“The Peppers of GreenScallion,” and More

This entry is part 69 of 69 in the series SF in South Korea

Among the many wonderful things included in the June 2019 issue of Clarkesworld, you may find two things of interest to those following Korean SF, or my own work as a cotranslator with Jihyun Park.

The first is a translation of Myung-Hoon Bae’s “The Peppers of GreenScallion,”translated through the efforts of Jihyun Park and myself. It’s a story about war, systemic failures, bureaucratic nonsense, food, and love. We’re very proud of it, especially given the fact that it turned out to be a lot more fiendishly subtle than we originally realized: little things throughout proved challenging to translate, including an almost-completely untranslatable pun that meta-referentially calls out an infamous mistranslation.

Second, the issue contains an interview I did with Korean SF author/translator/powerhouse Soyeon Jeong, in which she discusses things like what it was like to grow up as part of Korean SF fandom in the early 2000s, challenges faced by SF authors, the genesis of her story “The Flowering” (which was in Clarkesworld back in April), and more. 

Besides that, there’s lots of other great stuff, too, so it’s worth going and checking out the whole issue

If you dig this stuff, think about supporting Clarkesworld either with a subscription (Amazon.com | Itunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Weightless Books) or by pledging at the magazine’s Patreon!

Blades in the Dark, Session 1

A few weeks ago, I got my copy of John Harper’s Blades in the Dark, but I set it aside because I was reading the copy of the Numenera rulebook that my friend Justin Howe loaned me an embarrassingly long time ago. However, by happenstance it turned out that Justin and I realized a Blades in the Dark game would be possible when someone I know on Twitter, M.R. (@ageekinkorea) expressed an interest in playing. So last week, I grabbed the rulebook off the shelf and, slowly, started reading it. 

I don’t have a great handle on the system yet, but I think it’s pretty cool. I’ll say more about that below. First, though, I’ll summarize our first session, which we played last night. 

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Blogging Pound’s The Cantos: Cantos LXIX and LXX

This entry is part 55 of 55 in the series Blogging Pound's The Cantos

Pound CantosThis post is one in a series of readings I’m posting of each poem in Ezra Pound’s The Cantos, one (or a few) at a time. The readings are atypical, for reasons made clear in my first post in this series. I’m not sure whether the fiction project that inspired this series will ever come to fruition, but I’d like to try finish the Cantos just the same.

There’s also an (updated) index of all the Cantos (and related sources) I’ve discussed so far.

This is my second post on the Cantos after returnint to them following an eight month break. I do hope to finish the Adams Cantos by sometime this summer, since there’s only three left—not two, as I’d stated when I last posted in this series—including this one. Then I’ll be into the Pisan Cantos. I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to reach them, but I kept bouncing on the Chinese and Adams Cantos. Like many people, I suspect. 

Today’s post will be exclusively text, because I am sick and don’t have the energy to dig up the usual accompanying images. Perhaps at some point I’ll return and redress that. 

This post brings me one Canto closer to Pisa, so without further delay… 

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Recent Reads: Troubadour Verse Edition

Though I was inspired to return to Provençal verse by a game—one run by the inimitable Jeremy Tolbert—I’ve been interested in Occitan culture and literature for a long time. Honestly, it was kind of dumb luck, because reading Pound had reawakened in my a craving to return to old Occitanian song and verse, and when I realized I hadn’t read any a decade or so, I decided to get my hands on some. Fortunately for my bank account, a request for a branch loan at school worked out and I got both of the books I asked for: Meg Bogin’s collection of translations of work by trobaritz (female troubadours), and Robert Kehew’s well-reviewed general anthology of troubadour songs. This means that I’ve been reading the books discussed below over a period of a few months—I started in on the former in late 2018, in fact.  

But first, some listening for this post. My favorite CD of troubadour music is definitely the one by the Clemencic Consort. I still remember buying it, brand new, from an HMV Music store in Montreal years ago as part of a double-CD set, with the other disc containing the (equally fascinating) northern Spanish Cantigas de Santa Maria… and if the point of packaging the pair of discs together was to drive home the point that the Occitanians shared as much (linguistically and musically) in common with their neighbors south of the Pyrenees as they did with the northern French, it was an excellent decision.

That said, I think that there’s also some benefit to be gotten from listening to this second video—especially the first track, which absolutely sounds like something Spanish, and with clearly unmistakeable Moorish influence.

My reason for highlighting that will be clearer in my comments to the first book.

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RPG Quick Shots

This post contains some thoughts on a few shorter RPG books I’ve read lately:

  • The Derelict: A Tale of Terror for Call of Cthulhu by Sandy Peterson
  • Beasties: A Manual of New Monsters for Your Original Edition Game by Thomas Denmark
  • Caves of Shadow by Monte Cook
  • Fate Accelerated  by Clark Valentine with Leonard Balsera, Fred Hicks, Mike Olson, and Amanda Valentine

If that doesn’t appeal, this may be a post to skip. 

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