Inspiration for Ice and Fire

I’m a big fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire books, the epic fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, and I hope the next one will be released soon. There has been (and continues to be) a lot of discussion about influences and I have two more ideas to throw into theContinue reading “Inspiration for Ice and Fire”

The United Metropolitan Improved Hot Muffin and Crumpet Baking and Punctual Delivery Company

Why the very name will get the shares up to a premium in ten days. In fairness, it does sound good. Dickens tends to come up with a great idea, talk about it for a page or two, then never mention it again. This is perhaps the best example – even if you never readContinue reading “The United Metropolitan Improved Hot Muffin and Crumpet Baking and Punctual Delivery Company”

Beekeeper on the Argo

You’ve heard of Jason and the Argonauts, right? Fifty heroes of ancient Greek mythology who went on a quest for the Golden Fleece. It’s a very exciting story but I won’t go into the plot, I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But you’d make certain assumptions about what these heroes were good at,Continue reading “Beekeeper on the Argo”

Madame Bovary’s Young Friend

Gustave Flaubert’s novel Madam Bovary is set in provincial France in the mid eighteen hundreds. Madame Bovary has a friend, a young man who is going to leave his family’s home soon and move to the big city to finish his education. I think it’s fair to compare that to going to university and toContinue reading “Madame Bovary’s Young Friend”

Dinosaurs in Dickens

The first few sentences of Bleak House go like this: London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln’s Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth[…] So far, so Dickens, right? But then heContinue reading “Dinosaurs in Dickens”

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