August 6th, 2013


"When we are alone for a long time, we people space with phantoms."

* If you missed any of my past courses for the Mythgard Institute at Signum University, you can still catch the lectures (24 for each class): Mythgard is making the downloads of my past lectures available for purchase as "class packs." Among those courses now available are "The History of Science Fiction" Parts 1 and 2, "Taking Harry Potter Seriously," and "The Dystopian Tradition." You can find the class packs for these and other Mythgard courses here.

* R.I.P., Michael Ansara (April 15, 1922 – July 31, 2013), who portrayed (among many characters) Commander Kang in three different incarnations of Star Trek. He has joined Kahless in the Black Fleet in Sto-Vo-Kor, but he will not be forgotten.

* Lovers of YA dystopian fiction have two reasons to be excited over the next month. Susan Beth Pfeffer's compelling Last Survivors series gets a fourth installment, The Shade of the Moon, and Nancy Farmer's brilliant The House of the Scorpion gets a sequel, The King of Opium. I'm looking forward to both.

Le Horla, Guy de Paupassant

Last but not least, happy birthday to Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (August 5, 1850 – July 6, 1893).

I go to bed, and I wait for sleep as a man might wait for the executioner. I wait for its coming with dread, and my heart beats and my legs tremble, while my whole body shivers beneath the warmth of the bedclothes, until the moment when I suddenly fall asleep, as a man throws himself into a pool of stagnant water in order to drown. I do not feel this perfidious sleep coming over me as I used to, but a sleep which is close to me and watching me, which is going to seize me by the head, to close my eyes and annihilate me.
- Guy de Maupassant, "The Horla"