Hovhaness’ Symphony #2, Mysterious Mountain, Seattle Symphony, Delos 3157. Close my eyes: instant prayer.
Before my vacation, I read Keith Kachtick’s Hungry Ghost, which I thought was just outstanding. I tried LeCarre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but for some reason, I just can’t get into espionage fiction. I liked Le Carre’s writing: it surprised me. Brought the book with me to Branson, but I had little time for reading. Maybe another time.
Picked up two promising SF books at the library yesterday: Adam Roberts’ Polystom, favorably reviewed here. The story follows a spoiled aristobrat through personal tragedy and immaturity in a universe in which an atmosphere exists in between the planets, permitting aircraft and zeppelins to travel through the solar system. Good writing so far. I gambled on a new writer whose name escapes me at the moment, but the book’s name is Phobos. Can’t go wrong with a moon, especially these heady days.
I’m still pondering three good possibilities for a science fiction novel of my own, but my own standards will be exacting. Having read a lot of good SF this past year, plus reacquainting myself with Cather, Wilder, and other classic American authors, I’m not going to settle for just any ol’ pulp. Whether something I can write will ever see publication, well that’s another matter. I have enough unpublished liturgical music in my files to choke a David Haas, so the notion of sitting for hundreds of hours writing a novel that might never see print is not particularly scary. My wife would read it. But she does insist that any romance within would have to have a happy ending. And that could be a problem, because my sense would be to write tragedy.
The thing about SF is that a New Idea can be hard to find. And I’m not going to be the 6352nd SF author who puts alternate Nazis or ice piracy at the center of their … pulp.
Meanwhile, I wonder if the new KC symphony conductor will program any Hovhaness. If I were on the search committee that would be my one and only question. And if the answer is yes, then we’ll really be playing.