Friday, April 24, 2015

Thunderlord snippet - A Ball At Scathfell

Please remember that this is a work in progress and drafts have a habit of changing drastically from inception to finished book.

From Thunderlord Chapter 14

Damisela Alayna?” Lord Scathfell rose to his feet and faced her, one hand extended. “Will you accord me the privilege of the first dance?”

Even if she had not been delighted with the opportunity to dance, she could not have refused. Such an honor – to be selected by the lord of the castle himself for the first dance! Ellimira would have been beside herself. And with such an introduction, it would not be improper for any of his guests to follow suit, would it?

Alayna placed her hand in his and followed him to the center of the dancing area. His fingers closed around hers, exerting pressure to conduct her to where she was to stand. She had heard of how a skillful male dancer could guide even the most inexperienced lady through complicated patterns, but never before had she had the sensation of moving effortlessly in time with the music. She’d attended dances enough at home, crude, rollick affairs compared to a ball like this. They could all dance, of course, simple reels for the young folk and promenadas for the elders. These movements were like the finest spidersilk to their homespun.

Oh no, now the musicians were playing the final cadence. The lines of dancers paused, men and women facing each other. Lord Scathfell bowed, but not so low that she could not see his smile or the brightness in his eyes, surely mirroring her own. She recovered enough to execute a curtsy that would have done Ellimira proud, and masked her disappointment as he escorted her back to her seat.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

[poetry] Jim C. Hines rhapsodizes the Hugo Awards

From Jim C. Hines's excellent LJ comes this reflection on this year's Hugo Awards kerfuffle. Enjoy!

Three Hugos for Mil-SF and their space marines;
Seven for the grimdark-lords in their halls of blood;
Nine for mortal fans doomed to blog;
One for Neil Gaiman on his dark throne
In the Land of Worldcon where the Shadows lie.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dinosaur Feathers Discovered in Canadian Amber

Dinosaur Feathers Discovered in Canadian Amber

Today a group of paleontologists announced the results of an extensive study of several well-preserved dinosaur feathers encased in amber. Their work, which included samples from many stages in the evolution of feathers, bolstered the findings of other scientists who've suggested that dinosaurs (winged and otherwise) had multicolored and transparent feathers of the sort you might see on birds today. The researchers also presented evidence, based on the feathers' pigmentation and structures, that today's bird feathers could have evolved from dinosaur feathers.