fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
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I've been lucky. I have heard Terry Pratchett doing a reading from one of his Discworld novels; Katherine Kurtz reading from one of her Deryni series of novels; and Marc Okrand reading Klingon out loud.

I'd love to hear Howard Philips Lovecraft reading out one of his poems - Nyarlathotep being my personal favourite:-

And at the last from inner Egypt came
The strange dark One to whom the fellahs bowed;
Silent and lean and cryptically proud,
And wrapped in fabrics red as sunset flame.
Throngs pressed around, frantic for his commands,
But leaving, could not tell what they had heard;
While through the nations spread the awestruck word
That wild beasts followed him and licked his hands.

Soon from the sea a noxious birth began;
Forgotten lands with weedy spires of gold;
The ground was cleft, and mad auroras rolled
Down on the quaking citadels of man.
Then, crushing what he chanced to mould in play,
The idiot Chaos blew Earth's dust away."


-H.P. Lovecraft, Nyarlathotep

Who else? I think Cervantes, reading from Don Quixote, and Dante Alighieri, reading from The Divine Comedy. Perhaps one of the authors of the Mabinogion reciting his story in the original Old or Middle Welsh, whichever language it was first composed in, and Thomas Malory narrating the Battle of Camlann and its aftermath at the end of La Morte D'Arthur.

Dickens, reading the spontaneous human combustion scene from Bleak House, and partnering with Patrick Stewart to read A Christmas Carol; Blake reciting London; Yeats reciting The Second Coming; Vladimir Nabokov reading from Lolita (just because the very idea of that happening will piss off someone here); Chaucer reading one of his Canterbury Tales, and half of Oxford listening in with recording apparatus so they can hear how his language was really spoken back then - were their accents really that thick? :D.

Most ambitiously, I would love to hear the voice of the first shaman to sing the stories of Old Man Coyote into being; Aesop reciting some of his Fables; Doctor Seuss reading "The Cat In The Hat"; Marcus Aurelius and Seneca holding forth on their discourses, the Meditations and La Vida Beata respectively; and finally, I'd love to hear Snorri Sturlusson reciting the Voluspa or the Havamal (or both), and Beowulf, the Song of Amergin and the Epic of Gilgamesh being recited by their respective authors.

You did say "living or dead," didn't you? Well, in my case, the list of authors deceased well outnumbers that of authors living.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
I just realised something these past few days.

All the movies I ever watched, all the music I grew up with, are now kind of ... ancient.

I was talking to a friend of mine, who reminded me that her tenth wedding anniversary was this year - it was held a short while ago. I asked her what big movie was playing at the time of the wedding.

Her reply: Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula.

You know, the one with that Keanu Reeves chap. (H'mm. Wonder what happened to him)?

I was watching some of those Star Trek movies - you know, the pre-Picard ones. The first one was made in 1979, if I recall correctly.

That makes it more than 25 years old this year.

Looking at all of the things I have considered culturally important, I am perhaps a little apprehensive to realise just how old many of them are nowadays.

For example ...

22 years ago, in 1982, Philip K Dick passed away. His short story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, however, made it onto the big screens twenty years ago this year, in the form of the seminal cyberpunk movie Blade Runner - a movie which made bankable stars out of Rutger Hauer and Harrison Ford.

In 1994, not only did we get to see Dracula, but also this was the year The Lion King made it into the cinemas.

I found myself listening to Face to Face by Siousxie and The Banshees recently - a song track which was released around the time of the movie Batman Returns. This makes it twelve years old - and the original Batman, released in 1989, 15 years old.

And it's not just movies and soundtracks which have undergone the test of time.

I was looking at the modest library of roleplaying games I've amassed over the years. I found myself looking at three White Wolf games, all set in the (original) World of Darkness - a grim, noiresque reflection of our own world.

I recall how 1993 saw the release of a game I would fall in love with - a game whose tenth anniversary I celebrated around August last year, and whose eleventh anniversary is marked by the game line's ending: Mage: the Ascension.

This year, 2004, was meant to be the tenth anniversary of Wraith: the Oblivion, the fourth game in White Wolf's WoD series. Sadly, W:tO barely lasted five years.

What happened? The Reckoning happened, now five years ago. This huge metaplot event turned the WoD on its head, set in motion cataclysmic events which led to this year's Time of Judgment and the ending of all the old game lines.

Five years ago, in addition, a new game came to town - a game I took to like a shot, a game featuring the most ordinary people thrust into the most extraordinary situations.

I am, of course, referring to Hunter: the Reckoning, the game of the common, ordinary man forced to see the Truth about the WoD.

Five years old this year. Happy Birthday.

15 years ago, in 1989, I suffered a crippling setback when a story I wrote got rejected. It was the first of many rejections, and the old story's now lingering in some back drawer: but at the time, I felt the world was coming down around my ears. I felt that I might never write again.

And now, I'm starting all over again. I've been using the Hunter game to hone my writing abilities, to give myself confidence, to show the world that I can write.

Recently, I entered a writing competition launched by the BBC. I submitted a story outline for a short tale I've already written, but which I'd need to convert to a screenplay if I ever got shortlisted.

Last year, a competition entry I submitted to a magazine came fourth, just bubbling under: the editor returned the tale with a letter telling me it was a fine story, and regretting that it had been a difficult choice to choose someone else's short story over mine in the end.

But looking back at these films and shows, these books and games, I realise something. They've stood the test of time for me, so well written were they.

And now it's my turn to write the books and stuff that will stand the test of time to come.

June 2017

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