Somewhere over Australia I read yet another Australian-written aftermath scenario. Is it because of Australia's great deserts that the land generates so much armageddon fiction? Or is it that belief, perhaps first articulated in On The Beach
, that Australia's remoteness and the hardiness of Australians both native and imported would mean they would be survivors of any old world catastrophe?
I say "yet another" aftermath scenario, but that is not meant disparagingly, because most of those others are great, such as Greg Egan and Sean McMullen.
There is something freeing about a long distance flight. While in the back of my head is sorrow for loss of the weekend seraphs_folly
and I were to share, and worry for her distress, and our missing of cuddles, there is nothing I can do about it now. In fact, there is nothing at all I can do about anything but sit, relax, read, eat good food, and and string together words into sentences.
No matter what is happening in the world, I don't know about it, and I can't affect it. We could be in a Down to a Sunless Sea
situation I would not know and I would be powerless to act. Which why I feel reading Tess Williams' Map of Power
is somewhat ironic. One part of the book's heroic tryptych Kass, is in just such a situation aboard a moon-orbit habitat, whose populace try to continue with the orders to preserve Earth's genetic heritage, while going slowly crazy because it seems no-one on the post-apocalyptic planet remembers them.
I think Map of Power
is a book seraphs_folly
would like. The phraseology reminds me of hers in some ways and one part of the tryptych, the arctic-dwelling huntress Cheela, named "Heart of the Tribe" by the Mythmaker, embodies a pagan outlook that I think would resonate. The final part of the tryptych, and the only male, at this stage of the story seems bent on recovering hated civiliizaton but is being used by his step-father to create another empire. Pretty sexually stereotyped at present, the characters, so we'll see how the rest of it goes over the remaining hours of this flight.
But I was speaking of the freedom of flight. Not being able to affect anything outside this winged cigar, and not having anything pressing I can do in this unconnected space, I can fully relax in a way rarely possible when on the ground. This frees my mind to play with words and thoughts in a way I have not done for some time. I'm actually finding it pleasurable to write for no other reason than because I can and because I feel like it. Self-indulgent of course, but to paraphrase Wilde, there's no one else here to indulge.
Looking out over the sea of clouds buffeted in a fragile aluminium eggshell kept aloft only by the continual burning of kerosene offerings to the gods of aerodynamics, I am inspired by it's vastness. Looking down on New Zealand and Australia, I am struck by how small we, and most of our works are, but at the same time the pervacity of our affect on the surface. Thousand year old red deserts are marked by thousand mile long die-straight trails
I am somewhat annoyed at the luck of my colleague G though. He's the one who ended up sitting next to the hot Asian chick with the interesting flame tattoo on her hip whose name is Kae for ten hours. Why is it I kept expecting her to turn into a cat?
I have been getting nice food, but it keeps reminding me of seraphs_folly
. For instance the lovely salmon appetizer reminded me of the salmon that she cooked for me once, showing me salmon could in fact taste nice, and the bite of the slices of ginger in the stir-fried chicken reminded me of other gingers I have known. :)