Thursday, November 13, 2008

Eric's Autumnal Thoughts

Eric's pet lizard has, one might euphemistically say, gone to live in the happy lizard land in the sky. Or, to paraphrase Wordsworth
A lizard by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
--Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Shemp had ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!
So since it's autumn and Eric is in a pensive frame of mind, he'd like to read romances featuring more "mellow fruitfulness":
No wonder, in this autumnal mood, I’ve developed a soft spot in my heart for slightly older romance heroes and heroines. [...] I’m sure by spring I’ll be ready for young lovers again. But for the long, cold days ahead here in Chicago, heroes and heroines of “a certain age” would sure be mighty comforting. Any authors or books to recommend?
You can make your recommendations over at Romancing the Blog, where there are more details about the causes of Eric's thoughtful mood.

The picture is actually of Bill the Lizard, drawn by Sir John Tenniel, and I got the illustration from Wikipedia.


  1. Do you think you might be able to find a copy of a really old Edith Layton called A LOVE FOR ALL SEASONS? It's a series of loosely connected novellas covering the four seasons, and the autumnal and winter ones fit your mood.

    Then there's Candice Hern's Merry Widows trilogy: IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT, JUST ONE OF THOSE FLINGS, and LADY BE BAD.

    This series of 3 books is about a group of respectable widows who act as patronesses for charity balls. Each of them is financially secure and has no desire to give up her independence as a widow. They vow to support one another against famiy or social pressures to marry again. But that does not mean they have to give up physical passion for the rest of their lives. So they agree to actively seek lovers. And not only that, but also to speak candidly about their experiences. Think: Sex and the City meets Almack's.

    The book titles come from twisting the titles of popular Tin Pan Alley songs of the 1930s and 1940s: the first book twists the Cole Porter song, "In the Still of the Night," the second book twists another Cole Porter classic, "It Was Just One of Those Things," and the third looks to Gerswhin, twisting the pop standard, "Lady, Be Good."

    By popular demand, a fourth Merry Widow gets her own story in the novella "From This Moment On" in the anthology It Happened One Night.

    I'm sorry about the lizard. Have you considered getting a kitten?

  2. Hi there:

    I just nominated "Teach Me Tonight" for an I HEART YOUR BLOG award. Follow the link for more info.

    I enjoy your blog!

    Joanna D'Angelo

  3. Thanks, Joanna. I'm very glad you enjoy the blog. Your blog and the Romance Vagabonds both nominated Teach Me Tonight (among others). It's very flattering, and I hope we can continue to write posts which are of interest.

  4. For anyone wondering what to get Eric for Chanukah:

  5. It does sound very realistic, but Tal, do you really think the
    Realistic Crawling Iguana
    could replace Shemp? I suspect not. I fear it would be rather like trying to replace somebody's much loved cat with a soft toy.

  6. Yes, but it does have certain advantages--no litterbox issues, and virtual immortality.

    Before this post I didn't even realize that Eric HAD a lizard! What kind was it?

    I occasionally get tiny ones around here, about the size of my little finger; but I think the cats deal with them.

    Oh, I found a picture of Eric and his lizard online:

  7. And before reading your comment, I didn't even realize that Eric was Warlord of Mars!

    Actually, Shemp was a Green Anole.

  8. Attractive little critter. In that first picture, it looks like it is not being convinced by your arguments requesting a deadline extension on your term paper...

  9. Laura wrote: And before reading your comment, I didn't even realize that Eric was Warlord of Mars!

    Well, he said over on Romancing the Blog that he got tenure--isn't that more or less the same thing?

  10. Hi, everyone! Back from saving Barsoom ("Mars" to you Terrans) once again, and Thuvia in the bargain. Loved, but LOVED those books as a lad; if Shemp had six legs and knew swordplay, she'd have been a fine comrade for my adventures. As it was, she mostly slew crickets, with an occasional mealworm for dessert.

    Now I just have to keep my daughter's fish alive. (Call me Aquaman.)


