Vampire Demons from Hell on Friday the 13th

I just had to post something on Friday the 13th.  I tend to stay away from the horror stuff, although I do enjoy reading about Myth & Mystery.  Also, I’m a bit of a history buff and I’ve always thought that the whole Friday the 13th myth arose from Phillip the Fair’s persecution of the Knights Templar, which began on Friday, October 13th, 1307.  Lately, however, I’ve read some work that suggests that the belief in an unlucky day goes (how do you spell goes?) back much farther.

Some scholars have suggested that the myth of Friday the 13th can be traced all the way back to the end of the Norse religions when Christianity subsumed the old traditions and demoted the Norse pantheon to the status of Demons.  Frigga, the Norse goddess of love & fertility was labeled a witch by the Early church, and it is from Frigga that we get the word Friday.  In any case, I’m not particularly superstitious, but I’ll still try to be a little more careful today.

On another note, and in keeping with the mystical aspect of the day.  I downloaded Digital Knight, by Ryk Spoor, from the Baen Free library. It’s basically an anthology of stories about Jason Wood, an information specialist, who gets mixed up with the world of the supernatural. Vampires, Werewolves, the usual suspects. It’s a good read so far, but I’ll tell the world what I think when I finish it. Until next time, keep your head down.

The Great Copyright Debate

I read almost everything in ebook format.  I’ve never been one of those people who loves books for their physical presence.  To me, the story inside the book is what’s important.  Ebooks let me take multiple books wherever I go and I just find the format more practical.  That being said, there is a lot of controversy surrounding ebooks.  For the same reasons that the RIAA is suing little old ladies for downloading music, many authors and publishers frown on the (illegal) downloading of ebooks.  On a basic level, downloading media that you haven’t paid for is illegal, but here’s my take on things. 
I recently posted about discovering David Gemmell’s Drenai series.  I downloaded “Legend” from a P2P site.  I wasn’t sure whether I would like it, I’d never read any of his work before, and I couldn’t justify the money.  However, after reading Legend, I liked it so much that I actually bought the next four books in the series.  So, who’s the loser here?  I think it might be time for publishers to take a second look at how they distribute their work.
Baen Books, one of the great science fiction publishing houses, has already taken the next step.  Through the Baen Free Library, you can freely download many of their offerings.  Generally, they offer older works for free, knowing full well that if you like those, then you might buy more.  This is one of the reasons why I trust Baen.  I know that they’re counting on the strength of their authors, some of whom include David Drake, Eric Flint & David Weber, to sell their products.  And that’s an approach that makes sense to me.
Rock on, Baen.

Bildungs what?

I haven’t been posting as often as I should be.  It’s just that I’ve been on a rampage of reading lately.  After being introduced to David Gemmell’s “Legend”, I pretty much went Drenai crazy.  I read basically the whole saga, and man does it rock.  One of the very interesting things about the Drenai series in general, is the way Gemmell treats many of his protagonists.  A lot of them are older warriors, past their prime but still with plenty of drive.  And as any student of kung fu movies knows, old men have the skills and experience to whip the snot out of any young whippersnappers.  Still, in a few places, Gemmell almost manages to create something new in literature, a reverse bildungsroman.  If a bildungsroman is a youth’s journey into manhood, then I guess a reverse bildungsroman would be a man’s journey into innocence.  That’s what happens often in Gemmell’s universe, a hardened warrior sees how his actions have affected the world, and moves from cynicism back into innocence.  In any case, Gemmell’s work, at least with the Drenai saga, is powerful and moving.  If you aren’t reading it, you should be.