2017 UPDATES & NEWS
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Mass Media is doing to Humanity what the Automobile has done to the Earth.

 

Be careful when someone starts talking about humans as "caretakers" or "overseers" of this world. Notice the subtlety in meaning when terms to describe the same event start to alter, like "climate change" for "global warming". Instead of living "on the Earth", how about "supported by the Earth" or "amidst the Earth?" And, by all means, contemplate—in all its aspects and drawn conclusions—of calling this planet we live on, well, Home.

Here's Bil Moyer's take on this concerning the Big Orange Cheeto: http://billmoyers.com/story/orwell-hitler-trump/# (if the link is taken down or not working, here's a copy)

And, oh, by the way, these pages will not carry the name nor the antics of the so-called named President of the United States, beginning this year. Notice I said named, not elected. And, speaking of word choices, hear the rhetoric of Press Secretary Sean Spicer after the inaugration, "Sometimes we can disagree with facts, but our intention is never to lie." And, followed by top Presidental adviser, Kellyanne Conway's "alternative facts" as given to the press as explanation. Can you say Newspeak?

Okay, that's it. I SWEAR. No more about this toxic Trumpkin Patch.

01/04/2017

James Lee Burke
Done
01/20/17
Nick Cutter
Shorted
02/05/17
Will McIntosh
Done
02/18/17
G X Todd
Done
03/03/17
Graham Masterton
Done
03/12/2017
L. L. Soares
Done
03/26/2017
Deborah Biancotti
Done
04/06/2017
Ali Land
In Progress
04/18/2017
Lisa Tuttle
Shorted

 

Terry and I took off for Canyon de Chelly on the Navaho reservation in northern Arizona on April 10th. We met our friends Karen and Art and stayed at the Thunderbird Lodge for 3 nights. The first day we spent peering down the canyon's 600 to 1,000 foot walls and spotting numerous ruins, sheep pastures, loose horses and cattle, corn and herbal fields. Flute, drums and chanting songs wafted up from various areas. The next day Art, Karen and I challenged the shallow river in a guided Jeep, 4-wheeling up the canyon at 8am. Then, at 4pm, Terry and I charged the canyon with Leander, the owner of Beauty Way Jeep Tours, for the evening light.

The vitalizing experience of Canyon de Chelly is hard to apotheosize properly because it involves spirituality and a seemingly growing attack on its inviolability. The canyon is "owned" and managed by the Parks Dept and Navaho Nation. There is that slow and buried grinding of the wheel of commerce, visioning de Chelly as a future Zion or Mesa Verde. But, in the meantime, the canyon is a working experience, continuing the traditions and methods of living and creating on the land. It is cohesive with the past and we were mesmerized with feeling its tantric strength. The sandstone cliff faces offer thousands of stories and interpretations of its markings in the changing light. The ruins stand solitary, maintaining a home for birds and animals since losing their human occupants so may years ago. The Anasazi—a Navaho word for Ancient Ones—arriving almost 5,000 years ago, built the ruins as communities to oversee their efficacious agricultural and husbandry production. After they mysteriously disappeared 600 years ago, the canyon saw changes from cliff dwelling living to Pueblo village life, then insemination from Hopi tribes to Navaho settlements brought favorable recognition to the canyon for its natural and exploitable assets. Unfortunately, the tranquility ended in the 1700s with wars and raids for animals and land, drawing in the Spaniards, distant tribes like the Utes, and the European settlers. This culminated in The Long Walk, where, in 1863 Kit Carson and an US Army force killed around 150 Navaho and drove the survivors on a 300-mile death march to Fort Sumner in New Mexico. After almost completely destroying the Navaho nation—not to mention the other Indians in the area—the Navaho were allowed to return to their native land in1868.

Today, beyond its exquisite visual and sensory beauty, past its cathedral-like deference to the spirits and ghosts that roam its hallowed walls, even beyond the wild turkeys and copious crows, Canyon de Chelly breathes the life worth living as its people embrace the earth with harmony and respect. If Adam and Eve were Anasazi, this is where their dreams of a perfect world started. Anyplace else it'd be, well, ophidian in its proposed futures.

