Which is: A whole lot of sites I regularly visit are in French when I visit. I suppose they’re read the IP address I’m using (which I assume is my hotel’s) and serving up their French-language pages. It’s not a problem, but it is amusing.
In other news, I am frankly surprised at how much French I can actually read; when I was in the airport yesterday I read a copy of Le Monde that was lying around and I had very little problem following the gist of the stories I was looking at. I wouldn’t say it was reading, exactly, since I know I missed a lot. But I didn’t miss as much as I expected I would, if you know what I mean. Spoken French, however, still has me completely lost. I’m doing a lot of smiling and pretending, basically. Most people here seem to be happy to let me do that.
UK Journalist and SF notable Mark McGrath writes a long and detailed (and spoiler-filled) piece on his blog about the Old Man’s War trilogy (which he called the Green Solider Trilogy, which is a name I actually like), and comes to some interesting conclusions, particularly regarding the politics of the universe. So if you want a substantive textual look at the trilogy, it’s well worth a read.
Personally speaking, I like it for its opening graph:
A while ago, just after I finished Old Man’s War, I threatened to come back to the blog and give a scathing account of why John Scalzi’s fantastically entertaining space opera was the single most wrongheaded book I had ever read. It was, I was going to tell you, a filthy piece of right-wing shittism of the kind that I thought even the sci-fi reactionaries had left behind. I was going to set Mr Scalzi straight on a few things, I can tell you.
Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed.
Stupid wiser heads!
Personally speaking, I’m not going to make an argument against Old Man’s War in particular being read as having “right-wing” politics; it certainly can be, and it certainly has been, and I don’t have a problem with that interpretation. Let people think as they will; I’m glad they’re thinking seriously about the book at all. My major argument has been against the thinking that goes “Old Man’s War is right-wing in its politics; therefore John Scalzi is right-wing in his politics.” Many is the right-wing reader who has come here after reading OMW to find this particular supposition rather quickly disproved. Most seem to be able to handle it, for which I am grateful; occasionally one will really freak out about it. C’est la vie, as they say where I am at the moment. And anyway, I occasionally freak out lefties, too. It all works out in the wash.
Funny how about 11 straight hours of sleep will make you feel much better.
Although I did have dreams of the apocalypse. It was all right, however, since in the dream I had a gun and lots of ammunition.
Also, here’s a fun trick I tried yesterday: Explaining the first chapter of Android’s Dream to my French publisher, where I did not know the French word, nor he the English, for “fart.” Oh, how those language problems gave us such a chuckle!
Also, FYI: When you’re overseas, Skype is just about the greatest thing ever.
Off to my book signing. Catch you all later.