Today was certainly active here at Vaguely Disreputable Plaza. Any day your site gets a mention in BoingBoing, the desktop fireworks are let slip with a vengeance, crying havoc all the while! Many thanks to Cory Doctorow for the article, cover art for Catastrophe's Spell and all. In the first traffic analysis sweep this morning the site had already received 2000+ visitors as a result of the coverage today. Thanks as well to everyone who stopped by!

My failure to post on this page recently is only partially due to the two-day power outage my neighborhood here in Los Angeles experienced earlier this week ... although that didn't help. All outlets are once again live and the infrastructure largely restored, and the air conditioners are humming again (although never below 78º Fahrenheit). Also, I've been spending as much time as possible actually getting the Spells ready for the site, since they are after all the main point here, along with some intensive work on a new writing project. We shall see...

I did finally finish Liz Williams' Precious Dragon, though. I admire what she's been doing with Detective Inspector Chen, his demon associate Zhu Irzh, and the increasingly dense halo of characters that surround them. The third in a series of detective-style books, to pick only one descriptive genre of many that apply, Precious Dragon leaves not only the characters, but their entire milieu, in a significantly different state than when she picks up the story; a mark of distinction, in my view. Characters should be changed as a result of their experiences (for another favorite detective-genre example, see Robert Crais), but it's much more exciting when all the underpinnings of existence have shifted at least as much, if not more. Her focus has shifted subtly with each book, too, giving different characters the spotlight as well as gradually unveiling answers to some of the questions created by the triple setting of Singapore 3 and its dependent Chinese Heaven and Hell. Although she's hinted tantalizing at this, it will be interesting to see if she chooses to grapple more directly with the cross-cultural conflict from running up against any of the other non-Chinese spheres whose existence is stated more explicitly here. Very good stuff, indeed.

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