything out of watching sporting events.

Great story [from Shelby Vick] about Edgar Allan Crow. I never had a pet either, but at least I can understand the appeal. Nephew Joe, who was at several DSCs, now has a large hairy
Akita that he calls "Chicken", and my mother and sister have dog-sat several beasts for friends -- I have occasionally walked one of these.

Frank Buck lives!

I thought NASCAR was a religion rather than a sport....

Rose-Marie is right about the physical problems of actually riding on a broom. In many old illustrations, the witch rides "sidesaddle", that is, with both legs on the same side of the broom handle. But it still wouldn't be very comfortable if your entire weight actually rests on such a narrow support. However, as a broom flying is pure fantasy, perhaps the magical broom confers some degree of weightlessness on the rider -- that would make the acrobatics of Quidditch more plausible. I'm told that the oldest pictures of witches riding a broom have the brushy part in front, perhaps as an analog of a horse's head -- the change to having the brush behind might have been inspired by some aerodynamic understanding that it would serve as a stabilizing tail surface. Either way however, the magical propulsion properties of the broom must also aid the rider in staying with the thing. Cartoons and video simulations of broom-riding seem to imply that the propulsive force is normally along the direction of the handle.

Interesting article about cover art. I probably pay more attention to the dramatic implications of the title words than to the art, though there is bound to be a strong subconscious effect of the artwork -- and I have learned that neither is much of a guide to whether I would actually enjoy reading the book. The covers that
Mervyn Peake and Edward Gorey did for their own books are quite relevant, but of course in general the author is not an artist and may not have any say at all in what art goes on the book -- I can't imagine that Evangeline Walton was much taken with the dust-jacket of her 1936 The Virgin and the Swine, a novel based on the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogion.

Take a look opposite, readers; judge for yourselves.


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