Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Friday, July 25, 2008


Apparently issue #4 of Other Minds online magazine will be ready

for download August 1. That, according to the site news. I will believe it when I see it, given their penchant for being late with nearly every issue. It should be interesting, though, since the entire volume deals with the Dwarves. A brief summary of the coming issue can be found at the site, the link for which is near the bottom of this Web page.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I've been on a bit of a Doctor Who kick this year.

As manager of a Blockbuster Video franchisee, I enjoy some authority to determine my store's inventory. Taking undue advantage of such authority comes natural to me, and I have been surreptitiously adding DVD episodes of older Doctor Who to our BSI (Basic Store Inventory) library. I've also been acquiring the recent seasons, starring Christopher Eccleston (Season 1) and David Tennant (Season 2 - current).

I must say that the current Who offers incredible writing that pays homage to the older stories and feel, without relying too much on it. There's Daleks and Cybermen aplenty, and our beloved Sarah Jane Smith even figures prominently in one storyline (She has aged incredibly well. After-effects of too much time spent in the TARDIS, I suppose.). But the stories are wholly modern, wholly their own, and anyone without any prior experience with Time Lords, and with an imaginative brain, can enjoy it. And David Tennant is probably the best Doctor to date... with one notable exception.
There is only ever one Doctor for me, of course: Tom Baker.

In 1980-1983 I lived in Stringer, Mississippi. I was 10 years old in 1980, and
effectively marooned in a backwater with little or nothing to do save rely on my own imagination for entertainment. (That, admittedly, has been my salvation throughout much of my life.) We had 2 television stations we could receive regularly: a local NBC affiliate, and a PBS station. Somehow, that PBS station managed to get hold of steady episodes of the Tom Baker years of Doctor Who, which may have saved science fiction for me as a form of intellectual entertainment. I was able to watch Tom as the 4th Doctor in the afternoons after I got home from school. Tom's performance and personality left a deep impression on me; and how could it not? He was only being himself, and he is a very force of nature, Tom is.

I have been pleasantly surprised to see that many guys (Yep, they're all guys. The ladies just never got it. Science fiction just isn't generally something the womenfolk care for or understand. I've known a couple of exceptions, but they are rare.) smile and get this wistful, glazed-over expression when they find out we've got Who from Pertwee, through Baker, and some Davidson. They often had the same experience I did as a child: Tom Baker, and the Third and Fifth Doctors bookending his tenure, opened up a window into another, alien dimension for us. And it was marvelous. We're all getting older, but some things never will change, no matter how many regenerations we live through.

Thank you, Tom, for being our Doctor.

Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"