Winter Was Warm

It was 80 degrees F in southern California over the weekend, which I spent alternately compiling data for the annual update to the Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards, and reading Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which I finished last night, at last, and have now come up for air. I enjoyed it very much, though I had not read any of the reviews closely enough to realize that this is but the first volume of a longer, as yet unresolved story, which explains the inconclusive air of the book’s ending that left me wondering if I’d missed something…

I suppose I should start my Christmas shopping now.

Meanwhile a bizarre package arrived in the mail yesterday–actually it came registered, so it cost me a stop at the post office this morning to get it. It’s a flat package presumably containing a book, colorfully wrapped with various stickers and taped labels, tied up with turquoise ribbon, and affixed with eight Russian stamps. On the front, next to the return address, is printed

These books publish in press.

They are sent to all Children of the Earth,

The Science will stop, if will read these books

and they realize, that a way their deadlock.

(Sic) With similar, longer notices on the back. I’m not sure I need to open this.

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