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Category: english

Exploring Pendulum Passage

The team rigging the Crevasse, two days before our trip. (C) Taina Nyman, 2017

Even though writers are all notorious liars, the following is something resembling a true account of a caving trip I took on my New Year vacation. This is the kind of stuff that inspires my caving-related fiction.

Ogof Ffynnon Ddu: Top Entrance to the Crevasse

Shortly after noon Duncan, Tor and I crawl in through the top entrance hatch of OFD. Tor is tasked with navigation at first; I’ll back him up should he need it. We clamber over the boulders making up the first part of the cave, and in ten minutes we have reached the point, where a blocky climb called the Corkscrew heads down. Instead of down, we go up – up a slippery, muddy set of steps that’s almost unnoticeable if you go the way people usually go. The climb is unsecured and scary – a harbinger of what to expect today.

Sixty Years of the Rocket

Hugo Winners in my bookshelf
The only Hugo Best Novel winners I own as physical books. Hooray for libraries and ebooks!

In early 2013, about the same time I was developing my present delusions of literacy, I realised that as an aspiring writer of speculative fiction, I was hopelessly unaware of what was going on in my genre. Sure, I was reading lots of science fiction, but it was all within my comfort zone, and I didn’t really pay attention to interesting new stuff. I couldn’t even claim to be aware of all the interesting old stuff outside my particular tastes. Since this felt like a major oversight for someone fancying themselves a sci-fi writer, I figured that one way to fix this might be by catching up on the Hugo Award winners. Specifically, winners of the Best Novel award — I don’t really read or write short fiction, and anyway including more than one category of awards would have felt like a huge load of work. But novels? I like science fiction novels. Reading them would be fun!