Monday, September 22, 2008


Equinox is here
Day and night in true balance
Winter is coming

Yes, it's the Autumn equinox. And I'm in shorts.

I had a slightly spooky moment when I opened up S M Stirling's A Meeting At Corvallis this morning to finish it; the Epilogue is subtitled

Dun Juniper, Willamette Valley, Oregon
September 22nd 2008/Change Year 10[1]

It's nearly as weird as when I read Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six during the Sydney Olympics.

[1] As it happens, it's a Wiccan ceremony, which is why it's on the equinox. The odd thing is me finishing the book on exactly the day that it finishes. Apart from the fact that The Change never happened of course.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dream Diary 14

I had a dream last night, in which I was holding forth to a group of admirers about the Turkic languages. I was just explaining that a native of Istanbul could, with some effort, be understood by Uyghur speakers of western China when someone in the group tried to tell us that in fact the "mountain people" of Japan could also understand Turkish. I retorted that I felt this was very unlikely.

In the cold light of day, I'm not actually sure what that dream heckler meant by "mountain people". I'm pretty sure I assumed they meant the Ainu, the aboriginal and ethnically distinct people of northern Japan. A swift look at Wikipedia suggests that there were 15 fluent speakers of Ainu left in 1996 and has no generally accepted relationship with other languages. Similarly Japanese and the Japonic languages of the Ryukyuan islands are generally held to be a language family isolate. So even in a dream it seems I'm right. Go me.