In which we discuss,
1. "The Game of Smash and Recovery" by Kelly Link, Strange Horizons
2. "Magic for Beginners" also by Kelly Link, Fantasy and Science Fiction
along with, among other things...
- Iain M. Banks
- Logic puzzles, invented by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka, Lewis Carroll.
- Sentences declaring things.
- M.C. Escher, House of Stairs
- Entropy, time’s arrow, and the second law of thermodynamics
- Donnie Darko
- Kelly Link, fandom, television, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in an interview with One Story
The story “Magic for Beginners” was based on the experience of watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I moved from Somerville, MA to Brooklyn to Northampton, MA during the seven years Buffy was on, and the one thing all of the places I lived had in common, besides too many books, was a room with a television where we got together with various friends to watch new episodes and then dissect, praise, complain, rewrite and rewatch. It was an enormously social experience, and it’s not one I’ve had since Buffy ended. I wanted to write something that would capture the way it feels to be a fan and a member of a fandom. On the other hand, the television show itself, The Library, was my attempt to write all the things that would be–if not impossible, then at least costly and impractical–to do in an actual television show. Like having different actors take over key roles in each episode, and putting in elaborate settings and all manner of special effects.
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on making sandwiches
There is an art to the business of making sandwiches which it is given to few ever to find the time to explore in depth. It is a simple task, but the opportunities for satisfaction are many and profound.
- And learning how to fly.
You must learn how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Pick a nice day and try it. The first part is easy. All it requires is the ability to throw yourself forward with all your weight and the willingness not to mind that it's going to hurt. That is, it's going to hurt if you fail to miss the ground. If you are really trying properly, the likelyhood is that you will fail to miss the ground fairly hard.
One problem is that you have to miss the ground accidentally. It's no good deliberately intending to miss the ground because you won't. You have to have your attention suddenly distracted by something else then you're halfway there, so that you are no longer thinking about falling, or about the ground, or about how much it's going to hurt if you fail to miss it.
- Roger Ebert, in his review of Swing Time
When you see anyone--an athlete, a musician, a dancer, a craftsman--doing something difficult and making it look easy and a joy, you feel enhanced. It is a victory for the human side, over the enemies of clumsiness, timidity and exhaustion.
- Frank Wilczek in an episode of On Being, on deep truths
You can recognize a deep truth by the feature that its opposite is also a deep truth.
- That one episode of our podcast where we talked about “Thandiwe’s Tokoloshe” by Nick Wood.