This weekend has been a writing one. I've managed to finish up two manuscripts which needed endings. I am hopeful that September (at least after Shrewsbury) will be a month where I can be more disciplined with my writing -- my writing muscles have gotten flabby.
My night-time reading has been "Tales of the Dying Earth." I can't say that I'm enjoying it much. It is entertaining to learn where the term "prismatic spray" came from. And it's supposed to be one of those genre classics. But man is it pulpy.
I can't tell if it's misogynist or if everyone is treated like a sexual commodity; I think it's supposed to be titillating. The fight and torture scenes are just icky. As near as I can tell, everyone in this world is wearing either A) boots and a cape, B) metal bracelets, C) a leather harness, or D) nothing. It's like The Dying Earth is some sort of BDSM party... and suddenly, the Heavy Metal magazine springs to mind.
In terms of character, so far we have Powerful Male Techno-Wizards, these can be good, evil, or insane; a cast of animal-men and demons acting as an id chorus; and women, mostly decanted from vats -- the ones not decanted seem to be beautifully evil seductresses or old and ugly.
One thing I could say for "Tales" is that it could win an award for baroque language. All of the excesses are described in lavish, poly-syllabic detail.
I think I'll jump ahead to "Rhialto the Marvelous", which was written in 1983 (instead of 1950) and might have, uh, less pulp.