New Foreigner Book!


a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn.

April Fool’s day…

Articles you read won’t necessarily be on the level.

59 comments to April Fool’s day…

  • Amazon tells me that “Peacemaker” has shipped and should be here by Friday.

  • TabCat2

    So jealous of all of you who have received your copies of “Peacemaker”! Oh, well,I have time to reread previous books before mine arrives — at the end of the week, they say.

  • paul

    PBS Wednesday evening: Secrets Of The Dead,
    Carthage’s Lost Warriors – Examines whether Carthaginians fled the marauding Romans by escaping across the Atlantic Ocean.

  • CJ

    Lord help us. Baal worshippers in America. Secret satanic cults in Peoria.
    Secret instructions and road maps carved on stones somewhere in Missouri, disguised as Egyptian relics…

  • I downloaded Peacemaker (bought on Kobo) just a couple of hours after it became available. Right after I downloaded it, I devoured it on a train to Brussels, where I am attending a linguistics conference. The whole circumstances couldn’t be perfecter: Brussels, the interface between two languages and cultures.

    It’s really funny (for this Canadian) that they label the streets in both Dutch and French, and you might ask for directions from someone who only knows the names in one or the other language, so you might wander around for hours looking for someone to tell you how to find Keizerinlaan when they only know it as the Boulevard de l’Impératrice (which means the same thing). In e.g. Ottawa, French names of places are kept French in English, and vice versa. I think this more than any other real city is what China Miéville was referencing when he wrote The City and The City.

  • CJ

    Atlanta GA, otherwise known as Peachtree Hell back in the days of paper maps instead of GPS.
    Back in the urban warfare years in Europe, one of the things people did to confuse the enemy was take down street signs …and then there’s ordinary life in Atlanta.

    You have Peachtree Street, Peachtree Lane, Avenue, and whatever, and I swear every variation on peach, that, in the day of paper maps, was absolutely bewildering. Wonderful city. But OMG, directions!

    • docmom

      We lived in Atlanta for 7 years; even after that length of time, getting lost was a monthly occurence. The streets change names without warning (or signage). There is a reason so many directions include “look for the Big Chicken.”

  • docmom

    I am very sad; I have my e-book, but dare not open it, because I have two weeks left to study for the Family Practice board exam. I can’t afford the distraction right now. I do hope to order my hardcover from Closed Circle when it is available there.

  • kokipy

    I grew up in what is now a suburb of Atlanta and drove by the big chicken every day to school. 🙂 I get lost now down there on my somewhat infrequent trips because of so much development which has really really changed the face of the earth, but I used to know my way around quite well because my mother and father knew all the shortcuts to avoid traffic (before the interstates were built).
    As regards Peacemaker, I was actually very pleased to realize upon opening it that I was going to have to reread Protector because I had forgotten what had happened there. Pleased of course because this enabled me to drag out the joy. I am now deep into Peacemaker, and am quite disliking the Kindle calculation of how many more minutes till I finish. I would rather not know that it will ever come to an end. 🙁
    Anyway, great fun!

  • My hardcopy _Peacemaker_ dropped onto the mat this morning. It’s the high spot of my reading year, but I daren’t lose myself in it right now — I’m saving it as incentive to get some writing done this month.

  • ready4more

    Even small towns have confusing streets. Try two Piccadilly Drives (non-contiguous, the westernmost of which used to be called East Piccadilly), Piccadilly Circle, Piccadilly Lane, and Piccadilly Court all within a mile of one another. We dread when a new FedEx or UPS delivery person is hired or when our mailman goes on vacation. For a town of 30,000 there is a remarkable amount of confusion caused by builders who really enjoyed visiting London.

    • In the UK it’s fairly standard to have several neighbouring streets with the same name — XX Road with XX Way, Crescent, Avenue, Rise, and Close all branching off, for example. And then there’s my apartment block, where the addresses are on YY Grove at the back of the building and YY Drive at the front, but there are six different ‘Courts’ which are actually staircases, and the one I live on is YY Court. We don’t have the habit of eliding the ‘Road’ part in speech, so it isn’t quite as confusing as it might seem. (I once overheard an American tourist in London asking for directions to ‘Oxford’, presumably meaning Oxford Street but running the risk of being sent off to the famous University town of that name.)

    • Hanneke

      Aren’t streetnames given by the town council in the US?
      Here the historical names were left intact, but new names are always decided by the town council, and it’s been that way since 1851, by law. There are rules/guidelines about what kinds of names are allowed, and one of the most important ones is that a name should not be easily confused with another name, not least to avoid having the fire-engine or ambulance racing to the wrong street during a calamity (it’s happened, in towns with historically-grown confusing names).
      Other rules give a maximum length (a recent addition because of postal databases), advise to keep it pronounceable, don’t name streets after businesses or after people who are alive or less than ten years dead (with exceptions allowed for royals and exceptional people like Mandela).

