Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

SF Writer Doing Her Civic Duty

SF writer and Kenyon biology professor Joan A. Slonczewski was part of that election mess in Gambier. She was working as an observer.

"On a local level the supervisors here today did an excellent job of managing the voting process. Prior planning on the part of the Board of Elections was appalling. They knew how many voters we had registered and there was no contingency plan. The planning was very poor — 1,300 voters, two machines, 20 voters an hour; you do the math. It just doesn’t work," said Slonczewski.

Rest up, ma'am! Your country thanks you...especially the parts that didn't have to stand around for hours and hours....

I Like Ik(ons)!

Like millions of other Americans, it seems that Laura and W. have made a decoration of orthodoxy. Check out this election night-footage screencap of the official residence....

Monday, November 01, 2004

Russian Filk Update

It seems that the Russian filkers have been quite busy while I had my back turned. A very good guide to this is Kilor's Catalog and its many useful links to Russian filk mp3s (look under Fantasy Music/Minstrels on the Net (Menestreli v Ceti)). Kilor does include some folks who seem to be more "bard" (the Russian term for folk singer/songwriters) than "minstrel", but almost everybody he links to either writes some fantasy-oriented music or does Renfair, Celtic or folk. This is a mix not unlike what most filkers here listen to.

The biggest news is that Russian fans are following up the (extensively filked) musical The Star and Death of Finrod) and the filk operas Temple (about the unjust execution of the Knights-Templar) and Jeanne D'Arc (this unjust French execution thing again!) and Finrod-Zong (a serious version of the same story of Finrod's death) with The Testing of the Twins (Ispitanie Baiznetsov).

Yes, a serious Dragonlance musical. You can download songs from the musical on the musical's homepage, on Solo Records' page with samples from three of the musicals, and from Saruman Records' MP3 page. The lyrics of "Raistlin's Aria" are also available from the last.

I must admit I'm rather impressed by Saruman Records. They've produced some very nice recordings, to judge from their mp3 page. I'm particularly fond of Saruman's version of a Ladyhawke song by Rust. This appears on the album A Elbereth Gilthoniel, available from Solo Records.

The Rolesong Archive includes a good number of recordings of miscellaneous Russian filkers. The first song, "He goes for a walk in the field of dialectics", appears to be a demonstration that Russian filkers can simulate offkey singing with as much humorous effect as Anglosphere ones, especially if they are fairly drunk at the time. It also makes available not only mp3s of The Star and Death of Finrod, but its text with chords in songbook form. Other "songbooks" are available for download from Rolesong as well.

Another archive of mp3s can be found at It includes Maria Semyonova's "Wolfhound" song cycle.

I'm sure many of my readers are aware that Russians like anime, if only because of the Cyrillic search results you get for certain series. But there does seem to be something both deeply inevitable and deeply wrong about this Russian anime fan rock band, Suki Da! You can download their songs here, here, and here, including two versions of their song about Sailor Moon. Their lyrics are available here and here.