Before I start rambling in general, I want to thank everybody who’s donated money to the “Get Ursula A Root Canal” fund so far–obviously I have best friends, fans, and readers in the cosmos! I will probably be drawing Digger until the end of time, but I’m glad to do it! Thank you all so much! (And for anyone wishing to donate to the cause, rest assured that I can still use the help, and check the next entry down, or my webpage at for details…)

That aside, not much goin’ on…working, working, working. Since we’re currently in strapped-for-cash mode, I can’t buy any new books, so I’m rereading some of the old ones. For some reason, I picked up Connie Willis’s Passage. (Spoilers, if you haven’t read it.)

Passage is scary. It doesn’t mean to be–it’s science fiction, of a sort, not horror–but it is anyway, largely because it’s about near death experiences, and then death. The main character kicks off partway through the book, although this doesn’t end her narrative. Basically it’s about a scientist simulating near-death experiences, and what the heroine can’t figure out is why her NDE keeps taking her to the Titanic. From any other author, this would probably be a painfully stupid premise, but Willis pulls it off by virtue of having the heroine ask all the right questions, such as “Why the hell am I on the Titanic? This can’t be the real Titanic, so what is it? Is this because I saw that stupid movie a few years ago? Could this be the result of random neural firings and chemicals in the cortex causing me to feel that things are significant?” and so on and so forth. Now, I personally have less than no interest in the Titanic, I have never found it particularly interesting, I am clinging to my position as one of the last few people in the Western Hemisphere who have not seen the movie, and even I find it fascinating–it’s remarkably well put together, and the scientists actually act like real scientists, documenting everything and refusing to trust their subjective experiences and not just going for the metaphysical explanations. It’s a really good book.

And because it deals with death, and that great mystery of existence–what happens when we die?–it’s scary. You read it with a sort of twitchy dread. Death is, after all, that last great mystery.

So expect my next few entries to be maudlin. Unless I get distracted by something ranty first.

Leave a Reply