The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchet

3 out of 5

Pratchet starts his popular series by parodying magic before he parodies everything else in his long career. A grand quest is nothing more than a tepid tour given by a mediocre magician even if the quest has major effects on the world of magic by his ineptitude when he accidentally upsets his world’s magical system with his
mistakes. I think his story would be more popular with people who like comedy than fantasy.


Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

4 out of 5

A mentally challenged man has his intelligence surgically augmented to genius level before he comes full circle. It’s a bittersweet tale echoed by the of the mouse Algernon who is the first subject of the experiment. At least Charlie survives the experiment though he experiences a bunch of existential angst during his genius phase. I found Charlie an engaging character throughout the story, and that’s the reason why I rated the book so highly.

Flashfic: The Greatest Apollon Mystery

“Perhaps we should promote a philosopher into the position?” Athena asked.

Apollo yawned. It was so hard to keep awake during these divine councils.

His twin Artemis jabbed at him to stay awake.

“No. No mortal shall be allowed a voice in our judgments,” Zeus said.

Athena sighed. “Hades has already delegated the judgment of souls to the shades of three mortal wise men. How would this be any different?”

“Why don’t we ask the Delphic Oracle for the best candidate for the job?”

Eris laughed at this, “Why go to the Delphic Oracle when we have her patron here?”

She smirked as she glanced at the yawning Apollo. “What do you say, Apollo?”

Artemis spoke for him, “ Yes, I say Apollo should do it. We count on the Oracle for advice already. Why not make her patron the God of Logic?”

“Uh?” Apollo asked.

There was a chorus of ayes at this.

Eris snorted.

She sat up and offered Apollo a handshake. “I’ll commission Arachne of Hypaepa to weave you a banner in honor of your promotion.”

Apollo flushed with rage at this.

It was too bad Eris kept Arachne in her household. He’d like to squash her flat, but he made do with ordering that none of her children were allowed in his temples. The God of Logic’s followers should run clean and orderly establishments after all.

You can see how Eris became Arachne’s patron in A Heart for Hubris.

Why is Apollo the Patron of Logical Thinking?

The greatest Apollon Mystery is “why is he a patron of logical thinking?” The myths he’s in show him as moody and capricious as any Olympian

A lover cheated on him. The news enraged him so much he scorched his informer, a white raven who became a black raven. Then he ordered a hit on the woman by his twin sister and condemned her to Tartarus.

He cheated in a music contest. Morsys the Satyr played him to a draw at first. Then he said they should play their instruments upside down which Morsys couldn’t do. He flayed Morsys alive for daring to challenge him.

Apollo may not be the first Olympian to have an ethical lapse but why is he the patron of logical thinking?

Is he the best candidate for the job? He is in charge of the Delphic Oracle which was a means of deifying intuitive insight. Did the Olympians deem him the most qualified for the job even if he wasn’t the ideal candidate?

That’s the only explanation I can think of. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Or know of any other qualifications Apollo may have I am unaware of?

I have a flashfic of the “founding myth” for this Apollon mystery coming out tomorrow. Perhaps this is how it could’ve happened in the myths.

There’re more examples of my Greek Myth “what ifs” in A Heart for Hubris.

Arabian Nights: Based On The Text Edited By Muhsin Mahdi

4 out of 5

This is a charming translation of the Arabian Nights that’s is as close the original as was possible in 2008. Sometimes chasing the newest translation of a classic work in another language feels like a job only for completists, but it’s an enjoyable exercise for someone who likes folklore. At the very least one should graduate from the children’s version to the ones meant for a mature audience, which this is. Translations are good for readers to revisit in their adulthoods since it has elements that would’ve been edited out for children though tasteful by adult standards.

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

4 of 5

A man’s pysche is deconstructed with a murder mystery puzzle with cosmic stakes. It’s came across as people playing Clue in a in a futuristic setting at first, and I couldn’t understand why it became a classic. He may’ve come up with this concept before the game or movie first but the “people playing Clue in a scifi setting” impression ruined it for me. I gave it the rating I thought it deserved even if the premise is cliche to a modern reader.

Neuromancer by William Gibson

3 out of 5

This is like reading the script of a video game where the player only has time to react and not to strategize. The prize is attained, but then their hectic life goes on. I migth’ve enjoyed the ending more if I didn’t feel like I had to sprint all the while to get there. This book probably came before video games were established and might’ve been used as inspiration for them. It’d work better as a video game than a book.

Update 07/14/19: Some responses to this post on Facebook made me decide to read a text copy of the work instead of just listen to an audiobook while I multitask. So far it makes more sense this way. I haven’t finished it yet but I already have more respect for this work.