What I’m reading today – Goodreads update

Alex Ankarr is on page 112 of 544 of The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF: I’m more than halfway through ‘The Wind Over The World’, highly praised and lauded by seemingly every reviewer. Thus far I’m finding it depressing, turgid and ominous. But I suppose everything may be transformed by the ending, who knows?

What I’m reading today – Goodreads update

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‘Alex Ankarr is on page 60 of 544’

Immersed in ‘The Truth About Weena’, an H.G. Wells ‘The Time Machine’ homage and extension by David J. Lake. A bicycle made for two!

 

What I’m reading today

Made a little more progress on The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF, edited by Mike Ashley.  Finished ‘Walk to the Full Moon’ by Sean McMullen – wonderfully witty, the central joke regarding the Rhuun hunt is especially hilarious. Deft, sharp, charming and a little melancholy, a love story after a certain fashion, with much less head-scratching befuddlement than most time-travel tales.

bellybutton time-travel – it’s a thing

An update on my bellybutton time-travel opus/short story – six pages in, and many issues as yet unresolved!

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After all – does the time-traveller jump into a new body, forward or back in time, via the medium of the fleshy tree through time?  Or jump beside the chronologically-advanced belly-button owner’s body, in which case how is she attached to the tree?  Does she jump naked?  (I can’t imagine a lot of crimplene shirts and primark denim on the limbs and branches of the tree. It must surely be a jump in the nuddy.)

How does she experience the jump?  Is there any tech involved, or if you’ve gotta navel are you good to go?  Is it witchcraft?  Should I really call her Perdita (I’m feelin’ Perdita) or is there a navel-related name that’d be more appropriate?

Six pages in, and none of these things resolved!  And I’m still so squeamish about b-b’s that I can’t even post a pic of one unless it belongs to a statue…

 

Image – Guillaume Gautreau under a Creative Commons licence.

things I don’t understand about Ralph Smart 2

When he says ‘waking up with a bunch of grapes in your mouth!’  (He says it all the time.)  Does he mean literally…  Wouldn’t you choke?  What does he mean?

(Is it a gay sex thing?  Is it?  Isn’t it?  It sounds like a gay sex thing.  It sounds like teabagging, tbh.)

I don’t think he actually means a gay sex thing.  But it still sounds like a gay sex thing.

Ralph, I love you.  I can’t understand half of your tricks, tics, slogans and twitches, though.

Omphalophobia, or science-fiction time-traveling bellybuttons.

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I’m writing a story – well, I’ve got two lines so far, at least – about science-fiction time-traveling bellybuttons.

(pause)

Yeah, and as I say… Well, look at it like this. I suffer from omphalophobia, let’s begin there. My name’s Alex, and I’m an omphalophobic.

It sounds like a sleepy mole coming grunting and blinking up out of a hole in the lawn. But that isn’t what it means, at all. What it means – to prove that I can make use of Google just as quick as anyone – is fear of bellybuttons. Yeah, it’s not made-up! (Well, it’s there on Google’s page of search results, anyhow. It’s on Wikipedia. That makes it a real thing, right?)

And I ought to know, because I’ve suffered from it most of my life. Not that I would have known what to call it. And I did not know that it was a thing, that other people experienced too! Thereby lending it validity and credibility, of course. I’m not just crazy, and liable to pull grossed-out faces and poke a finger at my navel in horror and disgust while getting out of the shower – shrieking at my partner all the while, about how come we can’t be cyborgs and get rid of this weird fleshy reminder of being mammals anyhow – because I’m nuts.

(I mean, it’s where the cord gets cut, and heals up. And what if it never heals up, not quite all the way? Then you’ve got, like, a little expressway into you, all septic and rotten and yuck, a highway to your innards...)

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a Ken or Barbie, and just have a smooth midriff with no yucky fleshy indent? Yeah, I know there would be other drawbacks…

So the thing about navels, they’re where the cord connected you to the mother, right? And, if you’re female and have kids, then you have kids branching off you – in the dimension of time – via the placental cord, connecting you to your kids via their navels too. Which makes them – and you – basically branches, or twigs, or tiny little leaves or budlets – through time, of a fleshy tree that exists chronologically, rather than spatially.

(This is why I’m calling the story ‘A Fleshy Tree Through Time’.)

And something about that thought is just damn weird.

In the story, I figure the heroine will be able to travel directly through time into the bodies of forebears or descendants. Via the POWER OF CASTLE BELLYBUTTON! Because she can see the Body of the Tree at a meta-level above time. Pseudo-chloroplasts or some other equivalent to plant organelles, in the whole Body, may be involved in the time-travelin’ process.

Look, I may not have this quite fleshed out and detailed, as far as process and world-building are concerned.  But I’m getting there!

Of course, men are excluded from the time-travelly process by definition: they’re dead-ends, evolutionary twigs that bear no fruiting buds or blossom. No childbirth = no placental cord = no more twigs. Useless, but pretty.

… Just sayin’.

We’re all just one big fleshy tree, and if we could get outside of time then we could see that. Root and bole and branch and twig, leaf and flower and fruit. All part of the same organism, just warring with itself.