      Generally the council tries to bring some logic to their naming, giving distinct neighborhoods similar names. I’m in a neighborhood with protected animal species streetnames, there’s one of trees, the next is flowers, then rivers, mills, gems, famous writers, Roman gods, and the newest has female heroes of the Resistance, while the industrial estate has streets named after technical inventors and scientists like Celsius and Einstein; so if your general knowledge isn’t too bad and you know which neighborhoods there are, you can generally guess where something has to be to within about 5-8 streets. As we don’t do numbered streets, that categorization does help.

      A rulebook like that would seem to be a useful thing, even if the names are chosen by the builders of a neighborhood instead of a town council – maybe a council could decide that anyone naming a street had to do so according to the basic rules?

      • Walt

        Assignment of street names varies by location in the US, and city councils are not more intelligent here than other places. One city near me has a square block–next to a theater, just to confuse more people–bounded by 3rd St., C St., 3rd Ave., and C Ave! Many cities use the awful system (if you’re not used to it) of Washington DC, where two 3rd Streets and two C Streets intersect in the four quadrants of the city, distinguished only by NW, NE, SE, SW–the center of the grid being the impassible Capital. Near me, Laguna Hills Drive crossed Moulton Parkway, twice–LH Drive winds. When the city of Aliso Viejo founded, they renamed all but the City of Laguna Hills end of Laguna Hills Drive to Aliso Viejo Drive; if they would have stopped the rename a block to the west–but no, AV Drive crosses Moulton twice. I understand areas of San Francisco are similar.

        On the brighter side, the central city of Long Beach, California is quite easy to navigate. Ocean Blvd, sensibly on the Pacific Ocean, is essentially 0th street, and streets go inland 1st, 2nd, 3rd…. The pattern has been broken a little by connecting and extending some street names but from the major boulevard Alamitos, cross streets are Bonito, Cerritos, (Orange nee Descanso), Esperanza, Falcon, Gaviota, Hermosa, (Cherry nee Independence), Junipero, Kennebec, Lindero, Molino, (Temple nee Naranja), Orizaba, Paloma, (Coronado), Redondo, (Grand nee Sobrante), Termino. It’s a delight to navigate in this area. There’s Ximeno where the U street should be, but Ultimo is far, far beyond Ximeno.

        One strange custom in the Los Angeles area is that many cities coordinate street numbers with the Los Angeles city center, so you’ll have address numbers numbers over 20,000 in some places. (A typical 3rd street would have addresses from 300 to 399, odd to the north or west, even to the south or east.) Well, it’s easier than Japan, where buildings are numbered in the order they’re built, no matter where on the street they are–“If you don’t know where the building is, you have no business being there,” is the philosophy.

        • Los Angeles city numbers from First and Main in downtown (southeast corner of City Hall), and a lot of the neighboring cities go along with it. It makes sense, sort of, although it did get out of hand as the city absorbed and renumbered whole areas. (I live in 21000 west, and about 9900 north. I had relatives in Malibu, who were in 32900 west.)
          In the Antelope Valley, the addresses run east and west from 0 at Division. Going east, they get large, because they go all the way to the county line, somewhere around 260th Street East.

        • paul

          Going noteh from downtown Portland: Ankeny, Burnside, Couch (Cooch), Davis, Everett, Flanders, Glisan (Gleason), Hoyt, Irving, Johnson, Kearney, Lovejoy, Marshall, Northrup, Overton, Pettygrove, Quimby, Raleigh, Savier, Thurman (I believe someone recognizable lives on Thurman), Upshur, Vaughn, & Wilson.

          Must be a favorite of rally drivers. (“Near me, Laguna Hills Drive crossed Moulton Parkway, twice–LH Drive winds.”) Heard once about a rally with instructions that took a car down a street then turn left on such-and-such. Well that was a one way street going right! What one had to do was keep driving until the street one was on dead-ended, turn around, then come back the other way, at which point a left turn was allowed. Why? Because a checkpoint might have been at the dead-end which one dast not miss!

      • Walt

        Whups! I should have said that parts of SF are similar to Long Beach’s alphabetical names. I stuck that sentence on the end of the wrong paragraph.

  • Tommie

    In my town the developer names the streets, and a name can be anything which is not already taken. In my mother’s town they named the streets after the last family living on it. Since we were a town based on about twelve families, road, street, and so forth were used to differentuate.

  • WOL

    Got my “Peacemaker” on Wodenstag. Knew what was in the box before I opened it. Got a cup, carafe of tea, opened the box, sat down and got comfy, and literally did not put it down until I turned the last page.

Leave a Reply