  11. I thought Shemp would have been more of a thoat:

    It towered ten feet at the shoulder; had four legs on either side; a broad flat tail, larger at the tip than at the root, and which it held straight out behind while running; a gaping mouth which split its head from its snout to its long, massive neck.

    Like its master, it was entirely devoid of hair, but was of a dark slate color and exceeding smooth and glossy. Its belly was white, and its legs shaded from the slate of its shoulders and hips to a vivid yellow at the feet. The feet themselves were heavily padded and nailless, which fact had also contributed to the noiselessness of their approach, and, in common with a multiplicity of legs, is a characteristic feature of the fauna of Mars. (ERB)

    Check out the Martians here:

    Thuvia, Eric? Does Dejah Thoris know about this?

    We share our passion for Barsoom with the young Carl Sagan. Good company, eh?

  12. How embarrassing, Talpianna! It's clearly been too long since I strode the Red Planet, or the SF library aisle. My daughter's been hankering to go this afternoon; I think a return to Burroughs is in order. (All the books are Dejah Lu, but not remembered very well, evidently.)

    Hmm... Gets me thinking. Who was the romantic interest in the Perry Rhodan books? Thora, the Arkonide?

    None of them measuring up, by any stretch, to the great love of my boyhood: Jaelithe, of Andre Norton's "Witch World." Loved & married by one "Simon Tregarth," as I recall. Maybe I'll pick that one up as well.

  13. Eric, my first fiction sale was to Andre Norton--a short story in CatFantastic IV. I've read almost all her fantasy and most of her SF.

    I hope you didn't stop with the original Witch World books, as there were numerous sequels and spinoffs.

    I also very much liked C.L. Moore's stuff, both the Northwest Smith SF and the Jirel of Joiry quasi-medieval fantasy.

    With the popularity today of paranormal romances, our youthful loves seem to be returning to us.

    Most if not all the Barsoom books are in print from Dover Books; and the SFBC seems to have them all in omnibus hardcover volumes. Did you ever visit Pellucidar?

    I never read Perry Rhodan, but I was a fan of Conan long before the movie. But the best hero of all is Tanith Lee's Cyrion, who adventured in a medieval Levant in an alternate universe where Remus defeated Romulus.

    I recommend that you try to dig up that one. Also George Alec Effinger's Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson, in which the Jewish American Princess heroine finds herself in a variety of SF and fantasy environments. The cover alone is worth the price of the book:

    (Note the credit card strapped to her right hip.)

    Also, Al Sarrantonio has written an ERM-like series set on Mars and featuring intelligent felines as protagonists.

    WV: hydram--(1) Evil Barsoomian monster slain by John Carter; or,

    (2) Description of the emotional pitch of ERB's books

  14. Talpianna,

    Re: Maureen Birnbaum, check this true story of Rena Glickman, "the undisputed mother of women's judo," recently honored by the Emperor of Japan:

    O brave neuen welt!


  15. I saw that story some time ago. I think it was posted by a Japanese contributor in the

    We Little Old Ladies ain't what we used to be!

    The Maureen Birnbaum stories are parodies of various famous SF and fantasy settings. In one she engages Maid Marian in a shopping contest, for example.

    WV: fentio--Inuit word for a form of sexual deviance involving three men, a walrus, and the National Geographic...

  16. "In one she engages Maid Marian in a shopping contest, for example."

    --You know, the whole Jewish women / shopping thing...the whole JAP thing, really...well, it's like having a Black protagonist in a watermelon-eating contest, if you know what I mean. With a soupcon of misogyny thrown in.

    Not to be the skeleton at the (kosher) banquet, but I suspect I'm a bit too PC to enjoy the Birnbaum stories!

  17. Well, Maureen as JAP isn't that much different from a Valley Girl; there's more emphasis on lifestyle than on ethnicity. And it's pretty funny when she shows up in Pellucidar or Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall."

    WV: Disch--I don't think she shows up in one of his worlds.