The Navahos are proficient with traditional rite of passage ceremonies and blessing songs for expelling applied curses and culling diseases. Their prayer book is divided in half by Hózho´o´jí, meaning The Blessing Way, and Ana'í Ndáá', The Enemy Way. The former addresses healing and harmony; the latter, harm and trauma, especially from ghosts. And, as we were leaving what could only be described as The Blessing Way, I was struck with chest pains. At first I thought it was just heartburn, but it persisted until, finally in Flagstaff, I volunteered myself to hospital's Emergency ward. After two nights and massive tests, it was determined as "hyper-tension". Entering, my blood pressure was somewhere north of 212 systolic. And, when leaving the wonderful facility of Flagstaff Medical Center—I was treated with concern and attention as never before in a hospital—I was as close to 120/80 as I'll probably ever be.

I have been waiting for this day to come. I just didn't expect it to hit before I reached 70, which is 4 months away. I am calling this the 4th and final booster of the rocket ride known as Life. You have to adapt to these oncoming stages or it will be an amended journey. So, less sugar, less salt, exercise. Buy a blood pressure sleeve, a blood sugar testing kit. No stress, and noTrump as prescribed.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

GOODBYE 2017

 

 

And while we're into the Reaper's work, I'd like to pay homage to three of my favorite artists who also died this year:

E. L. Doctorow (1931-2015)

Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015)

Robert Stone (1937-2015)

Tom Piccirilli (1965-2015)

 

No more from you great storytellers is a grievous loss, but what you left in the dirt for all of us is your immortality unquestioned. Thanks, guys & gals, for your heart. You will be missed.

 

Again, I paged through about 45 books this year. For the first time, I found myself in serious recurring, short-term memory trouble. Reading is becoming more difficult because I cannot remember what I read in the book previously. And reviews, well, it's obvious they have fallen off in insight and quality as well. Ensemble-style reads are out because, starting a chapter, I don't know if I've met the characters before. I can't stand that kind of narrative structure anyway, so good riddance.

My summer trips yielded an overabundance of images, even though I got some water drops on the new Canon G7X and it quit on me. Refurbished, It later redeemed itself by grabbing some fabu pics in Sabino Canyon this fall. For the first time ever, I've gotten ahead of myself in the Silver Links Repository and am filling out 2016!

 

 

But before we get to the major awards, a new recognition has been set forth:

 

THE CRAWFORD CONFERRALS

(a simple salute for simple-minded readers like myself)

 

Best read novel of the Year: The Elementals

Best read surprise of the Year: We Are All Completely Fine

This year's Honored Mentionables:

The Golden Spruce

(A guy chops down a tree to save the forest)

The Matrix

(classic British ghost story, seamlessly done)

Forsaken

(Art as prophesy, spooky-style)

The House of Small Shadows

(Brim-full of shock and wonderment)

Cast A Cold Eye

(A heartfelt haunting, perfectly touchstoned)

The Age of Miracles

(Coming of Age as the clock wears down)

All The Birds, Singing

(A gem in elusive narration)

 

 

A discovered dead Author of the Year: Michael McDowell (1950-1999)

A discovered live Author of the Year: Nicola Griffith (1960-)

 

Summarizing 2015 with regards to fantasist literature is probably best illustrated by the major award winners for best novel.

The Nebula was won by Jeff VanderMeer for Annihilation.

The Hugo was won by Cixin Liu for The Three-Body Problem.

The World Fantasy Award was won by David Mitchell for The Bone Clocks

The International Horror Guild Award was discontinued in 2008, but we still have the Stoker, which was staked out by Steve Rasnic Tem for  Blood Kin, and Maria Alexander's for Mr. Wicker for 1st Novel Award.

Across the pond, The British Fantasy award now splits in two for the novel category, with No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill winning the August Derleth (horror) award and Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge taking the Robert Holdstock (fantasy) award. Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie broke the summit stick over her knee for the British Science Fiction award while Ruth E. J. Booth booted into Short Fiction with The Honey Trap. The Arthur C. Clarke award went to Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

The John W. Campbell crown fell on Claire North this year for The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. PBOs were distinguished with a win for The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison for the Philip K. Dick Award, with special citation to Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett. The James Tiptree Jr. award sat between Monica Byrne for The Girl in the Road and Jo Walton with My Real Children. Okay, there's also the Shirley Jackson Award which went to Jeff VanderMeer for Annihilation, this year's novel choice, with the half-novel (Novella) to We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory, which also won World Fantasy this year.

And lastly, The Locus Awards passed out plaques for Best SciFi Novel to Ann Leckie's Ancillary Sword, Best Fantasy Novel to The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, and Best 1st Novel toThe Memory Garden by Mary Rickert. The Novella was tossed to Nancy Kress for Yesterday's Kin.

 

 

HELLO TO 2016 !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© copyright 2010 by Larry Crawford

updated 01/02/2014