Category Archives: tribute

Barry Hughart

Today, it was announced that fantasy novelist Barry Hughart died on August 1. He only published three books, but the first one, Bridge Of Birds, won the World Fantasy Award.

His novels were set in “an ancient China that never was.” The main characters were the naive farm boy Number Ten Ox and Master Li, “a sage with a slight flaw in [his] character.” They traversed China, unraveling ancient mysteries and often leaving chaos in their wake.

Bridge Of Birds was a wonderful book, blending Chinese myth and folklore with moments of comedy, tragedy, suspense, horror and beauty. It’s not a perfect book, and I can see some problematic elements in it now, but it was my favorite novel ever at one time, and it may still be.

Barry Hughart’s writing was a big influence on mine when I started writing novels, possibly one of the biggest. The fourth Monkey Queen book, A Tiding Of Magpies, tried to pull the same trick Hughart did with reworking the Qi Xi/Tanabata legend, and I suspect you could feel his style in my words and ideas. I dedicated the book to him. I tried to track him down, so I could thank him and send him a copy of the book, but his last publisher had lost touch with him. I suspect that he valued his privacy…but I deeply regret not having a chance to tell him how much I appreciated his work.

These are the final words from Bridge Of Birds (spoiler free). I wanted to end this by sharing them with you:

“I shall clap my hands together and bow to the corners of the world.

“May your villages remain ignorant of tax collectors, and may your sons be many and ugly and strong and willing workers,  and may your daughters be few and beautiful and excellent providers of love gifts from eminent families that live very far away, and may your lives be blessed by the beauty that has touched mine.

“Farewell.”

Farewell, Barry Hughart, and thank you.

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we could steal time, just for one day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snFAqolZ90I

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I’ve seen a lot of bloggers who haven’t had much luck

Starting this Sunday catchup with an apology: Circumstances kept me from getting a new Francophone Friday posted this week. Sorry about that. I’ll try to have one up next week.

Work continues on the Special Project for post #450. Fasten your seatbelts!

After the cut: A tribute to a great comic strip and its cartoonist. Continue reading

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Bowie

It almost feels like saying goodbye to a legion of people… the Thin White Duke, the Goblin King, the Man Who Fell To Earth, the Earthling, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane (1947-2016-????) and more. He was an actor, a fashion star and an icon and hero for so many people…but for me, it was his music that mattered the most. Find out why after the cut. Continue reading

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Thank you, Harvey.

I began writing the Monkey Queen books after I realized that you could self-publish e-books through Amazon. As I wrote, I started looking for information and advice – not on the actual writing, but the formatting, the cover design, the publishing process, all that. And I got lucky – thanks to a blog post by the amazing Kate Danley, I found a forum that had all that and more, KBoards.

I lurked for months before finally taking the plunge. Quickly, through KBoards, I found people who could handle the formatting for me, and who could design a cover over art I provided, when I realized I had no skill at doing either. I got tips on how and where to market the book, and advice on writing, and encouragement at times when I needed the support. Giveaways, interviews, reviewers, promo sites, KBoards helped me find them all, and some you may have discovered my books because of that.

More importantly…suggestions made by two other members led me to DeviantArt, where I found Willow. And when a blue-haired new member took a liking to me, I became awesome pals with Shei Darksbane. Two of my favorite people in the world…and I might never have met them if it weren’t for KBoards.

The founder of KBoards, Harvey Chute, passed away today after a lengthy battle with cancer. I joined too late to really interact with him, but by every indication, he was a gentleman and a loving husband and father. I’m sorry I didn’t get to know him better.

And I will always, always be grateful for what KBoards has brought me, and to Harvey for starting it.

Thank you, Harvey.

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