Your favorite aphorism. Contest winners, and a new web site. Plus Book Reviews, Promotions and more.
The Lampworks Lamplighter SF & Fantasy News & Reviews
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The Lampworks Lamplighter
SF & Fantasy News & Reviews
Newsletter readers Terry and Valerie each won a free e-book for answering the question in the last issue. The ancient Babylonians seemed to have counted by twelves. How might they have done it on one hand?
To count to twelve, touch your thumb to the first joint of the fingers on that hand: one, two, three, four. Then touch the second joint: five, six, seven, eight. Finally, touch your thumb to the tips of your fingers: nine, ten, eleven, twelve.
The next question was about a hardware clerk who counted out 30 carriage bolts for me using one hand. How did he do it?
When I asked why he was flipping his fingers madly as he counted, he held up one thumb. “That’s one.” He put the thumb down and raised the forefinger. “That’s two.” Then he raised both thumb and forefinger: “That’s three.” He was counting in binary! His fingers were the binary digits one, two, four, eight, and sixteen. All five held up together added up to thirty-one.
_ _ _ _ 1 = 1 _ _ _ 1 _ = 2 _ _ _ 1 1 = 3 _ _ 1 _ _ = 4 _ _ 1 _ 1 = 5 ... 1 1 1 1 _ = 30 1 1 1 1 1 = 31
I’ve used a lot of aphorisms in my career, short sayings to make a point. Some of my favorites were:
- Sufficient unto the day are the meetings thereof
- Cheap hardware isn’t
- Anything can be accomplished given sufficient caffeine
- To explain simply, understand deeply
- The art of removing bugs is called debugging. The art of inserting bugs is called programming.
- Cables are mathematically guaranteed to tangle
- Simple things work
In writing, an aphorism can be used to add some punch to dialog when a character is making a point. Or they can be used to convey personality, such as in the Tad Williams novel I’m currently reading, where the assassin keeps reminding himself, “Confident, cocky, lazy, dead.”
What are your favorite aphorisms? Let me hear from you. The first five people to send me an aphorism at email@example.com will win a free kindle version of one of my novels.
We’re moving to a new home on the web soon: lampworkspublishing.com will become just lamp.works (it’s a lot less to type!). The transition will happen over several months. At https://lamp.works the new website is getting its final checkout and most of the content has been copied from the older site. It’s looking good! Give it a preview and let me know of anything that needs fixing up before the grand opening.
The newsletter will start coming from firstname.lastname@example.org soon. You might want to add this to your address book to be sure you continue to receive it.
Monsieur Resche is an art thief. He has crossed a bridge into a quaint town, a town that disappeared from Switzerland four centuries ago. Magic is possible there; in fact, all the magic that our world once had has ended up there. A precisely tied knot, an exactly folded paper, or a cunningly drawn figure can unlock wonders and horrors.
Resche has a mind that lets him excel at this new craft, but that brings him to the notice of powerful mages who play a great game of geomancy with tiles the size of countries. And when he looks for the bridge back to Geneva, it is nowhere to be found.
The Fractalist priest offers aid that may not be what it appears, the Jeweler has intricate schemes, the newspaper editor has taken an interest, the Astromancer had good advice before she was murdered, and Resche’s cat just makes wisecracks.
Knots is a compelling story filled with unexpected characters, plot twists, literal location twists, mystery, and redemption.
What We’re Reading
Visit our archive of reviews and recommendations on the Books We Like page of our website. You’ll find over one hundred recommendations in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Non Fiction.
I am Not a Serial Killer
John Cleaver is obsessed with serial killers. When one starts stalking his small town, he is the best-qualified to track him down, though that forces him to confront his fears that he might become one himself. This is a Young Adult horror novel with a 15-year-old protagonist but is still intense and gory. I loved the psychological thriller aspect, even though I normally don’t care for horror novels. Written by one of the Writing Excuses podcasters.
Operation Chaos/Operation Luna
A werewolf and a witch battle evil in a parallel universe where scientifically-approached magic takes the place of technology. Published as a book in the early 70s and just recently released on Kindle, it’s stood up well in most respects, except for the sexism typical of the 50s. But if you look past the language, the women kick butt as well as or better than the men. Nice to re-read one of my old favorites.
Buy on amazon
A short read – especially for Sanderson. A near-future police agency has the ability to replay a day in the life of the city in minute detail and insert detectives to investigate crimes that happened in the past. On this day, a troubled detective is assigned two cases with his partner, but he has an agenda beyond what he’s been assigned.
A generation ship left earth 500 years ago. Now damaged, it is filled with modified humans, angels, demons, and a manufactured religion. The warring factions must be united to repower the ship before the star goes nova. A young angel named Sir Perceval and her sister Rien are in the center of the war to retake the ship. A mix of biblical and Arthurian imagery, which mostly works but is sometimes jarring. Probably not for everyone, but I enjoyed it
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Captain Martin and his fleet at the opposite end of our galaxy is all that stands between the emerging ancient aliens and certain destruction of humanity. Even with the help of powerful magic, the alien menace may be too much to overcome.
Elsewhere, Agent Hague chases down rumors of a secret cult after an assassination attempt on the president of the Federation’s life.
With the emergence of the long-foretold aliens, the Federation stands on the brink of destruction. Can Captain Martin and his allies hold the line? Can Agent Hague uncover a plot within the Federation?
Buy via StoryOrigin
Where Weavers Daire
R. K. Bentley
Ten years after the last war, Melinda Scott discovers something in deep space and is dragged back into a world her family was banished from. Now with Necromancers to her left, Liches to her right and humanity in the middle it’s up to her to figure out why someone is trying to kill her. Where Weavers Daire is the first book in a new rip-roaring space opera series in the same vein as Babylon 5, Firefly, Farscape and Star Wars!
Buy via StoryOrigin
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